Football is one of the world's most popular sports, and this is particularly true in Brazil. Currently, more than 10,000 Brazilians are playing for professional teams around the world. Football has had a significant impact on Brazilian culture. The game is a favorite pastime for virtually all youngsters, and during World Cup tournaments, people would not go work to watch their team playing, and even other employers have special places for workers to watch the World Cup. For much of the early and the mid 19th century, Brazil did not have any soccer team and the game as it is known today did not exist in the country. All these changed in 1894 when Charles William Miller introduced soccer to the country and is widely known as the father or the founder of Brazilian football.
Early Life of Charles William Miller
Miller was born in 1874 in Sao Paulo. His father was an engineer with the railways and was of Scottish origin and his mother was a Brazilian citizen of British origin. Like the majority of British expatriates living in Brazil at the time, Miller was sent to England in 1884 at the age of nine to study in a Southampton public school. Charles took a ship from a port in Sao Paulo, and after several weeks he arrived at Southampton. Miller learned to play cricket and football while at school. During his teens, he was a member of Saint Mary's and Corinthians soccer teams where he developed his love for soccer.
Bringing Football to Brazil
In 1894, Miller returned to Brazil, and it is said he carried with him a ball, a pump, and Hampshire FA soccer regulation in his suitcase. At the time there was only one club; the SP Athletic Club that had been established by the British to practice cricket. He decided to establish a football division and recruited a group of friends and colleagues and taught them about the rules of Hampshire FA. The game was an instant success, and several people quickly enrolled to play the game.
Spread of Football in Brazil
Miller merged all the informal teams in the region into more serious competition and established the LIGA Paulista, which was the first league for football in the country. Miller was a striker in the club, and they managed to win the championship between 1902 and 1904, and it was during this time that football spread out from Sao Paulo to different parts of Brazil, and the whole country was infected with the football fever. Despite the game having been brought from Britain to Brazil, currently, Brazil is known across the world as a football country having one of the world’s finest football teams and has won five World Cup titles and produced some of the best footballers in the world such as Neymar and Pele. Almost all countries, including Britain, are looking to Brazil to learn more about football techniques and strategies.
Interesting Facts about Brazil
Brazil has hosted two World Cup tournaments; the first one was in 1950 and the second one was in 2014. No other country in the world has won the highest number of World Cups than Brazil, and the logo in their jerseys with five stars represent the five times Brazil has emerged as the winner of the World Cup. Brazil is the only country that has qualified for every World Cup. The 1950 World Cup received the largest live attendance ever recorded in any World Cup final; there were approximately 173,000 people in the final match between Brazil and Uruguay which was held at the Maracana Stadium, which at the time was the largest soccer stadium in the world.
About the Author
Benjamin Elisha Sawe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics and an MBA in Strategic Management. He is a frequent World Atlas contributor.
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