Football and Urban Expansion in São Paulo, Brazil, 1880-1920

Matthew D Brown, Gloria Lanci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
899 Downloads (Pure)


Football is central to Brazilian society, its way of imagining itself and its position
in the world. Existing accounts of the origins of football in Brazil in the late
nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries tend towards mono-causal
explanations, highlighting the role of British pioneers and Brazilian
enthusiasm for the game. This article argues for a multi-causal explanation,
using a mixed methodology of archival research in Brazil and the UK,
combined with spatial analysis through the development of GIS maps.
Building upon the existing interpretations, it shows how important the
historical contexts of dynamics of urban expansion and transport
infrastructure development – both with considerable British influence – were
to the establishment of football as Brazil’s national sport.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-189
Number of pages28
JournalSport in History
Issue number2
Early online date24 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016


  • Football
  • Sport
  • Transport
  • Urban
  • Brazil


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