Football is religion to Brazil.

We, as Americans, have the NFL, but it’s really not the same. The Pantheon is the Maracanã, and the deities include names like Ronaldinho Gaucho, Ronaldo, and Kaka. Pelé is Zeus and he rules his kingdom with grace and respect. Any true football fan would recognize that Pelé is the all time greatest, and Brazilians would fight over any discrepancy of that fact.

Football is the poor man’s, and the rich man’s game in Brazil. It is played in well-lit football fields in gated communities and on uncut grass along side a highway. There are those who are entitled to be on the field, with expensive Nikes and latest World Cup edition ball, and those who play bare foot, dribbling around broken glass and dumpsters. Footballers in Brazil are street artists and entertainers, businessmen and construction workers. Very few people in Brazil can say they…

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