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Football is the number 1 sport in England!

The first reference to football is found in a decree of 1314 issued by the Mayor of London, Nicholas de Farndone, on behalf of King Edward II. Originally written in Norman French, a translation of the decree includes: "as long as there is a great noise in the city caused by the jostling on large footballs in the fields of the public, from which could occur many evils that God does not like: we command and prohibit in the name of the King, under penalty of imprisonment, that such a game can be used in the city in the future." The first known reference to football that was written in English is a proclamation of 1409 issued by King Henry IV. He imposed a ban on the levying of money for "football". It was specific to London, but it's unclear whether payments had been claimed from players or spectators or both. The following year, Henry IV imposed fines of 20 shillings on certain mayors and judicial officers who had authorized football and other "offenses" to occur in their cities. This is the first documentary evidence of football playing in all of England.

There is mention of football played at the University of Cambridge in 1710. A letter from a certain Dr. Bentley to the Bishop of Ely regarding the university statutes includes a complaint about students being "perfectly within Liberty of being absent from Grace", in order to play football (called "Foot-Ball") or cricket, and not to be punished for their conduct as prescribed in the statutes.


Nature of folk football

More is known about folk football in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It was essentially a game for many played over great distances with goals three miles apart, as at Ashbourne. In Whitehaven, the targets were a harbour wall and a wall outside the city. Matches in Derby involved around a thousand players. In any case, the purpose of the exercise was to lead a ball of varying size and shape, often a pig's bladder, towards a goal. As a rule, the ball could be kicked, thrown, or carried, but it is believed that there were places where only kicks were allowed. Whatever the rules agreed beforehand, there is no doubt that folk football was extremely violent, even relatively well organized. A common form of kick was "brilliant," the term for kicking another player's legs, and it was legal even if the ball was hundreds of meters away.

Folk football was mostly rural, and matches tended to coincide with country fairs. The change was brought about by industrialization and the growth of cities as people moved away from the countryside. The very idea of a multi-hour game over vast expanses went against "the discipline, order and organization necessary for urban capitalism."  In 1801, an inquiry into British sports by Joseph Strutt described football as "once very fashionable among ordinary people in England". Although Strutt claimed that folk football was in disrepute and that it was "but little practiced", there is no doubt that many games continued until the nineteenth century before codification came into effect.


Codification (1801 to 1891)

Public school football

Main article: English public school football matches

A football match between Thames and Townsend clubs, played at Kingston upon Thames, London, 1846

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, football became increasingly important in public schools because it corresponded well to the ideals of the cult of "muscular Christianity". It was, like cricket, perceived as a sport of "character building". The pioneer was the rugby school where boys began playing the game around 1800, almost certainly inspired by the annual New Year's Eve game played by the inhabitants of Rugby, Warwickshire, in the eighteenth century.  Public schools sought to harden their students so that they would be able to rule the British Empire. The policy was in response to the widespread belief that past empires had fallen because the ruling class had become soft. In Rugby, students are encouraged to adopt shinning to harden themselves and they rename the practice "hacking". It became a kind of obsession, with cold showers and punitive cross-country races (cricket supposedly taught them to be gentlemen). Hacking was an important issue when the "manipulation game" separated from the "dribbling game" later in the century.

Ardingly College boys posing for their football house photo, 1916

In the 1820s, other public schools began to design their own versions of football, the rules of which were verbally agreed and passed on for many years. Each school (e.g., Eton, Harrow, and Winchester) had its own variations. Albert Pell, a rugby alumnus who went to Cambridge University in 1839, began organizing football matches there but, due to the different academic variations, a set of compromise rules had to be found. In 1843, it is believed that a set of rules existed in Eton that allowed the ball to be manipulated to control it, but not to run with it in the hand and not to pass it by hand. The first known 11-a-side games were held in Eton where the "dribbling game" was popular. The written version of the football rules of the rugby school in 1845 allowed the ball to be carried and passed by hand. The rules of rugby are the oldest that are certainly known to have been written and were a major step in the evolution of rugby league and rugby union.

