For many people around the world Brazil is famous for one thing, football! The country has produced some of the best footballers in the world from Ronaldinho to Pele. When I started living in Rio I realised why Brazil produces so many world class football players. Wherever you happen to be you can see people kicking a ball around, even down the beach.
Football on the beaches of Rio is nothing like what I used to play as a kid; where two t-shirts for goalposts and plenty of enthusiasm were all you needed. They see it as a game of finesse and play a form of football beach volleyball (they use a full sized volleyball net and the same points system as volleyball, only with feet instead of hands). I had a go once and was just completely outclassed. After just two weeks of football volleyball however, I was playing like Pele.
Having gained considerable skills on the beaches, I decided to see where the professionals play and headed down to one of the many stadiums in the city with some friends to watch a game. It was awesome! If you like football, hell if you’re only marginally interested in football you should watch a match in Brazil.
What made the match wasn’t the game, though with a score line of 4-3 I couldn’t complain, but the atmosphere, which was electric. For almost the whole match the crowd were on there feet shouting. When a tropical storm hit the stadium at half time, while some people headed for cover other made the most of it and started dancing and running through the rain with banners.