How Brazil Stole the Soccer Stage
Soccer: How Brazil Stole the Stage
Being Brazilian, I definitely have a pride when it comes to playing and watching soccer. Even though I was born in Florida, my parents definitely instilled in me the passion that most Brazilians have when it comes to the beautiful game. Besides passion, there’s a reason why Brazilians are so good at what they do (not to toot my own horn—there are statistics to prove it). Some of the best teams and players in soccer’s history have come from Brazil and here’s why:
All-Around Commitment: Throughout the country, soccer is basically a religion, with everyone involved—regardless if they are players, themselves. Whether they are fans that come to every game or pray to players, whether they are friends that gather to watch every game and personally invest time and money into their teams, there is a national pride and commitment to the sport, which then encourages those growing up in the country and those already playing to feel supported, as well. There, it isn't a shame to chase your dreams of playing professionally—it’s their journey to Mecca.
Talented Players in History: Grab someone who has no prior experience in soccer and ask them to name a player, any player at all. Chances are in their list of 5-10 players, they will have to name a Brazilian soccer hero. Younger players in Brazil have grown up with the inspiration of Pele, Ronaldo, Kaka, Roberto Carlos, Ronaldinho—the list goes on and on. Greatness encourages greatness.
Playing No Matter What: In Brazil, it’s a free for all. They play with whatever they get their hands on. Whether they have to make their own ball or play around with a deflated one, thoroughly punctured, Brazilians will find their way. This is what makes them great players. If they can do all those skills with poor material, imagine what they can do with great material. Also, they are trained to play on so many different surfaces—from the streets to the beach—which definitely gives them a boost in quality.
Brazilians never take soccer for granted. The first gift as one-year-olds is some sort of form of a soccer ball—as it is a customary tradition. The sport is encouraged throughout the country, from supporting the team of your region to venturing out of your state and cheering on a different team. From finding whatever means you can find to play a game or watch one on TV, there’s a way they will get it done. Brazilians are extremely passionate about soccer—that’s why they're the best.
Written By: Adriana Rodrigues is a professional soccer player and a coach. She has over twenty years of experience in soccer after having played in a Division 1 University and has represented two national teams, both Brazil and Portugal.