Eton introduced the referees and linesmen, who were at the time called arbitrators. In 1847, another set of public-school rules was created in Harrow which, like Eton, played the "dribbling game". Winchester had yet another version of the game. The original rules of the University of Cambridge were written in 1848 by students who were still confused by the different rules in force in the different schools. This was the first attempt to codify the rules of association football (i.e., the game of "dribbling") as opposed to rugby football. Unfortunately, no copy of the original Cambridge rules has survived. The essential difference between the two codes has always been that association football did not allow a player to run with the ball in his hands or pass it by hand to a colleague, although players are allowed to touch and control the ball by hand.


Sheffield, Cambridge, and FA Rules

The Sheffield Rules was adopted as the association's official football rules.

During the winter of 1855-1856, Sheffield Cricket Club players organized informal football matches to help them stay fit. On October 24, 1857, they officially established Sheffield Football Club which is now recognized as the oldest association football club in the world. On 21 October 1858, at the club's first annual general meeting, the club drafted the Sheffield Rules for use in its matches. Piracy was prohibited but "fair catch" was allowed, provided that the player did not cling to the ball. Just over a year later, in January 1860, the rules were upgraded to prohibit manipulation. On 26 December 1860, the world's first club match took place when Sheffield defeated the newly formed Hallam FC at Sandygate Road, Hallam's home ground. In 1862, an impromptu team formed in Nottingham would have been the original County of Notts, which was officially incorporated in December 1864 and is the oldest professional association football club in the world.

In October 1863, a revision of the Cambridge Rules was published. This was shortly before a meeting on Monday 26 October of twelve clubs and schools at the Freemasons' Tavern on Great Queen Street in London. Eleven of them agreed to form the Football Association (FA). Running with the ball in hand was also prohibited, but players could still make the "right catch" to win a free kick.


Impact of rule changes (1863 to 1891)

Royal Engineers AFC in 1872: first representatives of the "combination game"

In 1874, Charles W. Alcock coined the term "combination game" to refer to a style of play based on teamwork and cooperation, obtained largely by passing the ball instead of dribbling it. The first representatives of the style were the Royal Engineers AFC (founded in 1863) and Queen's Park FC, based in Glasgow (founded in 1867).


Competitive, international, and professional football (1871 to 1890)

On 20 July 1871, in the offices of The Sportsman newspaper, FA secretary Charles Alcock proposed to his committee that "it is desirable that a Challenge Cup be created in connection with the Association for which all clubs belonging to the Association are invited to compete".

International football began in 1872 when the England national team travelled to Glasgow to face the Scotland national team in the very first official international match. It was played on 30 November 1872 at Hamilton Crescent, the home ground of the West of Scotland Cricket Club in the Partick district of Glasgow. It ended in a 0-0 draw and was watched by 4,000 spectators. 

Although English clubs employ professionals, the Scottish Football Association has continued to ban the practice. As a result, many Scottish players migrated south. Initially, the FA put in place residential restrictions to prevent this, but these were abandoned in 1889. [25] Preston North End, the first English team to win the championship and the "doubles" cup, did so with a majority of their team being made up of Scottish players. In the first season, they remained unbeaten in both the league and the FA Cup, earning them nicknames "the invincible". 

Wealthy miner Samuel Tyzack, who alongside shipbuilder Robert Turnbull funded the now-professional "all-talent team," has often claimed to be a priest while looking for players in Scotland, as Sunderland's recruitment policy in Scotland has infuriated many Scottish fans. In fact, Sunderland's entire squad at the 1895 World Championship was made up of all-Scottish players.


Football is the number 1 sport in Portugal!

Football began to gain popularity in Portugal in the late nineteenth century, brought by Portuguese students returning from England.

The first match organized in the country took place in 1875 in Camacha, Madeira, organized by Harry Hinton, a student in England born in Madeira, who brought a soccer ball. The sport quickly became popular across the island. Harry was then appointed Honorary President of CS Marítimo


The first national match, between Lisbon and Porto, took place in 1894, in the presence of King Carlos.

Clube Internacional de Futebol (founded in 1902) was the first Portuguese club to play abroad, beating Madrid Fútbol Clube in 1907 in Madrid.

On March 31, 1914, the three regional associations that existed in Portugal (Lisbon, Portalegre and Porto) merged to create a national association called União Portuguesa de Futebol, the predecessor of the current national association, the Portuguese Football Federation, which was created on May 28, 1926.

Initially, football was played between neighboring clubs, but soon regional and regional tournaments began to be held throughout the country. Shortly after the beginning of the twentieth century, in order to determine the best club in Portugal, a Portuguese championship with a single knockout stage (the Campeonato de Portugal) was created. The clubs of Lisbon and Porto are mainly on the list of winners of this event which will become the Portuguese Football Cup.

Portugal's first national league, the Primeira Liga was founded in 1934. The first champion of Portugal was FC Porto.

Portuguese enthusiasm for football also spread well in its colonies. Players like Fernando Peyroteo, Matateu, Hilário, Costa Pereira, Mário Coluna, Eusébio have been great players in the National Championship and the selection. Used by Salazarist propaganda from the 1960s, football then appeared as a national unity and gave legitimacy to the government's action.

The successes of the great Benfica Lisbon team of the 1960s, double winners of the Champion Club Cup, with only national players from all over the empire; sporting Portugal winner of the 1964 Cup and the third national team at the 1966 World Cup have definitively secured football its place as Portugal's leading sport. Used by the propaganda of the Estado Novo regime, football is part of the trinity of the three F's (Fátima, Fado and Football) and partly allows the Salazarist government to establish its popularity.

After a great improvement (fc porto's final in the 1984 Cup Cup and semi-final in Euro 1984), Portuguese football was marked by other more harmful turning points. In 1986, for its first World Cup after the epic of the time of Eusébio), the national team refused to train and went on strike, the Saltillo affair named after the Mexican city of the Portuguese base for training marked the spirits.

The following year in 1987, FC Porto won the 1987 Champions Clubs' Cup against Bayern Munich. The gesture made by Rabah Madjer during the final, which consists in deceiving the opposing goalkeeper with a heel, then goes down in history.

After a revival with other two European finals played by Benfica Lisbon in 1988 and 1990, Portuguese football is deeply marked by the Bosman judgment. For financial reasons, clubs are encouraged to let go of their best talents and the Portuguese championship is relegated to the background against countries better financially endowed.

It was in the late 1990s and early 2000s that the Portuguese team successfully returned to the final stages of international competitions. His golden generation led by players like Luis Figo Ballon d'Or 2000 and Rui Costa was first quarter finalist of Euro 1996 and then semi-finalist of Euro 2000.

The year 2004 is important in the history of Portuguese football. In January 2004, Benfica player Miklós Fehér died of a heart attack during a league match against Vitória Guimarães. In another tone, a corruption scandal broke out at the end of the championship: the golden whistle affair involved many clubs including FC Porto accused of having paid referees. Even involved, Jose Mourinho's FC Porto won the 2003-2004 Champions League.

In the spotlight, Portugal organizes for the first time an international football event with Euro 2004. Many stadiums are still the result of the major construction phase to host the competition. After a disappointing run in the 2002 World Cup, the national team showed great performance by eliminating reputable teams, but failed in the final against a surprising Greek team. They confirmed at the 2006 World Cup by reaching the semi-finals that they had become a feared selection at world level. Cristiano Ronaldo future multiple ballon d'or and central character in the history of the selection, imposes himself at the highest level from his departure to Manchester United in 2003 and is consecrated ballon d'or in 2008.

