Futebol: Soccer, the Brazilian Way

Overview

Through the lens of Brazil's trademark sport, Alex Bellos brings us a fascinating portrait of Brazilian identity.
The Brazilian soccer team is one of the modern wonders of the world. Its essence is a game in which prodigious individual skills outshine team tactics, where dribbles and flicks are preferred over physical challenges or long-distance passes, where technique has all the elements of dance and, indeed, is often described as such. At their best Brazilians are, we like ...
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Futebol: Soccer, The Brazilian Way

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Overview

Through the lens of Brazil's trademark sport, Alex Bellos brings us a fascinating portrait of Brazilian identity.
The Brazilian soccer team is one of the modern wonders of the world. Its essence is a game in which prodigious individual skills outshine team tactics, where dribbles and flicks are preferred over physical challenges or long-distance passes, where technique has all the elements of dance and, indeed, is often described as such. At their best Brazilians are, we like to think, both athletes and artists. Soccer is how the world sees Brazil, but it is also how Brazilians see themselves. The game symbolizes racial harmony, flamboyance, youth, innovation, and skill, and yet it is also a microcosm of the country itself, containing all of its contradictions.
Travelling extensively from Uruguay to the northeastern backlands, and from the coastal cities of Rio de Janeiro and S&atildeo Paulo to the Amazon jungle, Alex Bellos shows how Brazil changed soccer and how soccer shaped Brazil. He tells the stories behind the great players, like Pele and Garrincha, the great teams, and the great matches, as well as extraordinary stories from people and pitches all over this vast country. With an unerring eye for a good story and a marvelous ear for the voices of the people he meets, Alex Bellos uncovers what Ronaldo called the 'true truth' about Brazilian soccer.

Author Biography: Alex Bellos is a reporter for the Observer and the Guardian in Rio de Janeiro, where he has lived and worked for four years.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Compelling, alternately funny and dark...Bellos offers a cast of charachters as colorful as a Carnival parade." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Full of cheeky exuberance...an irresistible blend of many things at once." —Time Out New York

"Bellos is an astute reported who writes clean, sparkling prose...he has produced a rich and enjoyable book." —Chicago Tribune

"This book is the best way to explore this eccentric culturally verdant country." —Forbes

Forbes
This book is the best way to explore this eccentric culturally verdant country.
Chicago Tribune
Bellos is an astute reported who writes clean, sparkling prose...he has produced a rich and enjoyable book.
Time Out New York
Full of cheeky exuberance...an irresistible blend of many things at once.
Foreign Affairs
Last summer's World Cup championship was followed with vast enthusiasm across the world. Even in the usually detached United States, many immigrants became glued to the Spanish-language TV networks that covered the games live. How the champion, Brazil, became a world power in soccer is captured in this marvelous and readable book. For Brazilians, soccer is an exercise in self-expression, reflecting the aspirations of racial harmony, skill, and mobility. But Bellos shows that the game also has murky edges; the deals, personal conflicts, commercialization, and at times corruption make it, he writes, a "vast unregulated bazaar." Emblematic is Ricardo Teixeira, president of Brazil's Soccer Confederation, who rose through the ranks thanks to a strategic marriage with the only daughter of Joao Havelange, the Brazilian who was the long-time boss of international soccer. Bellos also makes clear just how much the state-based organization of Brazilian soccer reflects the power distortions within the country's political system, which is tilted toward the less-developed states of the country's north instead of the more modern industrial power centers of the south. This tale of bankrupt clubs run by rich fixers, of Amazonian beauty queens and gamblers, of "black magic" and posturing politicians, is a must read for anyone seeking a glimpse of how Brazil really functions.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582342504
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 5/28/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST US
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 4.84 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.58 (d)

Table of Contents

1. The Match at the End of the World

2. Heroic Feet

3. The Fateful Final

4. Tribal Gatherings

5. The Angel with Bent Legs

6. Carnival with a Twist

7. My Little Tony

8. Cars, Girls, and Keeping It Up

9. Frogs and Miracles

10. The Unconfoundable Goal

11. Naked Futebol

12. A Game of Two Hemispheres

13. Tortise in a Top Hat

14. We Lost because We Didn't Win

15. Socratic Dialogue

Appendices

Acknowledgements

Picture Credits

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