Tag Archives: Soccer

Study reveals the personality of Brazilian soccer teams

Flamengo's blazon by George Vale/Flickr
Flamengo’s blazon by George Vale/Flickr

If the main Brazilian soccer teams were people, Corinthians and Flamengo would be a brave and joyful youngster, while Botafogo and São Paulo would be reliable, polite, sophisticated middle aged men.

GfK, an important market research specialist, interviewed 1.000 Brazilians in 12 major cities for the study “Patrocínio de Futebol e Personalidade de Marca” (Soccer Sponsors and Brand Personality). They had to associate a list of qualities to the name of the main 11 teams – Atlético Mineiro, Botafogo, Corinthians, Cruzeiro, Flamengo, Fluminense, Grêmio, Internacional, Palmeiras, Santos, São Paulo and Vasco. They were supposed to describe both the teams they supported and others. Continue reading Study reveals the personality of Brazilian soccer teams

Marta, world’s best soccer player

Five times elected the best. Photo by americanistadechiapas/Flickr

Forget Kaká (midfielder now playing for Real Madrid). This week’s Newsweek magazine brings an article by Mac Margolis glorifying another Brazilian soccer player: Marta Vieira da Silva (or simply Marta). She plays for the Western New York Flash and won last month, for the fifth time in a row, the Ballon d’Or, award created by Fifa (the international soccer federation) to celebrate the best of the best in the sport.

Says Margolis:

What makes her stand out is something else, less photogenic perhaps but every bit as compelling. Call it heart or grit or fome de bola—ball hunger—as the Brazilians put it. Whatever the name, the sheer determination to play and prevail against ridiculous odds lifted her from kick-abouts with the boys on a patch of Brazilian nowhere to the commanding heights of professional football. “No one wants to win as much as Marta,” says Alberto Montoya, who coached her for the San Francisco Gold Pride, the team she led to a Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) league championship in 2010. “She’s the most passionate player I have ever seen.”

You can read the whole article in Newsweek’s portal.

Marta, world's best soccer player

Five times elected the best. Photo by americanistadechiapas/Flickr

Forget Kaká (midfielder now playing for Real Madrid). This week’s Newsweek magazine brings an article by Mac Margolis glorifying another Brazilian soccer player: Marta Vieira da Silva (or simply Marta). She plays for the Western New York Flash and won last month, for the fifth time in a row, the Ballon d’Or, award created by Fifa (the international soccer federation) to celebrate the best of the best in the sport.

Says Margolis:

What makes her stand out is something else, less photogenic perhaps but every bit as compelling. Call it heart or grit or fome de bola—ball hunger—as the Brazilians put it. Whatever the name, the sheer determination to play and prevail against ridiculous odds lifted her from kick-abouts with the boys on a patch of Brazilian nowhere to the commanding heights of professional football. “No one wants to win as much as Marta,” says Alberto Montoya, who coached her for the San Francisco Gold Pride, the team she led to a Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) league championship in 2010. “She’s the most passionate player I have ever seen.”

You can read the whole article in Newsweek’s portal.

5 faux-pas in the land of laissez-faire

by procsilas/Flickr

Even in a country prone to informality, such as Brazil, certain attitudes or habits may stir controversy or criticism. Before you cross the line and step on somebody’s toe, check these big no-nos:

  1. Soccer – When I met my husband, Lenny, who’s American, I told him that, as an honorary Brazilian, he was supposed to choose a soccer team to support. He told me to ask my father’s opinion on this relevant subject. My dad’s answer: “on one hand, you have a certain Italian vibe, so you might support Palmeiras. On the other hand, you are not snobbish and like to blend in, so you might go for Corinthians”. Naturally, he suggested teams from São Paulo, where we come from. Wisely, my husband, answered: “ok, but which is your dad’s team?” Since my father is corintiano, Lenny followed his lead.  It is easy to incur in a faux-pas in this arena. So, check if your friends or colleagues are passionate about a certain team before bashing it. Also, be extremely cautious if you decide to wear a team’s official t-shirt. Imagine this scenario: you are walking past a stadium. The game is over and you are spotted by the opposing team. Things could get ugly. Continue reading 5 faux-pas in the land of laissez-faire

Brazil in numbers

From  useful to futile, numbers that help explaining the country.

