Welcome to the Brazilian Football Blog: a foreigner’s take on the beautiful game.
The blog is run by me, Brian Davidson. Economist by day. Brazilian football expert by night. I live in London and write this blog in my spare time.
This site began seven years ago, when I lived in Brazil. I worked in São Paulo, but also found time to travel the country, go to lots of football matches and talk about football every day. Strangely, for a country that is so big, beautiful, important and interesting as Brazil, the rest of the world knows very little about it. Think Brazil and you think about samba, beaches and football. So although the focus of the blog is football, I aim to share some stories and tell the world a little bit more about this fascinating country.
I’m not Brazilian. I am a gringo, a slightly condescending term Brazilians use to refer to foreigners. I am fluent in Portuguese and Spanish, even though I grew up in South Africa and live in London. Note: they speak Portuguese in Brazil, not Spanish! I have been football mad ever since I can remember and was inspired by Brazilian football as a kid. They may not have won World Cup in 1998, but I loved the swagger, skills and pace of that Brazilian team. Ronaldo. Awesome.
The seed of this was sewn years ago, when I was a kid, doing keepie uppies in the back garden of my friend Ben’s house. We would kick the ball to each other in the air and see how long we could keep it going without the ball touching the ground. Chest control. Thigh control. First touch. Weight of pass. Left foot. We even tried to get it in a basketball hoop from time to time. We were decent, but said to each other: “imagine what it would be like in Brazil. They must be so good. And I bet you people play there all the time. Hours every day. On street corners. On the beach. Everywhere. If only we could go. And learn. We’d get so good”.
I did go. And I did learn. Although I never became very good. But despite that, I did live my dream. And although my idea of Brazil was absurd, it inspired me to do something special in my life. I learnt two languages. I travelled the South American continent. And I got three years’ international work experience.
I found my way to Brazil via Argentina, where I studied for a year on an exchange programme arranged through my former university. I got a River Plate season ticket and went to tons of games, including a Copa Libertadores semi-final, where a young Carlos Tevez scored for Boca Juniors, breaking River Plate hearts. I also ended up doing some work at a semi-professional club, Centenario de Neuquén. As I got to know their players and staff, I started to think in Spanish, dream in Spanish and fully get to grips with the local lingo.
To cut a long story short, several years later I ended up living in Brazil. I spent three years in São Paulo, mingling with the locals and going to loads of games and grounds: Corinthians at Pacaembu, São Paulo at the Morumbi, Palmeiras at the old Palestra Italia, Santos at Vila Belmiro, Portuguesa at the Canindé, and even Juventude at the Conde Rodolfo Crespi. Not to mention the Rio clubs at the Maracanã and the teams from Belo Horizonte at the Minerão. And the seleção too, of course.
I don’t live in Brazil anymore. But I go back sometimes and went to the 2014 World Cup. Life got a bit hectic back in London and Brazilfooty suffered. I’m pleased to say, though, that its back. But with BT Sport now promising to show Brazilian Serie A matches again this year and life a little bit more settled, Brazilfooty is back.
The only house rule is to respect other bloggers’ opinions. But please leave lots of comments and feel free to ask questions. I like hearing Brazilian travel stories so if you have been, or are planning to go, please get in touch. I’m also open to guest posts. To discuss this, advertising or anything else, feel free to write to me at email@example.com.
If you like the site please tell your friends about it and share on social media. I tweet and publish posts on Twitter (@brazilfooty) and Facebook. I also sometimes tweet about topics not related to Brazilian football at @bdavidson101. Note: none of my views on this blog or any other social media reflect the views of my employers, past or present.
Enjoy the site. If you are new to Brazilian football and need a primer on how it all works, I recommend reading my post on this topic.