Football is in the genes of the Brazilian people

In Pelé’s land, the tourist gets in touch with this great national passion.

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It was invented in England, but it was Brasil that improved it and turned it into art, poetry. Football is inbuilt in the Brazilian's DNA. Pelé, Garrincha, Rivelino, Jairzinho, Zico, Falcão, Socrates, Rivaldo, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, and Neymar: the legacy speaks for itself, even though so many names are left out. The country won five world titles, all after the World Cup was resumed with the end of World War II. Whoever arrives in the country knows that football is strong here.

Here, it seems that every boy is born with a certain aptitude in the feet to play a ball. Not that other countries don't have great athletes, but Brazilians and soccer have entered into a visceral marriage. A product of this passion is the famous Maracanã Stadium of Rio de Janeiro. Although it was the scene of one of the biggest disappointments in the history of Brazilian football (the defeat to Uruguay in the 1950 World Cup final), the same netting of the beams of Maraca (nickname affectionately consolidated) dampened Pele’s 1000th goal, the King of football for Brazilians.

But the Maracanã alone was never enough for Brazilians. It was necessary to build a Museum and preserve part of the heritage. And so it was done: it’s in the Pacaembu Stadium in Sao Paulo. Offering a super interactive experience, a visit to the Soccer Museum appeals even to the less interested in the sport. To arrive on the site, just get to the Charles Miller square (Miller, by the way, is the name of a Brazilian, son of a Scottish father and mother of English descent, considered the "father" of soccer).

The Brazilian Team is usually written in capital letters here. Athletes who wear the fabled yellow Jersey carry the whole nation with them and the weight of having to honor all those who wore it. Brasil won and delighted in the 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002 Soccer World Cups. In all of them, real stars on the field place the country’s name on the map and completed the important mission to bring joy to the Brazilian people.

The tourist passionate about sports can play Beach soccer at the beach or even watch a game of regional teams. You can also visit the splendid stadiums built for the 2014 World Cup. In Belo Horizonte, for example, the Mineirão houses decades of gastronomic tradition. For more than 40 years, the Tropeirão of Mineirão (dish consisting of rice, tropeiro beans with crispy bacon, pork chops, collard greens and fried egg) is above the rivalry between fans of Atlético Mineiro and Cruzeiro, the two major clubs in the capital. Other stadiums of the World Cup which will also host the football matches of the 2016 Rio Olympics are: Mané Garrincha (Brasília), Arena da Amazônia (Manaus), Maracanã (Rio de Janeiro), Arena Fonte Nova (Salvador) and Itaquerão (São Paulo). It is much worth the visit!