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Football in Brazil

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Football in Brazil

Football in Brazil
Night view of Maracanã Stadium, June 2013.
Country Brasil
Governing body CBF
National team Brasil
First played 1894 [1]
Registered players 2,1 million [2]
Clubs 29,208 [2]
National competitions
Club competitions
International competitions
Audience records
Single match 199,854
(Brazil 1-2 Uruguay at Maracanã Stadium in 1950 World Cup) [3]

Association Football is the most popular sport in Brazil. The Brazilian national football team has won the FIFA World Cup tournament a record five times, in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002,[4] and is the only team to succeed in qualifying for every World Cup competition ever held. It is among the favorites to win the trophy every time the competition is scheduled. After Brazil won its 3rd World Cup in 1970, they were awarded the Jules Rimet Trophy permanently. But 365 days before World Cup 2014 began, Brazil's rank dropped to 22nd, an all-time-low position.[5]

Pelé, arguably the greatest footballer ever, led Brazil to three of those championships and is the top scorer of all time in the sport. All of the leading players in the national teams are prominent in the football world, including Garrincha, Cafu, Roberto Carlos, Romário, Rivaldo, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, and Kaká in the men's game, and Marta in the women's game. Some of these players can be considered super-stars, achieving celebrity status internationally and signing sports contracts, as well as advertisement and endorsement contracts, in the value of millions of euros.

The governing body of football in Brazil is the Brazilian Football Confederation.


  • History 1
  • Football culture 2
  • Football style 3
  • Women's football 4
  • Brazilian Football in television 5
    • Free television 5.1
    • Paid television 5.2
  • League system 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8


Football was introduced to Brazil by a Scottish expatriate named Thomas Donohoe.[1] The first football match played in Brazil was in April 1894, played on a pitch marked out by Donohoe next to his workplace in Bangu.[1]

In the 1870s, like many other British workers, a Scottish expatriate named John Miller worked on the railway construction project in São Paulo with other European immigrants.[6][7][8] In 1884, Miller sent his 10-year-old son Charles William Miller to Bannister School in Southampton, England to be educated. Charles was a skilled athlete who quickly picked up the game of football at the time when the Football League was still being formed, and as an accomplished winger and striker Charles held school honors that gained him entry into the Southampton Football Club team, and later into the County team of Hampshire.

In 1888, the first sports club was founded in the city, São Paulo Athletic Club. In 1892, while still in England, Charles was invited to play a game for Corinthian F.C., a team formed of players invited from public schools and universities. On his return to Brazil, Charles brought some football equipment and a rule book with him. He then taught the rules of the game to players in São Paulo. São Paulo Athletic Club won the first 3 year's championships. Miller's skills were far above his colleagues at this stage. He was given the honor of contributing his name to a move involving a deft flick of the Ball with the heel "Chaleira" (the "tea-pot"). The first match played by one of Miller's teams was six months after Donohoe's.[1]

Charles Miller kept a strong bond with English football throughout his life. Teams from Southampton and Corinthians Club travelled to Brazil to play against São Paulo Athletic Club and other teams in the city of São Paulo. After a tour of Corinthians to Brazil in 1910, a new team in Brazil took on the name of Corinthians after a suggestion from Miller.

The Brazilian Football Confederation was founded in 1914, but the current format for the Campeonato Brasileiro was only established in 1959.

In 1988, Sport Club Corinthians Paulista celebrated playing the English side Corinthians at the Morumbi Stadium. The English Corinthians finished its tour by going against the local professional Sport Club Corinthians Paulista team, who counted the likes of Sócrates and Rivelino amongst its roster, at Pacaembu Stadium in São Paulo. True to the Corinthian principles of fair play, the score was 1-0 in favor of the locals when, as agreed, Socrates changed shirts to play alongside the English amateurs. This did not affect the score, although a largely packed stadium was cheering on for a drawn result.

It was announced that on September 29, 2007, that the CBF would launch a Women's Association Football league and cup competition in October 2007 following pressure from FIFA president Sepp Blatter during the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup in China.[9][10]

Football culture

Football superstar Ronaldinho

Football is the most popular sport in Brazil. Football quickly became a passion for Brazilians, who often refer to their country as "o País do Futebol" ("the country of football"). Over 10,000 Brazilians play professionally all over the world.[11]

Football has a major effect on Brazilian Culture. It is the favorite pastime of youngsters playing football on the streets and indoor Futebol de Salão fields. The World Cup draws Brazilians together, with people skipping work to view the national team play, or employers setting up places for employees to watch. The General Elections are usually held in the same year as the World Cup, and critics argue that political parties try to take advantage of the nationalistic surge created by football and bring it into politics. Former Brazilian footballers are often elected to legislative positions.

