Why In­di­ans love Pele’s Brazil?

When it comes to FIFA, In­di­ans be­come Braza­lians. This ar­ti­cle ex­plains the love of In­di­ans for Brazil foot­ball and why they con­sider the likes of Pele, Zico, Socrates, Fal­cao, Ronald­inho, Ron­aldo and oth­ers as their very own?

Alive - - Contents - by Vivek Shukla

As FIFA World Cup is here and now, In­dian foot­ball fans are be­com­ing Braza­lians. Their sup­port for the coun­try which is more than 14 thou­sand kilo me­ters away is be­yond any ques­tion. It is an un­flinch­ing love and de­vo­tion. They are not at all con­cerned that their own team is not play­ing in FIFA World Cup. Most of them would fully sup­port foot­ball power house in the forth­com­ing FIFA World

Cup. Why In­di­ans foot­ball buffs love Brazil so much when it comes to foot­ball? Per­haps we like clas­sic skill­ful foot­ball than the power packed foot­ball that is played by the Euro­pean sides.

In­di­ans near re­li­gious sup­port for Brazil­ian teams is go­ing on since long.

Many of the cur­rent Brazil­ian fans in In­dia are ones who started fol­low­ing the sport dur­ing one of the coun­try’s salad days of Pele. And who can for­get when Pele played in City of Joy in 1977. Old timers would still re­mem­ber when Pele con­quered Cal­cutta (now Kolkata). He was mem­ber of the New York Cos­mos club that played an ex­hi­bi­tion match against Mo­han Ba­gan at the Eden Gar­den. The likes of Jy­oti Basu, Satya­jit Ray and Sid­dhartha Shankar Ray were among the spec­ta­tors came to watch the leg­endary Pele.

And as years passed and times moves, Brazil had won the World Cup in 1994. They lost in the fi­nal to France in 1998. How­ever, they won the fol­low­ing edi­tion. That phase made In­di­ans so close to Brazil­ian foot­ball. Play­ers like Zico, Ronald­inho, Ron­aldo and Kaka are like ev­ery­thing to them. When Ronald­inho vis­ited Ker­ala in Fe­bru­ary 2016 to in­au­gu­rate the Sait Nag­jee Cup, his fans thronged the sta­dium. And when Brazil won the 2002 World Cup, Brazil fans took out pro­ces­sions in Goa, Ben­gal, Ker­ala and other parts of the coun­try.

While In­dian fans do sup­port the big clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manch­ester United and Chelsea. But, but when it comes to FIFA their loy­alty to­wards Brazil is com­plete and fi­nal. The sup­port for Brazil has been not con­fined to one par­tic­u­lar state. It is pan In­dian. On last 7 Oc­to­ber, when Brazil was play­ing Spain in the first match of the day in the FIFA un­der 17 World Cup, the at­ten­dance at Kochi's Jawa­har­lal Nehru In­ter­na­tional Sta­dium was over 25 Thou­sand. The at­mos­phere was elec­tric, they were cheer­ing the Brazil­ian team. Later in the day, when Niger took on North Korea at the same sta­dium, the at­ten­dance was barely two thou­sand.

Three days later, when Spain faced Niger in Kochi, the at­ten­dance was just

about ten thou­sand. But by the time of Brazil’s clash with North Korea later in the day, the crowd had dou­bled. The life came to grind­ing halt when Brazil side was play­ing there. Schools and col­leges were shut. Of­fices had very thin at­ten­dance. Al­most ev­ery­body took sick or ca­sual leave. Sur­prised Brazil coach Car­los Amadeu even said that they never knew that peo­ple in In­dia love our side so much. “It's re­ally im­por­tant for us to have the

For many foot­ball fans sup­port­ing Brazil is a tra­di­tion that has been passed down gen­er­a­tions. Many of the cur­rent Brazil sup­port­ers are fans of Ney­mar, Dani Alves, Mar­quin­hos, Thi­ago Silva, Mi­randa, Casemiro and Fer­nand­inho. The fa­thers prob­a­bly started the craze in the house by fall­ing in love with play­ers like Zico or Socrates. Of course, in 1986, Maradona awoke them to Ar­gentina. In­dian fans were mes­mer­ized by the drib­bling skills of Maradona.

crowd on our side. We want to give back the love that we re­ceived from you.”

Some be­lieve that In­dian foot­ball fans ob­ses­sion for Brazil­ian foot­ball team be­gan dur­ing the 1982 World Cup, when the team had the likes of Zico, Socrates and Fal­cao play­ing in their ranks. Those were the days when leagues like the Premier League and Lac Li­gan were never shown on TO. Foot­ball was just a once-ev­ery-four-year’s event from World Cup to World Cup. But it gained the stature of a fes­ti­val in foot­ball mad places like

Goa, Ben­gal and Ker­ala.

Hyped by Me­dia

In­deed, the me­dia too played a role in cre­at­ing a craze for Brazil. They wrote ex­ten­sively about the Brazil­ian team, which got peo­ple to start sup­port­ing them. Of course, the fact that Brazil played with a lot of flair and do not be­lieve in foul play. How­ever, the cur­rent Brazil­ian team is not the pale shadow of those Brazil­ian sides which had the likes Pele, Ron­aldo, Rome­rio and Ri­valdo. Yet, the sup­port for them in In­dia seems to be as un­flinch­ing as it al­ways was.

For many foot­ball fans sup­port­ing Brazil is a tra­di­tion that has been passed down gen­er­a­tions. Many of the cur­rent Brazil sup­port­ers are fans of Ney­mar, Dani Alves, Mar­quin­hos, Thi­ago Silva, Mi­randa, Casemiro and Fer­nand­inho. The fa­thers prob­a­bly started the craze in the house by fall­ing in love with play­ers like Zico or Socrates. Of course, in 1986, Maradona awoke them to Ar­gentina. In­dian fans were mes­mer­ized by the drib­bling skills of Maradona. They were equally im­pressed with the great free-kicks of Maradona. He sin­gle­hand­edly won the 1986 world cup for his coun­try. Yet the craze for Brazil en­dures.

Roberto Riv­el­lino was a world-class mid­fielder who dis­played his magic with Brazil through the 1970s.

Cris­tiano Ron­aldo cel­e­brates a goal af­ter shoot­ing a penaltykick dur­ing the match against Spain.

Socrates, mem­ber of the most re­mem­bered Brazil­ian team that didn'twin the World Cup, the 1982 Brazil.

FIFA World Cup 2018.

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