Marked by the Bosman judgment, Portuguese club football must reinvent itself. Third-party ownership mechanisms coupled with significant scouting work, particularly in South America, make it possible to build highly competitive teams. Financed by buy-sell, Portuguese clubs quickly became suppliers to major European clubs. Ever-increasing transfer fees benefit players' agents like Jorge Mendes. In 2011, during the Europa League, three Portuguese teams (FC Porto, Benfica Lisbon and Sporting Braga) reached the semi-finals. The first all-Portuguese final in the history of European competitions saw FC Porto defeat Sporting Braga 1-0. In the same competition in 2013 and 2014, Benfica Lisbon reached the final twice consecutively without succeeding in winning.

In 2015, the practice of third-party ownership was banned by UEFA and encouraged Portuguese clubs to adapt. If Sporting Portugal was considered since the early 2000s as the main Portuguese training club, both FC Porto and Benfica Lisbon have very reputable training centers. Their results in the UEFA Youth League (one win for Porto, two finals for Benfica) illustrate the new strategies adopted by the clubs.




Football is the number 1 sport in France!


May 1, 1904

 The France team made its official debut in a friendly against Belgium, at the Vivier d'Oie stadium in Uccle in front of 1,500 people. Refereed by the Englishman John Keene, the match ended in a draw (3-3). The Blues, dressed in white, Louis Mesnier, Marius Royet and Gaston Cyprès respond to the double of Georges Quéritet and the goal of Pierre-Joseph Destrebecq.




January 15, 1917

 The Coupe de France was created by the French Interfederal Committee (CFI) on the initiative of its Secretary General Henri Delaunay. It thus honours the memory of Charles Simon, founder of the CFI who fell in the field of honour in 1915, whose event takes its name. For its first edition, it pits 48 teams against each other and is now the largest football competition in the world uniting amateurs and professionals.

In 1967, the France Cup was celebrated on the fiftieth anniversary of its creation. Ten years later, a commemorative stamp illustrated his sixtieth birthday, recalling his humble beginnings with only forty-eight clubs involved! Today, the centenary of its creation is part of the memorial activity of the Great War, which sheds more light on the direct and strong link that exists between this national competition and the world conflict. Because it is no coincidence that this cup was born in 1917, twenty-five years after the foundation of the first French club in Le Havre. This is highlighted by the magazine Les Lectures pour tous, owned by the Hachette company, responsible for supporting this competition and which headlined in February 1917: "What the war has done for sport". In a state at war, physical instruction is essential for more than one reason, to train conscripts but also to allow the wounded to regain functional autonomy, as shown by the new missions of the Joinville school. Published in 1917, the Practical Guide to Physical Education recommends developing the taste and practice of sports games.

Thus, sport offers the double advantage of providing a derivative before joining the front, while preparing for it. Facilitated by the war of position, the practice of football has become democratized in contact with insiders and allies, including the Tommies. Football was the sport-king of the Poilus, a weapon in the service of victory during the "Great Match", according to the consecrated warrior metaphor. The invention of the Coupe de France is linked to both the Great War and the small war of associations. Divided before the conflict and shared between several competing omnisports federations, French football has unified around this competition by empowering its national authorities. The Coupe de France football was created in tribute to Charles Simon, founding president of the French Interfederal Committee (CFI), who "died for the France" on 15 June 1915. Initially called "Charles Simon Cup" because of the occupation of the northern departments, it took its national title after the liberation of the entire territory. On the model of the FA Cup, created in 1871, it is a knockout competition, which is not reserved for professionals only and offers teams from smaller divisions the opportunity to achieve glory. Thus, in the last twenty-five years, nearly twenty clubs have managed to reach at least the quarter-finals, such as Granville, "little thumb" of the 2015-2016 season. By brandishing the trophy above their heads, the successive winners of the Coupe de France contribute in their own way and probably unconsciously to the tribute to the Poilus.

Football is the number 1 sport in Germany!

 The German team is the leading European football power of all time and a world reference.

