Futebol : The Brazilian Way of Life

4.04 (1,332 ratings by Goodreads)
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Since the 1950s, when Pele first started playing, soccer has been how the world sees Brazil, but it is also how Brazilians see themselves. The essence of their game is one in which prodigious individual skills outshine team tactics, where dribbles and delicate 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, Brazilian soccer players are both athletes and artists. As Alex Bellos brilliantly reveals in his classic book, their game can symbolize racial harmony, flamboyance, youth, innovation, and skill--in short, it's a microcosm of the country itself.

Bellos, a veteran journalist and author whose star has continued to rise since Futebol was first published in 2002, revisits his search for what the great Brazilian striker Ronaldo has called the "true truth" of the Brazilian way of life. With an unerring eye for an illustrative story and a pitch-perfect ear for the voices of the people he meets, Bellos uncovers the nuanced role soccer has played in the history of Brazil and the lives of its people.

Updated and with a new chapter covering recent events in Brazil, this revised edition of Futebol is perfectly timed to coincide with the 2014 World Cup, as the world turns its rapt attention to Brazil and their Beautiful Game and the country once again becomes the capital of "the world's game."
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Product details

  • Paperback | 433 pages
  • 140 x 214 x 31mm | 445g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Revised
  • Updated, Revised ed.
  • Plates, color; Maps; Illustrations, black and white
  • 1620402440
  • 9781620402443
  • 525,610

Review quote

Compelling . . . Alternately funny and dark . . . Bellos offers a cast of characters as colorful as a Carnival parade. "Publishers Weekly (starred review)"

It's a bonus that Bellos' aim is not just to amuse, but to find meaning and context behind the spectacle . . . Bellos weaves a tapestry of contemporary Brazil from football threads as divergent as the great Pele and the glamorous Roza FC, perhaps the world's only all-transvestite team . . . rich and colorful. "New York Newsday"

Required reading. "Soccer America"

Alex Bellos trace's [soccer's] evolution in Brazil, and emerges with a fascinating portrait of Brazil itself, a land of deep contradictions and an even deeper love for the game that bridges those contradictions...With a seasoned reporter's knack for dredging up curios, he unveils one variation on the game after another. "San Antonio Express News""
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About Alex Bellos

Alex Bellos has a degree in mathematics and philosophy from Oxford University. He has worked for the Guardian in London and Rio de Janeiro. In 2002, he wrote the critically acclaimed original edition of Futebol and in 2006 ghostwrote Pele's autobiography, which was a number one bestseller. He lives in London.
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Rating details

1,332 ratings
4.04 out of 5 stars
5 34% (455)
4 41% (548)
3 20% (267)
2 4% (52)
1 1% (10)
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