There is no question that the spiritual home of football is Brazil, five-time FIFA World Cup winners and the hosts of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Brazil Futebol captures the essence of the world's premier football nation and tells the story of more than a century of footballing passion. Starting in the 1870s when the Scottish expatriate Thomas Donohue first introduced the game to the native Brazilians, it recounts the unprecedented success of the national team, building to their debut World Cup triumph in 1958 and beyond, detailing all the most famous players and moments. But Brazil Futebol is not just about the storied triumphs of the professional ranks. The book is as much a commentary on the game in Brazil. Football is the country's heartbeat; entire cities grind to a halt when the national team plays; thousands travel to each World Cup, often dressed extravagantly and always dancing to the samba beat; and local rivalries between supporters of the leading club sides are fierce. Football is a way of life. Brazilians routinely refer to their nation as o Pais do Futebol ("the Country of Football") and with good reason.
From the centre of Rio to the countryside, the favelas (slums), parks, and beaches are a hive of informal kickabouts from morning till night, with players seeking to emulate their idols. The World Cup will now return to Brazil in 2014 for the first time in over 60 years and the eyes of the world will be on it. Brazil Futebol, a celebration of o Pais do Futebol in all its forms, will be the perfect companion.