Explaining Brazil Podcast #16: Brazilians’ relationship with football

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off on June 14. One week later, Brazil still doesn’t seem to be in the mood for football. Unlike other editions of the event, you don’t see many Brazilian flags waving from windows, or many people dressed up in yellow and green.

Why is that?

In decades prior, the destiny of the nation was considered to be tied to how the football team would fare. In 1950, when Brazil lost the World Cup at home to Uruguay, it seemed as if the world would collapse. But four years ago, when Germany imposed Brazil’s worst sporting humiliation (a 7-1 pounding in the semifinals), no turbulence was experienced.

If Brazil was supposed to be the land of football, then why are supporters feeling so detached from what’s going on in Russia? A hint? Part of the reason has to do with political feuds. The yellow jersey of the Brazilian football team has become a political symbol since the 2015-2016 political demonstrations.

We host historian Matias Pinto to discuss Brazil’s relationship with its national football team.

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On this podcast

Matias Pinto is a historian with a degree from the University of São Paulo and a sports journalist. A football fanatic, Matias presents two podcasts about football: Conexão Sudaca, about South American football, and Fronteiras Invisíveis do Futebol, about the history of the sport.

Gustavo Ribeiro has extensive experience covering Brazilian politics. His work has been featured across Brazilian and French media outlets, including Veja, Época, Folha de São Paulo, Médiapart, and Radio France Internationale. He is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Abril Prize for outstanding political journalism. He holds a master’s degree in Political Science and Latin American studies from Panthéon-Sorbonne University in Paris.

This podcast was produced by Maria Martha Bruno. She is a journalist with 14 years of experience in politics, arts, and breaking news. She has collaborated with Al Jazeera, NBC, and CNN, among others, and worked as an international correspondent in Buenos Aires.

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