5 books to read about Brazilian football
Whether you're an Argentina fan or have a newly found enthusiasm for the Japanese team, you cannot deny the exceptional trajectory of the Brazilian footballers, each more celebrated than the other. Here are five books about Brazilian football to shed new light on the sport's background.
Futebol Nation: The Story of Brazil through Soccer
Penguin Books Limited (2014)
Written by the prominent author of the classic football history The Ball is Round (Penguin, 2008), this book captures the heart of the South American nation—football—in an unprecedented manner. While the sport is intertwined with the country's culture, including music and religion, the book exposes the other side of the game involving the corruption of Brazil's sporting authorities. From the magic of Pele to the civil arrest amidst some of its biggest sporting events, the book promises to expand a football enthusiast's knowledge of the sport.
Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life?
Bloomsbury Publishing (2002)
Alex Bellos reveals how football is not just the way the world sees Brazil, but it is also the way in which Brazilians see themselves. For most Brazilians,it is not just a sport but a microcosm of the Brazilian society itself as it symbolises ideas such as racial harmony, the madness of love, and the flamboyance of youth. The author explores various local tales and stories from the Amazonian jungles to the cities, such as Rio de Janeiro, and paints a picture of what football looks like in the country.
Jogo Bonito: Pelé, Neymar and Brazil's Beautiful Game
Henrik Brandão Jönsson
Yellow Jersey (2014)
In this travelogue, the author travels through the Wild West of Brazilian football and explores the intricacies of the footballing culture in Brazil. In his journey, he comes across some of the most legendary individuals of the Brazilian game, including the likes of Mario Zagallo and Romario, as well as an away game with violent hooligans and a dinner with one of the greatest South American commentators of all time. Henrik Brandão Jönsson's frank storytelling will expose Brazil's football culture unlike never before.
God is Brazilian: Charles Miller, the Man who Brought Football to Brazil
The book resurrects the legend of Charles Miller who arrived on the shores of Sao Paulo with a pair of footballs and an FA rule book and introduced the sport of football to Brazil. The book explores the complex history between Britain and Brazil through the lens of football, and retells the forgotten story of Miller who gifted the country a significant part of its identity.
Pele: The Autobiography
Simon and Schuster (2008)
Told by the man who is considered by many as the greatest Brazilian to have ever graced the game, the book covers Pele's footballing career as well as his career after football — as a politician and more importantly a global icon. The book is an essential for any fan who admires the true spirit of the game.