Knew and New-

Knew: Prior to reading this article, I was aware of the process that began Brazilian football clubs during the turn of the 19th century. In a previous class, we discussed the early formation of football clubs that would eventually transpire into the league we all know today. But this process was not as simple as the formation of the NFL in America. The reason being, Brazil was receiving many immigrants from Europe during this time, largely Italian, and was essentially a melting pot for different ethnicities. These immigrants formed small communities in different areas in Brazil, though most settled in the city of Sao Paulo. And it was these people, who after discovering football from the British, began to embrace it as theirs, which jumpstarted mass creations of small club teams. Unfortunately, many of these teams would not be acknowledged by the elitists who aimed to create a league that marginalized the working class and non-whites. That fact is what I learned through this reading.

New: This goal of creating a league that excludes the lower class was intentional. The ones behind this were European descendants who wanted their league to only represent the middle and upper class residents of the nation. This really was counterintuitive as many local Brazilians were not wealthy so it turned into an “Anglophile” football league that mostly excluded Brazilians yet it was located in Brazil. For a reason I don’t quite understand, the elitists believed North Eurpoeans were superior to the South (Italy), so Italian clubs who had recently begun sprouting up had a difficult time getting promoted into the big leagues. Palestra Itália was an Italian club who were successful in recruiting a team made up entirely of Italians. They were one of the first to accomplish this goal of having a team made up exclusively of their own ethnicity. The reading discussed the elitists’ reasoning in allowing Palestra Itália to play in the major league. That reason being it was a good replacement for Corinthians, who were primarily known for being a working class club. Palestra was seen as an improvement, not to mention, they were viewed as a lesser opponent compared to other wealthier clubs. I found this whole topic of Italians finding themselves in a weird spot in the creation of football clubs in Brazil as really interesting.