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Published: June 30th 2009
The definition of soccer in Brazil takes a completely different dimension compared to the one in other countries. Brazilians see soccer as an art demonstration through which their character and personality is supposed to be reflected and represented. Because of this, it is interesting to note how for Brazilian soccer fans, the results of every match are not as important as the way the game is played by their players. They take a lot of pride on their rhythmical and skillful style of playing soccer. For them, a good player is not only the one who is efficient and obtains positive results for the team, but also the one who plays in a specific way. As it is explained in “The Realm of the Possible: Remembering Brazilian Futebol” what is considered by others as an “irresponsible showmanship and irreverent flair” for Brazilians is something completely essential in their soccer style. In this nation, as in others like Colombia, the gracious and spontaneous ways players move their bodies and pass the ball in the “toque toque” is strongly admired.
Such fascination and importance given to this style of playing soccer was clearly seen in the interpretation of the Brazilian soccer team victory in the 1994 World Cup. Even though Brazil took home the World Cup, this victory was not as exciting and happily received by many Brazilians, who criticized coach Carlos Alberto Pereira for implementing a purely defensive tactic instead of adopting an offensive one which was more representative of Brazilian soccer. Soccer fans in Brazil refuse to leave behind the “artful” soccer played in the 1960s and the one displayed by players such as Zico, Falcao, and Socrates. Although they did not achieve significant victories, they were widely admired and loved by their fans because of the beautiful and graceful way they played soccer.
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