The best word to describe the Brazilian culture is using the word “diversity.” The country has a population of over 200 million people and it is clearly seen in its variety within the culture. It is seen in the culture through dance, food, music, religion and also in its sports. “Due to its temperate conditions all year round, Brazil has established a significant sporting culture. Not only are sports widely played and popular amongst vast majorities of the population, but they are also varied in nature.” The major sports in Brazil are Football, also known in the United States as Soccer, Martial Arts, Footvolley, Tennis, Basketball, Motorsports, Volleyball and Rugby.
Football is by far the most popular and most widespread sport in the country. The Brazilian national football team is the representative for the country on the global scale. The football team competes in international competitions such as the FIFA World Cup, Copa America and etc. The national team has been very successful. Brazil is a five-time World Cup champions and an eight-time Copa America champions. They are the most consistent and successful in the history of the World Cup. The competition is held once every year since 1930, and has had 20 tournaments played so far. Brazil in the only nation to qualify to every tournament.
The national team’s resume is pretty impressive:
World Cup Champions: 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002
Copa America Champions: 1919, 1922, 1949, 1989, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2007
Confederations Cup Champions: 1997, 2005, 2009, 2013
Although the sport of football did not originate in Brazil, the sport has become full entrenched in the culture since early twentieth century. Many tribute the fact that it is fairly easy to play the sport anywhere. It is a sport that can be played on any terrain, which aided its popularity. Kids and teens play it in the narrow streets of Rio De Janeiro, on the beaches, in the hills, on grass, concrete, etc. Brazil’s dominance of the sport has helped shape a so-called “Brazilian Football style.” That is described as dance-like, smooth and showboating. The Brazilian style of football is pleasing on the eyes and one for crowds to watch and cheer for. The sport of football originated on foreign land but its heartbeat lays in the center of Brazil. The national team has also succeeded on the Women’s level as well; the Women’s team has won the Women’s Copa America seven times and has finished runner up in the Women’s World Cup in 2007.
Famous Men’s and Women’s soccer players from Brazil: Ronaldo Lima, Martha, Pele, Romario, Ronaldinho and Neymar.
Many of Brazil’s Martial Arts have distinct cultural influences from Africa and within the country itself. The two most popular Martial arts sports Capoeira and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Both originated abroad and since spreading to Brazil, they have had distinct changes and a Brazilian cultural influence on these sports. As seen when comparing Jiu Jitsu versus Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, while the first, Japanese Jiu Jitsu, is the original, it relies on defensive schemes to defeat and opponent. The Brazilian version of the ground game and submission locks to cause damage on the opponent. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu dates back over a hundred years and has revolutionized the sport as Jiu Jitsu today has less rules and more freedom than ever before due to Brazil’s cultural influence. The second sport of Capoeira originated in Africa. It is characterized by its nimble and agile movement that requires much skill and patience. Compared to other forms of Martial arts around the world, it is very acrobatic and some describe it as almost choreographed nature. It is also accompanied with music.
The sport that actually did originate from Brazil is Footvolley. Invented in the 1960’s, Footvolley is a combination of football and volleyball. It is played with a volleyball net, but players can use only their feet to get the ball to their opponents on the other side. It is a perfect beach game and visitors are sure to spot it as they frequent the many gorgeous beaches of Brazil.