Why does Brazil define itself by World Cups, not wars? Video

Jun 26, 2014

Film aims to explain the World Cup hosts' obsession with the beautiful game


The World Cup in Brazil is on its way to becoming one of the best tournaments ever, even if England's efforts were a massive let-down. The games have been played in front of full houses, there have been plenty of goals and the widely anticipated off-field glitches have been kept to a minimum. 

The atmosphere whenever Brazil have been playing has been electric, and the sound of the home crowd continuing to sing the national anthem, long after the official music has cut out will be one of the iconic memories of the tournament.

But why does football invoke such passion in Brazil?

A short film by advertising agency Mother London, and presented by journalist Alex Bellos, aims to explain why, when most countries define their history by wars, Brazil defines itself through World Cup wins.

The film, Pentacampeao, meaning five-time champions, covers the national tragedy of 1950 when the team failed to win the trophy on home soil and subsequently abandoned its all-white kit in favour of the iconic yellow and green. It chronicles Brazil's five tournament wins since then, most recently in 2002, and talks to Brazilians about the importance of football to them.

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