INTA course on Identity, Soccer, Film Blog # 3

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June 30th 2009
Published: June 30th 2009
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It is amazing how two bordering countries such as Brazil and Argentina can be so close to each other and yet be so different at the same time. I would say that the only thing they have in common is their passion for soccer. This passion is clearly explained in “The Beautiful Game”. Part of this reading describes how soccer defeats and victories have had the power to greatly affect Brazilians. The most relevant example given on this was what happened in 1950 at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro when Brazil was defeated by Uruguay in the World Cup final. The disappointment was such, that the results were perceived not only as a tragedy but also as a punishment. From that moment on, a lot of different superstitions were born. It is well known that Brazilians in general tend to be a superstitious culture because of the significant African mystical influence, and when it came to soccer, this tendency was even stronger for a period of time. After the Maracanazo, the rituals employed for the team’s success went from selecting or avoiding certain jersey colors to urinating on a player’s leg.

It is interesting how the 1950 Final defeat marked and managed to stay in the minds of Brazilians. They still recall it as a moment of consternation. Not only because they were very confident on a positive result against Uruguay, but also because it happened soon after the inauguration of the Maracana, which was considered then, the biggest stadium in the world. Even today whenever Brazil plays against Uruguay, it is still perceived as a revenge game. Such passion can only be understood by those who share it, and as it is the case for Argentines, Uruguayans, Mexicans and many Europeans, for Brazilians, soccer can only be explained as something that is in their blood.


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