One unique aspect of football in Brazil is the importance of the Brazilian State Championships. For much of the early development of the game in Brazil, the nation's size and the lack of rapid transport made national competitions unfeasible, so the competition centered on state tournaments and inter-state competitions like the Torneio Rio-São Paulo. Even today, despite the existence of a national tournament, the state tournaments continue to be hotly contested and the intrastate rivalries remain intense. There is, however, a growing tendency of devaluation of the importance of such championships as continental and national competitions have grown in relevance since the early 90s.

Football style

Brazil is known for playing a very skillful, creative, free-flowing, fast-paced style.[12][13][14] Because Brazilians are often not as big and physically strong as many Europeans, technical ability is very important.[15] For example, dribbling is an essential part of their style. Many players such as Ronaldinho, Pelé, Garrincha were excellent dribblers. Many people criticized the Brazilian coach Dunga because of the pragmatist, fundamental, defensive-minded style he brought to Brazil.[16] After Brazil's failure at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Dunga was fired and Mano Menezes became the head coach. With the aid of young talents such as Neymar, Lucas, Paulo Henrique Ganso, Oscar and many more, Brazil strives to return to its creative style.[17]

Women's football

Women's Football is not as popular in Brazil as men's football, although it has increased in popularity in the 2000s.[18]

In 1941, under the advisement of the Minister of Education and Health, the National Sports Council banned women from most sports, including soccer, until 1979.[19] There is a sexist belief that football is not a sport for women. The country lacks a national women's league, and runs only state competitions because there is limited financial interest and support. The national league Campeonato Brasileiro de Futebol Feminino ran for a year and was cancelled. The Copa do Brasil de Futebol Feminino was first played in 2007.

The best players, such as Marta and Cristiane, were accidentally discovered and directly invited to play on the Brazil women's national football team.[20] In recent years, the national team contested the World Cup finals and Olympics gold medals, increasing the popularity of TV broadcasts of those tournaments. However, this was not sufficient to stimulate the footballing culture among women who prefer to support men's football over women's. Brazil has developed a major rivalry with the United States women's national soccer team.

Brazilian Football in television

Football is broadcast in television in the following channels:

Free television

League system

There is a four tier league system.

There are also State Championships which are not hierarchically below the national league, however, they are used for the purposes of promoting clubs to the National Leagues.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "New research reveals the Scottish dye worker who brought football to Brazil, 117 years ago exclusive". Herald Scotland. 2011-03-24. Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  2. ^ a b Brazilian Soccer: A Country of "Soccerists"
  3. ^ Largest Sporting Crowds at Top End Sports
  4. ^ "Brazilian Football". Brazilian Football. Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  5. ^ "Brazil plummets to No. 22 in FIFA rankings". Retrieved June 14, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Toward the Goal: The Kaka Story - Jeremy V. Jones - Google Books". 2010-04-27. Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  7. ^ Bellos, Alex (2003), Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life, Bloomsbury Publishing, p. 27,  
  8. ^ "The 'Labour Question' in Nineteenth Century Brazil: railways, export agriculture and labour scarcity" (PDF). p. 35. Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  9. ^ "Brazil to set up women's soccer league". Sports.  
  10. ^ "Brazil will create women soccer cup". Sports.  
  11. ^ "Natal Brazil". Natal Brazil. September 29, 2006. Retrieved July 23, 2009. 
  12. ^ Langbein, Francis (2013-02-28). "The secret behind the mystique of beautiful Brazilian soccer 02/28/2013". SoccerAmerica. Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  13. ^ Brian Homewood (2012-03-01). "Menezes sets Brazil quest for old style - World Cup 2014 - Football". The Independent. Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  14. ^ "Carlos backs Brazilian style | Football News". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  15. ^ "The famous Brazilian football". Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  16. ^ "Football: Bores from Brazil lose their magic | Mail Online". 2013-09-17. Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  17. ^ Edwards, Richard (2012-07-08). "Brazil's Samba style looking so out of step | Football | Sport | Daily Express". Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  18. ^ "Brazilian women fight prejudice through soccer".  
  19. ^ Nadel, Joshua H. Fútbol!: Why Soccer Matters in Latin America. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2014. Print.
  20. ^ "Marta - the 'female Pele' seeking a fair deal for women's soccer -". Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
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