Football in Brazil is more than a sport. It is almost a kind of a religion. It is also a way out of poverty. It is a chance to meet new people. It is a way to integrate into the society if you’re foreign and move to Brazil. It makes you feel like you belong. To some, it gives a sense of purpose. For the best, it is a way to a career. A career in Europe means an opportunity to shine, to be known, to earn money, pride and glory. Welcome to football culture in Brazil.
Some of the most important football religions in Brazil represent:
- Your favorite team
- Brazilian national championship
- FIFA World Cup
Who plays football in Brazil
When you’re moving to Brazil from the UK for example, don’t be surprised to see kids, both boys, and girls, running around in cities chasing the ball and trying to score. As we’ve already mentioned, football culture in Brazil is everywhere you look. From the young age, kids are taught to cheer for a team. Usually, it is a team that their parents and family support. First training takes place in city parks when kids are still very young. Later on, they will start training in football clubs.
After school and training kids usually play pick up matches on gravel, dirt and rubbery floors, depending on how well they play, their age and the neighborhood they’re from. If you find yourself in a favela, which we wouldn’t recommend you to do, you’ll notice the kids playing football barefoot. As we’ve mentioned it earlier, one of the perks of being a good footballer in Brazil is obtaining a ticket to a better life for you and your family.
Futsal – a welcomed addition to football culture in Brazil
Futsal is very similar to football we watch and play. The difference is that it is not played on the grass. It is played indoors on a handball-sized court with five players on each side. Many world-class players from Brazil played it at a certain point. The biggest advantage of playing this kind of football is that individual skill is kept in high regard. Additionally, it allows players to develop their skills that will later be able to use when playing pitch-sized football. One of the most famous footballers who previously played futsal in Brazil is Ronaldinho.
Style of football in Brazil
Brazil nurtures a very refined style of football. Since the very young age the kids are taught that they should play fair and beautiful. Therefore, when kids play street football, at the young age and with their club, goals scored bring one point each to the team. A nice dribble, however, can bring up to three points. This is why kids choose to play joga bonito (a beautiful game) in stead of just scoring a bunch of goals. This approach is evident in older categories as well. Then, even when you watch older categories play, top division included, you can see an extravagant and an exciting game played. Almost in a form of art.
As the kids are growing up some will broaden their interests and switch to other sport. Those who don’t, they will be chasing their dream of being the best. The final stage on the road to the fulfilling that dream represents playing in the national championship popularly known as Brasileirão.
National football championship in Brazil has been going on since 1959. It consists of 20 teams that play the round-robin system with each team playing twice one against another. There is no playoff and the winner is the team that has the most points after all games have been played. All the teams that make it to the top four by the end of the season automatically get to play in Copa Libertadores the following season. Copa consists of 32 teams today and is the Champion’s League of the Americas.
The team that wins Copa Libertadores get to play in Fifa Club World Cup. It is the annual tournament which brings together champions of all continents to contend for the title of the best team in the world. Obviously, playing and winning in this competition represents one of the dreams of every Brazilian supporter. There is another dream though, an even bigger one.
FIFA World Cup is the high of football culture in Brazil
It would be difficult to have a few Brazilians who support different clubs agree on which one deserves to win the league. However, when the national team plays, the whole nations come together as one. At those times, everything stops. Shops close, kids are let home early and every TV screen available shows the match. While the Cup is underway, employees would install TVs in their offices in order to be able to watch as many matches as possible. Normally, they will support their national team. Still, you’ll see Brazilians follow matches played between other national teams as well. FIFA World Cup represents the perfect opportunity to enjoy the best international football in the world and it’s not to be expected from the average Brazilian to miss it.
FIFA World Cup 2014
In 2014, the dream of having the best football players of the world play in Brazil came true for all local lovers of the game. And they are plenty. It was the 20th World Cup ever played and Brazil was one of the favorites to win it. For those who are new to football, we’d like to point out that Brazil is always one the favorites and have won 5 trophies so far, most of all. Unfortunately for the local population, Brazil made it all the way to the semi-finals but ultimately lost to Germany. The final result was 7-1 for the Germans, a stinging blow for the tourney host. The hope of local population is that the national team can win the next title in 2018.
If you like football, Brazil is the country for you to move to
Given the importance of football culture in Brazil, FIFA World Cup represents the perfect time to move to the country. At least visit it at that time if you can. If you’re looking to do just that, international movers Brazil can help you do it just in time. They’ll take care of it in a way that will let you join fellow Brazilians in watching games. Why not join the local population and play a coach of every team what’s taking part in the tournament.