Interest in Brazilian soccer by North American Brazilianists is not new. This subject acquired notoriety and prominence in the United States during the 1970s, along with Brazil's contemporary political history, as an object for scrutiny by specialists from the best American universities—though it should be emphasized that despite having gone unnoticed by many, important investigations had already been undertaken on the Brazilian soccer phenomenon. Veteran academics and journalists such as Janet Lever, Robert Levine, and Matthew Shirts have looked closely at the daily life and institutions of the Brazilian soccer sphere. It seems clear that the theme at that time drew interest from North American researchers not only as a result of the attractive and effective style of play by the Brazilian team, already a three-time FIFA World Cup winner by 1970, but also due to the stark contrast with American society,...

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