Brazil has done much to shape football/soccer, but how has soccer shaped Brazil? Despite the political and social importance of the beautiful game to the country, the subject has hitherto received little attention. This book presents groundbreaking work by historians and researchers from Brazil, the United States, Britain and France, who examine the political significance, in the broadest sense, of the sport in which Brazil has long been a world leader. The authors consider questions such as the relationship between soccer, the workplace and working class culture; the formation of Brazilian national identity; race relations; political and social movements; and the impact of the sport on social mobility. Contributions to the book range in time from the late nineteenth century, when the British first introduced the sport to Brazil, to the present day, as the 'country of soccer' prepares itself to host the 2014 World Cup, painting a vivid picture of the many ways in which soccer exists and functions in Brazil, both on and off the pitch.