Due to its temperate conditions all year round, Brazil has established a significant sporting culture. Not only are sports widely played and popular amongst vast majorities of the population, but they are also varied in nature.
The most popular and widely spread sport in Brazil is, undoubtedly, football (or soccer). This is especially appropriate as Brazil will be hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup™. This means millions of football fans from all over the world flooding into this South American country in the hopes of seeing their favourite team take the coveted title of world champions. A number of well-known football players and world-renowned teams hail from this country. Just some of the popular players are Pelé, Ronaldo, Adriano, Kaká, and Ronaldinho.
Soccer Ball decorated with Brazil's Flag
Capoeira is one of the most popular forms of martial arts in Brazil. It has distinct African influences and is characterised by nimble movements that require skill and agility. It is often played on the ground. Because of its very acrobatic, almost choreographed nature, it is often accompanied by music.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu dates back to the early part of the 20th century and is based on submission holds (such as joint locks). As individual enthusiasts have perfected the art in their own rights, this sport has begun to become internationally recognised. Vale tudo is a variation of Jiu-Jitsu that means “anything goes”. As its name implies, this adaptation of the discipline allows more freedom with fewer rules.
Invented in the 1960’s, footvolley is a combination of football and volleyball. It is played with a volleyball net, but players can use only their feet to get the ball to their opponents on the other side. It is a perfect beach game and visitors are sure to spot it as they frequent the many gorgeous beaches of Brazil.
Brazil is represented in major tennis tournaments, such as Wimbledon and the US Open and is home to some of the best players in the world.
The national basketball team of Brazil and its players are well respected in this sport on an international level. This is the third most popular sport in the country (after football and then volleyball).
As a nation, Brazil has won more than 100 Formula One races, testifying to the calibre of sportsmen that emanate from this nation in the motorsports arena. Some well-known names include Ayrton Senna, Rubens Barrichello, Bruno Senna, Felipe Massa and Lucas Di Grassi. It is also a key competitor in the American Championship Car Racing tournament, as well as less well-known competitions like Stock Car Brasil, Fórmula Truck and The South American Formula Three. Motorbike racing is also prevalent, and Brazilian competitors frequently participate in the MotoGP.
As the second most popular sport in Brazil, both the male and female national volleyball teams participate at Olympic level. They also compete in competitions such as the Volleyball World Cup and Volleyball World Championship. Brazil is recognised as the world champion in beach volleyball.
Rugby is a much-loved sport in Brazil, but its teams have not yet reached the level at which they qualify for major competitions (such as World Cups). This sport dates back to the late 1800’s and has, therefore, established a strong foundation in the culture.
Other sports enjoyed in Brazil include:
• Inline skating
• Horse riding
• Water polo
• Roller hockey
• American football
Here is the Brazil Government web site sports page: http://www.brasil.gov.br/esporte