The creation of Team Germany

Since its creation in 1908 with its first match against Switzerland, the German football team has brought discipline, power, reliability, a team always at the top of all the championships of the king's sport.  The German football team was champion of four World Cups; 1954, 1974, 1990 and 2014, and European champion at the Euro in the years 1972, 1980, 1996.Its first international tournament developed in the Stockholm Olympics of 1912

 where "Die Mannschaft" of the debut falls in the first round. In the first decades of its history its future efficiency was not really predictable. His first major ranking was at the 1934 World Cup where the team would finish in third place. From that moment on, sporting circumstances are linked to politics; the Third Reich in Germany, the 1936 Berlin Olympics, World War II and the separation of the two Germanys until reunification in 1990.


The Federal German team

this reunification, the East German national team became part of the selection for the Federal Republic of Germany. For this reason, the history of the Federal German team reflects the history of the whole of Germany with the interstice of the years in which it was divided. FIFA and UEFA have recognized that the former East German Football Association (Deutscher Fußball-Verband) will be absorbed by the DFB, the German Football Association. You can read our report on the interesting history of the selection of the DDR, the German Democratic Republic during the years of the Eastern Bloc, so we invite you to visit their history to complete this column

It is also surprising that the greatest triumphs of the German football team took place during the Iron Curtain era, when there was great rivalry between the two types of states: the communist and the liberal democratic. We should reflect on rivalries in the sports field knowing that the two blocs competed not only on the playing field during matches but also in the propaganda machinery. In football as in politics, it can be said that West Germany has achieved all the successes.

Team Germany in the World Cup

We will list the record of the German team in the World Cup and the European Nations Championship, where we will include the victories, their participation in the semi-finals and finals. This will give us a reliable description of the great competitive strength and performance of La National Mannschaft in the most important competitions in the world.


Football is the number 1 sport in Argentina!

The first match took place in 1867 in Buenos Aires, at the initiative of two British immigrants. They also founded the very first Argentine football club. A century later, in 1978, Argentina hosted the World Cup, which they won in the final against the Netherlands by 3 goals to 1. The following year saw the emergence of the man who would become a living legend of football: Diego Armando Maradona. El Pibe de oro will make the glory of Argentine football and become a real myth, in Argentina but also in Naples in Italy. Outstanding dribbler and genius scorer, he remains the emblematic player of the 80s and 90s.

It should be noted that football would have been introduced in Argentina by the Italian community and that it was not for nothing in the integration of the latter. The English got involved very early on too. According to connoisseurs, we can also distinguish in the style of the Argentines certain character traits of Italian football, reconciling brilliant technique and roublardise, mixed with a dose of seriousness and more Anglo-Saxon efficiency! Madness and elegance are part of the more South American characteristics that complete the whole to make Argentina one of the most beautiful teams in the world. She has not won the World Cup since 1986, despite reaching the final in 2014... Case to follow?


Thanks to a strong popular base and mythical players like Lionel Messi, Alfredo Di Stéfano and of course Diego Maradona, football has become in Argentina more than a sport, more than an institution: a real religion, for millions of fans.


Football in Argentina, a religion?

This is not just an image, when we know that Diego Maradona is the subject of a real religious cult followed by tens of thousands of devotees in the world, with his feast days and his prayer! Maradona is indeed one of the greatest players of the twentieth century, a virtuoso who marked the history of the sport with his extravagant goals. His second goal against England in the quarter-finals of the 1986 World Cup is often described as the "goal of the century"...  But the first goal of the match is just as famous, and for good reason: he scored it with his hand! Yes, but it was "the Hand of God"...


Thanks to this legendary match, Maradona was finally able to realize his childhood dream: to allow Argentina to win a World Cup, the second after that of 1978. Since then, Maradona's image has largely been tarnished, between drug problems, Neapolitan mafia or tax, variety shows, support for controversial political leaders such as Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez... His time as coach of the Argentine national team ended in a rout: in 2017, he coached a 2nd division team in the United Arab Emirates. However, no one would think of denying him this status of living myth that has made generations of fans dream in Argentina, in Naples (which was long his club) and throughout the football world.


