|Estadio Municipal, home of the Museu do Futebol|
Upon entering the museum visitors quickly see the history and background of soccer in Brazil. There are several stories regarding how soccer was brought to Brazil, but the most widely believed attributes soccer being brought from England by Charles William Miller. He was born in Brazil in 1874, but later went to England for his studies. Later when he returned to Brazil in 1894, he brought the art of soccer and the soccer equipment. The first official soccer match at Brazil was played in São Paulo at the Várzea do Carmo in the year of 1894. The Brazil soccer history has been enriched by the skillful play of the Brazilian soccer players in World Cup matches, resulting in five World Cup titles. Brazil is also the host of the 2014 World Cup Games so the buzz about soccer here is at an all time high. Even with my limited knowledge of the game, I know the history of the great Brazilian players such as Pele, Ronaldo, and most recently Rondaldinho.
Continuing around the first level of the museum, it was evident that the museum was designed thinking of those that have visual, hearing, or other physical disabilities. There are several braille inscriptions, including a path on the floor that has a raised pattern signaling to those that cannot see, where certain exhibits were located, where the doors were, and how to get to elevators. This museum was build to give a full sensory experience, even if you did not have full use of all of your senses. Throughout the lower level, there were hundreds if not thousands of old signs promoting the game and soccer related events that lead toward the second level. Not an inch of wallspace was wasted.
|Soccer history covers every inch of the walls|
The second level seemed to be rather disappointing as we saw a couple models of stadiums and some toy figurines of players, only to discover later they were designed to provide the visual landscape of the stadium to those who were blind. Upon turning the corner and entering a darkroom behind a large curtain, the true magic began. There were about two dozen screens with hologram images of former Brazilian greats. Each seemed to jump off the screens at you as you walked through the dim-lit room. See for yourself below.
|Brazilian soccer greats are immortalized via holograms in the Museu do Futebol|
Leaving the room with the television and radio plays, you exit a door and head underneath the stands of the stadium in an area that had a rather musty smell. You head out over a walkway and you realize that there is dirt below you and just when you are wondering what is in the room, the roar of the crowd comes over the speakers. There are also about a half dozen 50' Projection screens that light up with the crowds of the Brazilian National Team, and the local teams from Sao Paulo. There are four major teams here including the Sao Paulo Futbol Club, Corinthians, Palmeiras, and Santos. Despite the smell, this room was my favorite. The speakers were turned up loud and the you could feel the raw power of the Brazilian soccer crowd. This was just like home for me, as each Saturday in the fall, more than 106,000 people fill into Ohio Stadium (The Horseshoe) in Columbus, Ohio to cheer on The Ohio State Buckeyes Football team.
|106,000 Ohio State fans on a Saturday in November|
|Brazil National Team fans|
Moving from this room, we entered another room that was fit for Harry Potter, with hundreds of double sided pictures in gold frames showing more than just the history of the game, but the history of society in Brazil. You could see everything from race relations to social classes and how soccer brought together a nation that was comprised of so many nationalities. Each picture frame could be spun to see another picture that continued through the storied transformation of society and soccer.
|Double sided picture frames line the walls of the room|
|The history of the World Cup|