In World Cup years, football fever takes over this large South American country as many of the 200 million inhabitants are allowed time off work to watch their footballing heroes show the world the flair and skill Brazilian football is loved for. Brazilians often love to quote the famous saying: “the English invented it, the Brazilians perfected it,” referring to the stylish way of playing the Brazilians have adopted as their own. Of their vast population, an estimated 10 000 play the game professionally worldwide. The Brazilian Football Confederation was founded in 1914 and although funding is not currently in abundance for the grass-roots, the hosting of the World Cup in 2014 could see the injection of cash required as the Brazilians look to the future.
One of the reasons Brazilian football is so unique is because of its league system. Unlike other nations, it has two different championships – national and state – in that teams play at different times of the year. As Brazil is geographically such a large country, state competitions allow people to watch their team without having to travel such inordinate distances. Brazilian teams have faired relatively well when playing teams from round the world, with S