  • 43% of adults that live in state capitals are overweight.
  • Those who have access to the internet spent 2.8 days connected in the month of September.
  • 9% of the kids born in 2008 were not registered.
  • 473 million reais ( 256.6 million dollars or 184.5 million euros) were collected by the government of the city of São Paulo thanks to driving and parking tickets. 99% of the Brazilian cities have budgets lower than that.
  • 57% of the inhabitants of the city of São Paulo would like to move away (Is this related to the previous number? Maybe).
  • Brazil is the 88th country in the education ranking produced by Unesco. Paraguay and Bolivia are in better shape.
  • 1 in 5 Brazilians that have a formal job works for the public service.
  • President Lula spent 87 days abroad in 2009 – a personal record.
  • 9 in 10 Brazilians have a cell phone.
  • 500 million reais (271.3 million dollars or 195 million euros) will be spent to fix up Maracanã stadium, in Rio, for the 2014 World Soccer Cup.
  • The Brazilian delegation to the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen last December had 743 members. It was three times bigger than the American delegation.
  • 1819 houses and buildings at Brazilian roadsides have been used for child prostitution. It’s one every 27 kilometers.

Source: recent editions of Veja magazine

You know you are Brazilian when…

Fitinhas do Bonfim
Fitinhas do Bonfim
  • You applaud the pilot when the airplane lands. You also applaud the band when it plays the national anthem.
  • You wear the national soccer team T-shirt when you are abroad.
  • You watch all the matches of the World Cup among friends and family. Or in your work place, if necessary. The experience includes beer, swearing, crying and insulting the mother of the referee.
  • You wear really pointy shoes with high heels (well, if you are a girl).
  • You are in a foreign beach and you are the only straight man wearing speedos.
  • You drink coffee at least three times a day. Religiously. And you never heard of decaf. Or chicory coffee.
  • You despise the Wright Brothers – Santos Dumont invented the airplane!
  • You have at least one pair of Havaianas flip-flops.
  • You have already worn fitinhas do Bonfim (ribbon supposedly blessed in Nosso Senhor do Bonfim church, in Salvador. You make three wishes while you tie the knots. They will be granted when it gets rotten).
  • You think you can speak Spanish. You pronounce Portuguese words with Argentinian accent and believe Spaniards will understand you. It can be very embarrassing.
  • You learn how to carry your purse in a way nobody will be able to open it or drag it away. You choose fake jewelry that really looks fake. You lock your house with several keys. You take with you the sound system when you leave your car.
  • You have prejudice against Portuguese and Argentinians. Well, it’s sad, but it is a fact.
  • You kiss your acquaintances (of opposite sex) in the face twice when you meet. Women also do the 2-kiss ritual among them.
  • You visit daily the neighborhood bakery. To buy fresh bread. To drink coffee. To have lunch. To buy cigarettes, or ice cream, or a pint of milk, or chocolate. To chat with the chapeiro (the guy who makes warm sandwiches – they are invariably entertaining). To talk to the Portuguese owner. To watch TV (they are fairly common in padarias). To drink cachaça. To put a few chairs in the outside and play samba with your friends (while the girlfriends dance).

Anybody would like to suggest additions?

The best Brazilian ads

Brazilian ads are well-known for their quality and creativity. Last year, for instance, DM9DDB won the Cannes Agency of the Year award and nine Lions (two gold, four silver and three bronze). In fact, the country is one of the big champions of the Cannes Festival – the main advertising awards -, behind the US and Great Britain.

Check this choice of Brazilian TV ads. I included one of the best releases of last year, plus some all-time favorites and also a very controversial ad.

Santoro’s limitsRodrigo Santoro, the Brazilian actor that is growing in Hollywood (Lost, Che, 300, Charlie’s Angels), acts in a recent Oi phone company’s publicity. He is depicted as this huge international idol that cannot manage to have his needs attended to by his phone services provider. So, he has to switch to Oi.

Parmalat’s Mammals – In 1995, this huge success skyrocketed the Italian company’s brand in Brazil.

Continue reading The best Brazilian ads