History of Brazilian Soccer
The history of soccer in Brazil is related to the history of the people and perhaps can be the explanation of the Brazilian soccer appreciation
and style. Various people from different parts of the world help make Brazil the largest multi-racial country in the world. Futebol, soccer in
Portuguese, was brought to Brazil in 1885 by Charles Miller, an Englishman. It was initially practised in private clubs by young males from the elite society. After decades of discrimination against poor or black people, soccer was transformed in 1933 into a professional activity, and it became very popular in schools, factories and clubs. Futebol was practiced a great deal throughout the country on beaches or fields and the number of players grew quickly. With its popularity, Futebol was practiced by the low-income population where blacks and mulattoes were more concentrated and their participation increased. It is well documented that Brazilian soccer shows a unique style and quality because of the great physical ability or "foot ability" in physical activities with rhythm and co-ordination that blacks have. This unique ability was a characteristic of slaves that developed the Capoeira, Brazilian martial arts and samba which are characterised by footsteps to dance or to play under the rhythm of African drums.
To understand Brazilian soccer, we need to understand Brazil and its people.
The combination of race and culture transformed soccer into a social phenomenon. The Brazilian soccer style is a reflex of the culture of its people who dance samba and use creativity and swing to promote various rhythms and choreographies. Soccer then is transformed into an art and its players into soccer artists. This agility is valued by the Brazilian popular culture the dance, Capoeira, and soccer. The suffering people
in a nation of ex-slaves had to develop a great capacity of overcoming barriers with
There are also other factors that can influence soccer in Brazil. It is easy to play, the rules are simple and it does not require special equipment or a special location. In other words, it can be played on synthetic grass fields, abandoned land, at more than 2,000 beaches or even inside the houses with soccer balls being made of socks, oranges or soda lids. Moreover, people with various physical attributes can practice soccer.
This enables many people to play soccer and with more people playing, it is easier to have quality players. The same cultural aspect can be seen in the United States as far as basketball is concerned. Both the extensive and intensive practice of a certain sport stimulates the arousal of talented players who are generally influenced by the environment in which they live.
The Brazilian soccer team is the first team to win the World Cup five times in 1958,1962,1970,1994 and 2002. Brazil has more professional soccer teams than any other country in the world.
Soccer is a mirror of Brazilian society and plays a big role in the coverage by the media. Idols are generated by the media and imitated by children. Rich and famous soccer players who had started life as underprivileged children, believed soccer was the only way to achieve economic success, so now they are role models that children from a similar underprivileged background follow.
Great idols of soccer such as Pele, Garrincha, Zico, Romario, Ronaldo and many others from lower social classes started playing soccer on dirt fields under poor conditions. They played intensively and their game skill promoted soccer in Brazil and made Brazil famous throughout the world. This influence is present in the streets of the whole country where boys from the minorities dream of becoming future soccer players and through this dream, they promote the national soccer culture even more. This dream motivates millions of children who want a better life by escaping poverty because this can be the only way for them to seek a better quality of life. Through soccer, they mix the joy of playing with the suffering of poverty. One may say that this soccer culture has a bigger influence on peoples' lives than subjects related to politics or economics.