Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – 19 February 2010
There are no shortage of reasons why Rio de Janeiro is commonly known as the Cidade Maravilhosa – the Marvelous City. Intricately worked in between gorgeous beaches and lush green mountains, and topped with a big dose of Carnaval attitude, Rio is the perfect location for a party. The sport culture here (and for most of Brazil) reflects this passion, and the city is literally exploding thanks to the impact of sport. Having been selected for the Olympic Summer Games in 2016, it is indeed an exciting place to be, and Why Sport Matters jumped in to find out more.
Sao Paulo, Brazil – 26 January 2010
A lesson in the local language in Sao Paulo (which is both a region as well as a city): a person from the state of Sao Paulo is called a Paulista, from the city of Sao Paulo – a Paulistano, and if you support Sao Paulo Futebol Club, you are a Sao Paulino. And it was a friend who is all three who eloquently said that in Brazil, “Everybody’s life is touched by football.”
To understand Why Sport Matters in this country, one has to get to know the football culture. To say that Brazil is football crazy is an understatement. In Sao Paulo, the business capital of Brazil and a huge sprawling metropolis approaching 20 million people, there are many players and teams to support. The big football clubs of Sao Paulo are Corinthians, Palmeiras, Sao Paulo FC, and Santos (located on the coast about 80 km from the SP city). Santos is the club made famous by football legend Pele (who is regularly still in the news and is turning 70 this year). Corinthians — the club with the biggest fan base — has made the news recently by bringing back two big stars to Brazilian football, Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos.