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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 São 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.
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Futebol is sub-titled "The Brazilian Way of Life", and if any sport can truly be deemed to be such a thing for any country on the planet, then surely the sport must be football, and the country Brazil. Alex Bellos's study of football in Brazil, its history, its players, supporters and legends, works from the standpoint that Brazilian football is one the modern wonders of the world, "the beautiful game" being an art form in itself and a universally recognised trademark and brand. From such a view, he is able to entertain the reader not only with stories about great players and matches well known by the followers of world football, but also about the unique position of the game in the world's fifth largest country. Thus featured here are not only tales of Garrincha, Socrates and Ronaldo, of Flamengo and Fluminense, but also of football amongst the Indians of the Amazon, Brazilian footballers in the Faroe Islands and the story of the design (and designer) of the famous golden yellow Brazilian shirt, perhaps the most instantly recognisable icon in football anywhere. Where other books investigating the footballing culture of one country might have a more straightforward story to tell, Bellos uses this more eclectic approach. While the subjects of his observations are linked by the common threads of football and Brazil, he still captures magnificently the beauty, passion and the occasional absurdity of the world game in the world's number one footballing nation. --Trevor CroweReview:
A thrilling picture of Brazilian society and its football which neatly combines reportage with sporting analysis (Observer)
Magnificent ... Bellos has managed to perfectly capture the chaos and corruption and the romance and obsession and the feeling of what it's like to live in a genuinely football-obsessed nation (FourFourTwo)
Hugely entertaining ... Required reading for anyone who intends to visit Brazil (New Statesman)
An affectionate and shrewd account of the game ... Full of intriguing sidelights on Brazilian popular culture; its hedonism, piety and wondrous absurdity (Guardian)
A hugely enjoyable account of a nation obsessed with football (The Times)
Bellos unearths some wonderful stories and tells them with humour, warmth and humanity. (Jon Culley, The Sports Bookshelf)
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Book Description Bloomsbury USA. Condition: new. Seller Inventory # think1582342504
Book Description Bloomsbury USA, 2002. Condition: New. A+ Customer service! Satisfaction Guaranteed! Book is in NEW condition. Seller Inventory # 1582342504-2-1
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