When & How did Football Start in Brazil? 

At the end of the 19th century, there was a textile factory in Bangu, Brazil, where most of the workers were British immigrants. One of them was a Scotsman named Thomas Dohohoe. According to his sculptor, Dohonoe is the father of Brazilian football and the story of why Brazilian footballers are so good at football starts with him. Yet out of Bangu, for football fans in Brazil the man who brought football to that country is Charles Miller.

  • Charles Miller

Miller was sent to a school in Southampton at the age of ten by his father. He was extremely talented in football and two years before he finished school, he was already playing for St Mary’s (now Southampton). He spent several years in England and after that returned to Brazil. When he returned, he brought two soccer balls and a book containing 13 rules of the football federation.

He organized the first match in Brazil on April 14, 1895 between a number of railway workers and gas company workers in Sao Paulo. This match is considered to be the first match played in Brazil. Miller also founded the first football league in Brazil a few years after that. However, the inhabitants of Bangu do not agree with these data. They believe that Thomas Dohono brought football to Brazil eight months before Charles Miller, organizing five-a-side game. The only reason Miller is considered the founder of football in Brazil is because he organized a game in the much more famous city of Sao Paulo. 

  • Thomas Donohoe

The citizens of Badu wanted to correct this historical injustice by making a statue in honour of Thomas Donohoe, which was exhibited for the first time in front of the shopping centre in Bangu before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Donohoe was born in a place near Glasgow and at the age of ten he started learning to be a painter from his father. When he got married and had children, he decided to find a job outside Scotland and this trip took him to Brazil.

According to official Bangu historian Carlos Molinari, Donohoe was horrified by the fact that they had not heard of football in that city, so he wrote a letter to his wife to join him with their children in Brazil and help bring football to this country. Shortly afterwards, in September 1894, the first match was played next to the textiles factory by British workers. Notably, this match took place eight months before the game organized by Miller. There is a replica of a football brought by Thomas Donohoe at the local Bangu museum. 

So who was the Actual Founder?

Charles Miller’s supporters disagree with this fact. They believe that football was not played in Brazil before 1895. In support of their claim, there is a letter written by former German athlete Hans Nobling who wrote that Charles Miller is credited with the first football match ever played in Brazil. Football historian Antonio Carlos Napoleao agreed with him, believing that Charles Miller had introduced football in Brazil. He founded the club and helped form the first official championship. The story of Thomas Donohoe was considered to be fictitious. 

The amount of passion noticeable in Brazil when you hear the discussion of where and how it all started, it makes you realize how much this sport means to them. Brazilians are addicted to football and this sport means the world to them. From the humble starts, to being world champions and one of the greatest football nations today, Brazilians enjoy playing football and it is a part of their everyday life. This love for the game is one of the reasons that makes them so good in football. 

Are the Brazilians Really that Good in Football?

The Brazilian national team played its first international match in front of 18,000 spectators on September 27, 1914 in Buenos Aires. In that match, they were defeated 3-0 by the home team of Argentina. In that match, there was a noticeable disagreement between the players of the two biggest clubs in Brazil at the time, Rio de Janeirand Sao Paolo. The Brazilian national team is the only national team that has participated in all world championships so far.

They were the first to receive an invitation to participate in the 1930 World Cup, although they had not played any international matches before. At that championship, Brazil was eliminated in the first round, as well as in 1934, when the tournament was played by the cup system. The Spaniards knocked them out 3-1. The first significant success was achieved at the World Cup in 1938, when the Brazilian national team won third place and a bronze medal. 

In 1950, Brazil hosted the World Cup and was a big favourite to win that competition. In the semi-final group, the Brazilian footballers played good and outclassed Sweden 7-1, and later Spain 6-1, and thus advanced to the finals. They seemed to be on the verge of winning the championship until a huge surprise occurred in the final. Brazil was defeated by Uruguay in a match watched by almost 200,000 people. After that match, Barbosathe Brazilian goalkeeper, was declared as the main culprit and a national disgrace, so he was employed as a stadium maintenance worker so he would have to constantly return to the place of his sin. 

