is sub-titled "The Brazilian Way of Life", and if any sport can truly be deemed to be such a thing for any country on the planet, then surely the sport must be football, and the country Brazil. Alex Bellos's study of football in Brazil, its history, its players, supporters and legends, works from the standpoint that Brazilian football is one the modern wonders of the world, "the beautiful game" being an art form in itself and a universally recognised trademark and brand. From such a view, he is able to entertain the reader not only with stories about great players and matches well known by the followers of world football, but also about the unique position of the game in the world's fifth largest country. Thus featured here are not only tales of Garrincha, Socrates and Ronaldo, of Flamengo and Fluminense, but also of football amongst the Indians of the Amazon, Brazilian footballers in the Faroe Islands and the story of the design (and designer) of the famous golden yellow Brazilian shirt, perhaps the most instantly recognisable icon in football anywhere. Where other books investigating the footballing culture of one country might have a more straightforward story to tell, Bellos uses this more eclectic approach. While the subjects of his observations are linked by the common threads of football and Brazil, he still captures magnificently the beauty, passion and the occasional absurdity of the world game in the world's number one footballing nation. --Trevor Crowe
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A thrilling picture of Brazilian society and its football which neatly combines reportage with sporting analysis Observer Magnificent ... Bellos has managed to perfectly capture the chaos and corruption and the romance and obsession and the feeling of what it's like to live in a genuinely football-obsessed nation FourFourTwo Hugely entertaining ... Required reading for anyone who intends to visit Brazil New Statesman An affectionate and shrewd account of the game ... Full of intriguing sidelights on Brazilian popular culture; its hedonism, piety and wondrous absurdity Guardian A hugely enjoyable account of a nation obsessed with football The Times Bellos unearths some wonderful stories and tells them with humour, warmth and humanity. Jon Culley, The Sports Bookshelf