Brazilian Sports: Individual Sports

Figure 1.--The photo shows the youth team of Palestra de São Bernardo, a Brazilian soccer club based in São Bernardo do Campo, São Paulo State. It was taken in 1940s. It seems that in Brazil soccer youth championships were played in bare feet. We are not sure why that was. We suspect that some players could not afford football boots so thec only fair approach was for everyone to play barefoot. A reader writes, "You can run faster bare foot (on a nice grassy field) but kicking the ball might hurt more so maybe that's why they got good at passing and running forwards with the ball rather than giant kicks from one end of the field to the other."

We do know that sport is dominated by soccer (footbll), almost to the exclusion of many other sports. Futebol is more than a sport in Brazil, it is a cultural phenomenon. A factor in the development of football in Brazil is surely the fact that only a ball was needed--no expensive equipment. We see boys kicking balls all over the country. And of course, the country is a perenial favorite in World Cup competition ever since Pele led Brazil to victory in the 1950s. He is considered by many to be the greates player of all time. The only sport majny Braziliab boys want to play is football and thete is no seasonal shift as is the case of America and Europe. There is no cultural divide as well. All other major sports pale in popularity to football. This is reflected in the Olympics competition where Brazil does poorly in relation to its popularity. One other sport in which Brazil does excel is volleybazll, probably because of the popularity of beach volleball. And Braziliazns have combibed their interest in football and volleyball to create futvolley.


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Created: 10:03 PM 4/27/2011
Last updated: 10:04 PM 4/27/2011