In Brazil all other sports take a back seat to futebol (“soccer” in the U.S. and Canada, “football” in the rest of the English-speaking world). And everyone has their favorite team, which they often choose during childhood.
As I’ve moved around California in my life I’ve switched my baseball loyalties from the LA Dodgers to the San Francisco Giants, to the Oakland A’s, and now to the lowly Padres of my home town San Diego (They win once in a while!).
But Brazilians would never think of changing teams just because they moved to a new city, or because the team had lost twenty straight. Your team is yours for life!
The main teams in Rio are Fluminense, Flamengo, Vasco da Gama, and Botafogo. Other cities root for (torcem por) Santos (Pelé’s team), Vitória, Atlético Mineiro, Inter, Palmeiras, Grêmio, Corinthians, São Paulo and dozens more.
Games are televised daily, but especially on Sundays and Wednesdays, when “a galera de amigos” (the gang of friends) gets together to watch, scream, argue, and sometimes fight, at their favorite barzinho with uma gelada na mão—a cold one in hand. Read more