Welcome to Brazilfooty, a site dedicated to providing news, insight and analysis on the beautiful game through a foreigner’s eyes.
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. I started this site in 2011, when I lived in Brazil. I worked in São Paulo, but also travelled the country, went to games and talked 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. So I decided to do my bit to share Brazil with the world by writing a blog about Brazilian football. In English.
I’m not Brazilian, but when I lived in Brazil I did feel like a local. I am fluent in Portuguese and used to boast that I was the gringo who spoke the best Portuguese in the world. That was probably never true and it is likely to be even less true now that I live in London and my Portuguese is getting a little rusty. But I do know the country well and I like think that I can see Brazil through a Brazilians’ eyes, as well as through a foreigners’ eyes.
The seed of this blog 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 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 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.
In the end, I did go to Brazil, I did play football there and I did learn. I never became very good, so I set up a blog instead. Clearly I had some delusions about the Brazilian lifestyle but it inspired me to do something special in my life. I learnt two languages. I travelled and learned about the South American continent. And I also ended up with a very good job there.
I found my way to Brazil via Argentina, where I did a university exchange for a year. I got a River Plate season ticket and went to tons of games. I also worked for a semi-professional club, Centenario de Neuquén. As I got to know the players and the staff, I started to think and dream in Spanish. Forget the courses. That’s how I learnt the local lingo.
To cut a long story short, several years after my Argentina experience, 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, the Rio clubs at the Maracanã and some seleção games too.
I don’t live in Brazil anymore, but I do go back from time to time. Out of touch and with life getting hectic in London, Brazilfooty took a back seat for a few years. But with things more settled again, and with a Brazilian cable TV subscription to boot, I am back in the game.
Other views and thoughts are welcome. And if you like anything you see here, any shares and/or likes on social media are always welcome too. The only house rule on this blog is to respect other bloggers’ opinions. If you have been to Brazil, or are planning to go, and fee like sharing some travel stories get in touch, especially if you are planning to go to any games. Guest posts are welcome too. Get in touch on the contact page of the site. Or through Twitter (@brazilfooty) or Facebook. If you are new to Brazilian football and need a primer on how it all works, check out my post on this topic.