Pele & Brazil’s Golden Generation

When it comes to the golden era of Brazilian football, one name deserves most of it. Edson Arandes Do Nascimento, famously known as Pele. He has left such a deep mark in the history of Brazilian and world football, that many consider him the best player in the history of football. He appeared as a seventeen-year-old in the jersey of the Brazilian national team at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden. At that championship, he was the youngest player of the tournament and the most deserving for the first world champion title that the famous Brazilians won. 

That generation of Brazilian footballers is considered the best in the history of football. Pele appeared two years earlier in the Santos jersey as the best player of the Brazilian championship at only 16 years of age. At that moment, the competitiveness in the Brazilian championship was extremely high. However, Pele scored four goals for Santos in the first game in the duel with Corinthians, and it was clear what kind of gem the Brazilians had at the time. 

Pele later won the title of world champion with the national team of Brazil in 1962 and 1970. After Pele left the stage, the Brazilians struggled for a long time, before conquering the world throne again in 1994 at the World Cup in the United States. The success was repeated in 2002, when they won their last and fifth world title in total. 

Does Brazilian Footballers’ Playing Style Make Them Better?

What makes Brazilian footballers as good as people believe? Many fans around the world talk about Brazil with pleasure. Joga Bonito, as the Brazilians call their football, has always stood out with its attractive gameplay and this made football a kind of art. In Brazil, football is one of the most important things in life as it is played 24/7.

Children learn to play football on the street, at the beach and anywhere possible and that is why they are so skilled with the ball. Their creativity and dribbling stand out. Many school-age children who can be seen on the streets of Brazil handle the ball better than some professional footballers in European leagues. Many see this as the main reason why many Brazilians are so good at football.

Brazil is among the most populous nations in the world, and when you have football as a matter of pride, it is easier to find a good football player. It’s noticeable that everyone in Brazil plays football. Apart from football, futsal is also quite popular. This game, which is played in a much smaller space, requires quick thinking, excellent ball control, dribbling skills and the use of space. When you master all that, it is much easier to apply it all in football later on.

Street Football | The Start of Many Brazilian Footballers

One of the main answers to the question why Brazilians are such good footballers is street football is the following. You can see children playing football on the street and playgrounds at any time of the day. Some of the greatest players in the history of football grew up on these concrete fields. When you learn to control the ball on this terrain, it will be much easier for you when you go out on the turf. 

Street football in Brazil is mostly played by poor children. Many see this as a way out of poverty and an opportunity to be noticed by big clubs. That is exactly why they have such a competitive spirit, because they have a desire to stand out and be better than others. All of this unveils the explanation of why Brazilian footballers are so good at football and why it is the most important thing for them. 

5 a-side

The Greatest Brazilian Footballers

The yellow jersey evokes a special emotion in every Brazilian. Every citizen of this country knows from an early age who Pele, Garrincha, Zico, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo and Romario are. Many believe that the main reason for the success of Brazilians as football players is their culture and that this cultures values made Brazilian footballers good at playing football. Tradition also plays a big role as most of the biggest Brazilian clubs are over 100 years old. Many people play street football barefoot in Brazil. There is no need for a referee at the matches because children know the rules of the game from an early age. 

There is no nation in the world with so many famous and fantastic footballers. Certainly, Pele should be put in the first place, when many consider him the best football player of all time. There are certainly the names ZicoGarrincha, Vava, Socrates, Romaria, Bebeta, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Ronaldo, and Kaka.

All these players were distinguished by great technical skills and left many football fans breathless with their playing style. They were great in the Brazil national team jersey, but many of them left a big mark in Europe. For many today, Ronaldo is the best striker of all time, and Ronaldinho is the greatest artist on the field. What is certain is that Brazil is the country of football and the nation that gives birth to the masters of this game.