What’s with Brazil and balls?

History of the nation’s most loved game, Football

Football has evolved into one of the most dominating sports in the world. It’s so prominent that July 19th is regarded as ‘Football Day’ across the globe. Charles Miller is the “Forerunner of football” in Brazil. Born in the São Paulo neighborhood of Brás, Charles Miller traveled to England at the age of nine for a good all-round education. There he came into contact with the game of football and when he returned to Brazil in 1894, he brought the first football and a set of rules. Miller was so good at the game that he was skilled at the dribble, swerve, feign, and free kicks. A skillful move which involved a deft flick of the ball with the heel was called “Chaleira”, in his honor. This move is an absolute marvel to see, even today.

The first football game was held in Brazil on April 15, 1895 between employees of British companies working in São Paulo. This game was between GAS COMPANY OFFICIALS and CIA SAO PAULO RAILWAY TRAIN. The Sao Paolo Athletic Club (SPAC) was formed on May 13, 1888 in Brazil. Initially, football in Brazil was exclusively practiced by the elite, and blacks were forbidden to participate in the game.

The FIFA World cup is synonymous with football. Every four years, football teams from several countries throughout the world gather to compete in the FIFA World Cup. Brazil hosted the FIFA World Cup of 1950 where they lost against Uruguay (2:1) on their own soil. Their defeat was witnessed by 200,000 people, which ever since has been considered the most gravid athletic injury to the country. This sport is taken rather seriously here; with anything less than a win is considered useless.

Here are facts that everyone should know about football in Brazil:

  • Football existed in Brazil for more than 2,000 years
  • Brazil is the only country in the world that participated in all World Cups
  • The comprehensive record for most goals in the history of every World Cup is ‘Ronaldo’, with 15 goals
  • Brazil has won the most World Cup titles; 5
  • The country has given us some of the best players on the planet
  • The world’s largest stadium ‘Maracana’, is in Rio de Janeiro

In 2014, the FIFA World Cup will be held in Brazil making it the fifth country to have hosted the FIFA World Cup twice. On October 30, 2007 at his Zurich headquarters, FIFA President Sepp Blatter officially announced Brazil as the ‘Host Country’ for the FIFA world Cup 2014. The government of Brazil has set aside R$ 3 billion (US$ 1.8 billion) as an investment in works for the 2014 World Cup. Brazil has now joined the bench of the largest economies in the world to host the World Cup.

Facts on Brazil