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Futebol: Soccer: The Brazilian Way Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 1, 2002


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Hardcover, Bargain Price, May 1, 2002
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA (May 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582342504
  • ASIN: B0002KM4VG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,474,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

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

From the Publisher

"Compelling...Alternately funny and dark...Bellos offers a cast of characters as colorful as a Carnival parade." -Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"It's a bonus that Bellos' aim is not just to amuse, but to find meaning and context behind the spectacle...Bellos weaves a tapestry of contemporary Brazil from football threads as divergent as the great Pelé and the glamorous Roza FC, perhaps the world's only all-transvestite team...rich and colorful."-New York Newsday
"Required reading." -Soccer America
"Alex Bellos trace's [soccer's] evolution in Brazil, and emerges with a fascinating portrait of Brazil itself, a land of deep contradictions and an even deeper love for the game that bridges those contradictions...With a seasoned reporter's knack for dredging up curios, he unveils one variation on the game after another."-San Antonio Express News --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 21 customer reviews
Book based on extensive research.
JOSE ALMEIDA
Awesome book, with great detail and written in an engaging style.
Steve
Thank you for the opportunity to review this excellent book.
Steve Amoia

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Steve Amoia on August 9, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Alex Bellos, a British journalist for the Observer and Guardian, does an excellent job with this tremendously researched book. He takes the reader across the sprawling expanse of continental Brazil, and we are left with a very candid view about "futebol," along with its history, traditions, innovations, humorous characters, corruption, but above all, that it is underlying glue uniting a very diverse nation. One can argue that soccer is the common religion of Brazil. Perhaps more apt would be to say that Brazil is the temple for those who worship world soccer. We have found our Holy Book in this work by Mr. Bellos.

Mr. Bellos paints an interesting portrait, and interviewed hundreds of people for this book. Famous players, priests, soothsayers, a superfan, presidents of local teams, coaches, and everyday Brazilians whose lives are defined by soccer. He even ventured to the obscure Faroe Islands of the frigid North Atlantic to meet with a few of the "Brazilian Foreign Legion" that plys their trade in far off lands. His recounting of the story of Mane' Garrincha, a tragic Brazilian legend, was captivating. As was his interview with Socrates, a famous player and social activist from the great 1982 Brazilian National Team. Of course, no book about Brazilian football could exempt a story about Pele'. His descriptions and historical context about the Amazon region were very intriguing, along with the "Big Zero" marker between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Mr. Bellos is a reporter who is not afraid to get his feet wet. Both figuratively and literally. :-)

This book contains more than the theme of soccer. Mr. Bellos describes the social inequalities of Brazil, its unique culture, governmental apparatus, and many local vignettes that make this a very educational read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Salateo on January 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is an outstanding book about the Brazilian soccer and culture. As Brazilian and top soccer fan, I can say that the book is rich in details and realistic information that few Brazilians know. It is clear that Alex did extensive, diligent, and almost Herculean researches all over this continental size country. The author clearly described the history of Brazilian soccer, our passion for soccer, idols, martyrs, the bad-guys, the culture behind soccer, memorable moments, episodes we are ashamed, the corruption, and justice in this sport. The superior English sense of humor makes this book a very relaxing and entertaining reading.
This book should be translated to Portuguese. It is top reference in any Brazilian soccer fan library. It really worth the reading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Brian Maitland on August 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Easily the best book written on soccer ever. If you want to learn the why and wherefores of Brazilian soccer, buy this now! There really are no words to explain how insightful and fun the writing style is and the research here is beyond amazing. You think you know all about Brazilian soccer from watching Ronaldo et al in the World Cup, then think again. It's more than samba style and goals galore. It's Brazil itself in all its glory from sun, sex and sand to completely corrupt political dealings to bizarre religious soccer rituals.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jay Snodgrass on November 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
As a self-confessed football fanatic (soccer for all you American and Australian readers), shamefully my knowledge of Brazilian football was rather lacking. Knowing that I would be spending eight months living in Rio, this past Christmas I went out and bought a copy of this book hoping to learn a little more about the game as it is played in Brazil. While the book did somewhat of a good job meeting my goals, this book is much more than just a guide to Brazilian football. Rather it is an in depth investigation into the strong role that football plays in Brazilian society.

The book of course has the pre-requisite chapters on the two Brazilian greats Pele and Garrincha, in addition to an investigation into Ronaldo and his fateful day during the 1998 World Cup Final in Paris. But the best chapters of the books are the ones that dig deeper into the sociological role that football plays in Brazilian life, from the rich and powerful, right down to the hardcore fans who live in the country's dangerous favelas (slums). Bellos obviously spent an enormous amount of time and money traveling this great country to get all kinds of different perspectives, and the novel is that much better for it. I suppose if I had something negative to say about this book it's that certain chapters (such as Frogs and Miracles) drag on a little too much for my liking. However, do not let this put you off for Futebol is truly worth reading.

Anyone with any interest in football needs to pick this book up to understand what it is that makes the Brazilian game so beautiful. Anyone who plans to live in Brazil, whether they like football or not, needs to read this book if only to understand why football plays such a strong role in the country's culture. While you don't have to adore football to enjoy your life in Brazil (I have met a fair few who wouldn't even give a football fan the time of day), you do need to understand its immense importance and Bellos does a great job of explaining it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Marco D'Amici on May 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
'Futebol' by Alex Bellos, is an amazing book detailing the nature of brazilian fooball, and it's effect upon the entire nation, a world full of passion and corruption. Bellos shows the passion for football which Brazilians have, their love of 'jogo bonito'. Chronicling events such as Brazil's fateful 1950 world cup loss to Uruguay and the rise of players such as Garincha,who managed to win the hearts of all, more loved than Pele.
This is a must for anyone interested in the passion which football can produce, and anyone who has ever been enchanted by the beauty which the Brazilians used to produce (pre '82). Plus the cover artwork makes the book worth the purchase.
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