"El Diego" is not the only player to have elevated Argentine football to the rank of cult

You also have to count with Lionel Messi... which lives up to its name! Born in 1987, the striker from Rosario holds the record for the number of Ballons d'Or (tied with Cristiano Ronaldo) supreme distinction won without interruption from 2009 to 2012 and then in 2015... One is seriously beginning to wonder what the Argentines season their asados with  to get such champions. Lionel Messi is the top scorer in the history of the country's team, the Spanish championship (he works for FC Barcelona). He is often considered the best player in the world today, and sometimes the best player of all time... Elbow-to-elbow with the most sulphurous Maradona!


Let's not forget the oldest in Argentine football

Alfredo Di Stefano in the 50s, Ossie Ardiles, Passarella (captain of the team that won the World Cup in 78) and Mario Kempes in the 70s-80s (just before the reign of Maradona), Batistuta in the 90s, were each among the best players in the world in their time and united the Argentine people in the celebration of their exploits,  beyond the political or economic turbulence that the country may have suffered during these decades.



And the national championship?

If these prophets have profoundly marked the imagination of millions of fans, the national championship is also a saga marked by mythical clashes. The most famous rivalry is that between the two clubs of Buenos Aires: Boca Juniors, crowned by the passage of Maradona in the early 80s and based in a popular district, and the River Plate, a club reputed bourgeois. The Superclasico between the two clubs are often the subject of clashes between supporters, since September 20, 1931... River Plate is the most successful club in the history of the championship, which it has won 36 times, while Boca Juniors is at 32, including those of 2015 and 2017. Boca holds its revenge by appearing in the Top 5 clubs that have won the most international championships, with 18 titles. As we have understood, the fact of supporting this or that team is anything but trivial and few do not do without it in the Argentine capital.


If the cities of Argentina are full of people and screaming televisions on match nights, the passion for football is also reflected in improvised matches on street corners, shared between all generations. Women also shine: if the women's national team does not have the same international prestige as the men's team, it is still recognized as one of the best on the continent, along with that of Brazil.


Football is the number 1 sport in Brazil!

              More than anywhere else in the world, football is the number 1 sport in Brazil!

It punctuates the life of the inhabitants, whether they come from poor neighborhoods or upscale classes, it governs their way of life, it maintains their pride on both sides of the planet, it represents the deification of the sportsman who can, thanks to his exceptional talent, bring indescribable joy to his supporters, or an unfathomable pain. Without risking caricature, we can say that Brazil IS football.



Football in Brazil: an extraordinary and eventful history


The youngest, or the least addicted to the world of football, perhaps keep in mind a very sad image of Brazilian football: that of an incredulous nation crushed by the pain of an unimaginable defeat in the semi-finals of the last Football World Cup organized... (ouch!) in Brazil in 2014.

This rout of exceptional magnitude (7-1 against Germany) suffered by one of the Seleçãos certainly the least talented in the history of Brazilian Futebol demonstrates at least two things: even the greatest team in the world is not immune to a stinging disillusionment, and no one will be able to erase the countless successes that this team has gleaned throughout the decades. From its importation from the distant British Empire at the end of the nineteenth century by Charles W. Miller, an Anglo-Brazilian born in São Paulo, to the exploits in the World Cup, football has established itself in Brazil as the essential sport, the one thanks to which everything becomes possible, for the wealthiest as for the most deprived. And its history shows it well with no less than 5 World Cups won, a record simply unequalled until today!




Football, the cement of the Brazilian nation


The indisputable advantage of football over all other sports is the simplicity of its basic rules that make everyone can have access to the understanding of this sport. As in all countries of the world, football in Brazil is quickly becoming an institution. But more than elsewhere, it will turn into a second religion, after the very official one of Catholicism. From the beginning of the twentieth century, clubs were created, mainly in large cities such as Rio or São Paulo, giving rise to increasingly passionate clashes. In the highly compartmentalized Brazilian society, these games have an eminently symbolic value: Today clubs like Flamengo Rio are becoming the banners of the poor and working class, while the wealthy classes are represented by the Fluminense... which has no players of color in its ranks. This remark will take on a very special character in this country with strong unequal trends. And the clashes on the grass will be more symbolic!

