No other national stereotype in the world is so closely tied with a sport, as Brazil is with football. The five-time world champions have constructed their national identity around this sport. Perhaps for this reason it’s no wonder that there are many Brazilian social scientists doing research on this theme.
The first part of this volume is dedicated to the history of Brazilian football. The main question is how did football become so popular in the country? It also looks at other interesting historical developments in Brazilian football history up to this day. The second part considers current phenomena, especially the place of Brazilian football in a globalized world: What are the consequences of an extremely commercialized and mediatized sport on a developing country? How does Brazil figure as the main supplying country of football talents? How does the population feel about seeing their players in Europe instead of their own country?
Finally, the book will conclude with a critique of a documentary film about a Brazilian national team game in Haiti which was part of the Brazilian army’s blue helmet mission. The game was used as a political instrument, revealing the importance of this sport in attaining a political position for Brazil in the world.
This book was previously published as a special issue of Soccer and Society.
Table of Contents
1. Soccer in Brazil: an introduction 2. The fan as actor: the popularization of soccer and Brazil’s sports audience 3. Arthur Friedenreich (1892–1969): a Brazilian biography 4. The adoption of soccer in southern Brazil: the influences of international boundaries immigrants 5. Pelé, racial discourse and the 1958 World Cup 6. Brazilian soccer: symbolic dimensions of its practice 7. A brief history of soccer stadiums in Brazil 8. Beauty, effort and talent: a brief history of Brazilian women’s soccer in press discourse 9. Training soccer players in Brazil 10. Financial condition of Brazilian soccer clubs: an overview 11. Soccer and media in Brazil 12. The decline of the ‘Soccer-Nation’: journalism, soccer and national identity in the 2002 World Cup 13. On criollos and capoeiras: notes on soccer and national identity in Argentina and in Brazil 14. The peace game: Brazilian soccer as a political instrument, a film review 15. Research possibilities for the 2014 FIFAWorld Cup in Brazil
Martin Curi (Museu Nacional - UFRJ) has made his PhD in social anthropology at UFF – the Federal Fluminense University, in Niteroi. His main focus is on football fans, not only supporters at the local level, but he has also conducted extensive fieldwork at Euro 2004 in Portugal, the World Cup 2006 in Germany, and the Pan-American Games 2007 in Rio de Janeiro. In 2013 he published his book Brasilien – Land des Fußballs (Brazil – Land of Football) in Germany.