How did football become part of Brazil’s culture?

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Regarding how football came to be in Brazil, the details are more complex than you’d like. Football in Brazil goes as far back as the early 1890s – at least, that’s what some people believe.

However, the history of Brazilian football is associated with the national team’s first international match in 1914.

If you are as curious about Brazilian football history as we are, follow us as we dive a little into it, giving you a better perspective of why fans love the game and how bettors predict outcomes on Parimatch.

Here, we will learn how the sport came about in Brazil, the country’s kit, and its biggest defeat, among other things.

How did football become part of Brazil's culture? (Photo internet reproduction)
How did football become part of Brazil’s culture? (Photo internet reproduction)

Who Brought Football to Brazil? – the Early 1890s

The story of who brought football to Brazil has two contended versions. Some people accredit the presence of football in Brazil to the Scotsman Thomas Donohoe, who reportedly brought it in the early 1890s.

As the story goes, Donohoe and other British workers in Rio de Janeiro from the Bangu factory introduced football to the locals.

If this story were true, the first football match in Brazil occurred in 1894. However, some people contest this story, discrediting Donohoe and the matches played as needed to follow protocol.

For instance, the fields they used had no official measurements, no prior organization for the match, and their teams did not wear uniforms.

Others believe that Brazilian football history began in 1898 when the first Brazilian football team was formed. Charles Miller formed the team at the Mackenzie school in São Paulo, and many other teams followed.

Thanks to Miller’s incentive, several teams began existing in cities nationwide – and in very little time.

In this story, Miller brought football to Brazil; two soccer balls, to be precise.

Along with the balls, he brought a few books explaining the sport’s rules from his experience as a player. He had his first football match in Brazil just a few months after Donohoe did.

The First Competition and Championship – 1901/1902

The first competition between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro was held in 1901, and the first Paulista Championship was in 1902.

However, Brazilian football was not seen by the world until 1906, which was when the Paulista team played internationally for the first time.

The match was held in São Paulo, at the team’s home, against a South African team, although the team lost 6 – 0.

By 1925, Brazilian football had gained momentum in Europe, with Brazilians playing ten matches and winning nine.

After the team’s victories, the Confederacao Brasileira de Desportos (CBD) was created but not recognized by FIFA.

The Federation Internationale De Football Association (FIFA) only recognized CBD nine years after its formation.

Nevertheless, it wasn’t until 1928 when Brazil played against a European team, smashing the opposition 5 – 0.

The Brazilian national football team also played against other European teams, including Ferencvaros, repeating the victories.

Brazil’s First World Cup – 1930

Brazil played its first World Cup in 1930 in Uruguay; the team won against Bolivia but lost to Yugoslavia.

They also played in 1934 in Italy, losing to Spain but reaching the semi-finals in France in 1938 and finally losing to Italy.

Despite the defeat, the Brazilian team was the only South American team participating in the competition.

Brazil became internationally prominent for the first time in 1950 when it hosted the World Cup. The team lost to Uruguay, leading to a period of national mourning.

A Brazilian playwright, Nelson Rodrigues, referred to the defeat as Brazil’s “Hiroshima,” an irremediable national catastrophe, and nationwide as “Maracanazo.”

In 1954, the team was nearly completely renovated during the World Cup in Switzerland. For instance, the national flag color was changed to blue and green, and the team colors changed to yellow.

The team reached the quarter-final, where tournament favorites, Hungary, beat them 4 – 2 in the “Battle of Berne.” The “Battle of Berne” is the term used for the ugliest matches in football history.

16-Year-Old Pele’s Arrival

Pele arrived in 1957, forever changing the history of Brazilian and world football. Although only sixteen years old, he had such a strong reputation that he joined the team that participated in the 1958 World Cup.

This time, the team had some strict rules they must follow, including forty things they weren’t allowed to do.

Brazil played against Austria and England in the first two matches, finishing 3-0 and 0-0, respectively.

During the final match against the Soviet Union, Vicente Feola, the team’s manager, subbed in Zito, Garrincha, and Pele.

The team won the game, with the first three minutes later referred to as the “greatest three minutes in football history.”

This win made Brazil the first to win the World Cup outside the team’s continent.

Best Brazilian Football Players the World Has Ever Known

Brazilian football’s history is complete with mentioning the country’s best soccer players of all time. Pele, nicknamed the king of football, is the first on this list, who debuted at 16.

Next to him was Garincha, his teammate for the 1958 and 1962 World Cups; they were unbeatable as a team.

Below is a list of the top ten Brazilian soccer players the world has ever known:

  • Pele
  • Garrincha
  • Jairzinho
  • Carlos Alberto Torres
  • Rivellino
  • Ronaldo Fenomeno
  • Rivaldo, and
  • Ronaldinho Gaucho
  • Neymar

Brazil’s First Football Kit

Today’s best Brazilian football players wear iconic yellow shirts and blue shorts, which differs from how the team started.

The first set of Brazilian soccer players wore white shirts with blue collars. They changed this when they lost the World Cup to Uruguay at home in the Maracana Stadium.

Fans believed the team lost because their uniform failed to show nationalism, which the Brazilian Sports Confederation took seriously.

Thus, they launched a competition for the best design, and a 19-year-old boy’s idea was implemented.

The uniform changed to blue shorts with white stripes, a yellow shirt with a green neckline, and white socks with green and yellow stripes.


Brazil has many stories about football, including the team’s biggest defeat, “Maracanazo.” Nevertheless, the country still has the most World Cup wins; its players have recorded global success.

Although not without its glitches, Brazilians are always proud of this part of their culture.

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