Any kid who kicks a ball, or even a tin can, in the streets of the favelas of the great Brazilian cities caresses the secret hope of one day becoming the adored star that we will applaud in mythical stadiums like the Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro (200,000 seats at its construction, a world record at the time), built for the first World Cup organized by Brazil in 1950. More than a sport or a game, football is a social elevator in which all ethnic origins will soon mix to the delight of an entire people.




Pelé, the king of Brazilian football


The World Cups will propel Brazil to the forefront of the international scene after the Second World War. That of 1950 of course, even if the defeat in the final "at home" against the sworn enemy Uruguay is hard felt by the fans, but especially that of 1958 in Sweden with the brilliant victory in the final of the Seleção auriverde. And above all, the planetary revelation of the very young (17 years old) attacking Edson Arantes do Nascimento, said Pelé.

With three World Cups to his credit and other prestigious titles, the "king" Pelé will embody for eternity the perfect image of the modern footballer, in the same way as Fangio for motorsport. In Brazil, he became the emblematic figure unanimously respected in and out of the country (he was also appointed Minister of Sports of Brazil in the nineties, then Ambassador of the UN and UNESCO to Education and the Environment). Pelé does not only represent the Brazilian ideal in sports. With his natural elegance and talent, he will perfectly embody this brilliant, artistic, and inspired game that will always be the trademark of the Brazilian team, to the delight of the fans, and not only Brazilians.

Like Pelé, all the great Brazilian players – and this is what makes it their undeniable charm – apply themselves to practice this game made of intuition and strokes of genius, which the press around the world has described as a "samba game" as the festive aspect is obvious in what the national team offers. Even if nowadays the game has become muscular and leaves less and less room for fantasy – as unfortunately in many sports – seeing Brazil evolve in selection remains a rare pleasure, even for the most reluctant to the ground ball.




Socrates, The Democratic Doctor & Ronaldo, the 2 unforgettable successors


Pele's successors were numerous and naming them all would be a long time. However, we will mention two of them, for their particularity: Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima, or simply Ronaldo, is considered one of the best strikers of all time. "O Fenomeno" was a powerful player, with breathtaking speed and impeccable technique. Winner of two Ballons d'Or (1997 and 2002) and two World Cups (1994 and 2002), he remains an absolute reference for strikers around the world.

The other "phenomenon" was the iconic Sócrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira, better known as Sócrates. This elegant midfielder does not have a first-rate international record (he was unfortunately part of the eighties team that did not manage to bring the World Cup back to the country), but his extraordinary career makes him one of the most outstanding players: unlike the vast majority of his classmates, Sócrates was not only educated, but holds a medical degree, hence his nickname "Doctor"!

To this particularism of size, the player-doctor added that of a citizen committed to more freedom of expression, the country then living under the rule of the military junta. He established a kind of self-management in his club of Corinthians with the key to actions intended to make the Brazilian people aware of the need to manage their own destiny. Their motto was "Win or lose, but in democracy."

This commitment not only never met with the veto of the authorities (too afraid to touch a legend like Sócrates) but had a significant part in the country's journey towards the path of democracy.



Football in Brazil, A great mass not to be missed under any circumstances


The football fan, but also the curious tourist, will not be able to refuse the opportunity offered to go see a great football match in a mythical place such as the Morumbi of São Paulo or the Maracanã of Rio de Janeiro. Even if the latter has seen its capacity reduced from 200,000 to 100,000, then to 80,000 spectators for the 2014 World Cup – officially for better show conditions, attending a match of the Brazilian championship, or for the luckiest of a South American cup, in these temples of football remains a dream opportunity to live an exceptional experience of fervor and passion as only the Brazilian people knows how to produce it.

Like Carnival, football remains the unmissable opportunity for Brazilians who are always quick to party to show their exuberance and unwavering credo in their team. The pre-match discussion will not be about winning or not winning, but about what will be the best possible composition of the Seleção to bring back a title that can only go without saying (well... in theory)!