Football And Racism

Brazil Racism Out of View at World Cup

A woman passes by a graffiti in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, June 18, 2013.


The World Cup will end this Sunday in Brazil, a nation with the world’s largest black population outside of Africa.  Although many Brazilians think of their country as the model of race relations, racism is a hidden reality.

On the country’s Atlantic shore, the tropical city of Salvador de Bahia faces the African coastline far beyond the horizon.  It’s a a city symbolic for Brazil’s African roots.

Slavery was abolished in Brazil in 1888 and here, more than anywhere else, the links with Africa are evident.  In Salvador, African descendants represent more than 80 percent of the population.  In Brazil, more than 50 percent of the population is of “metis,” or mixed-race – and social contact, friendships and marriage between the races are common.

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Foward Brazilian Soldiers!

Brazil Looks to Quarterfinals, With Confidence!

FILE - Soccer fans celebrate as they watch on a big screen television, the second goal scored by Brazil's Neymar in the World Cup match against Cameroon, in Manaus, Brazil.


Brazil will face Colombia Friday for a spot in the World Cup semifinal. Everybody expects a tough game for Brazil and in a country where soccer is king, everyone has an opinion on the national team.

In Flamengo, one can see the majestic Sugar Loaf mountain, but nobody really pays attention to one of the most iconic sights in Rio. Here, it is the ball that gets all the attention. Amateurs, kids, everybody is playing soccer. And everybody has an opinion on the Selecao, the Brazilian national team.

Many, like Mateus Marquez Custodio, think the team will beat Colombia.

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Mario Madness!

Mario Balotelli’s 5 Craziest Moments

Illustration of Mario Balotelli setting off fireworks in his bathroom.

Illustrations par Steve Fuchs | VOA

As many football fans know, Mario Balotelli of Italy is quite the character. Here are five of his craziest moments on and off the field – a list that only scratches the surface of his many exploits and adventures:

5. Use fireworks in his bathroom

In 2011, Mario Balotelli was on fire as a star player for Manchester City. Unfortunately for him, his house in Cheshire was also on fire one night…and it was entirely his own fault. When firefighters arrived at his house to put out the blaze, he told them that four of his friends were playing with fireworks from the window of his bathroom. The fireworks caused some towels to catch fire, which spread to an entire floor of his house.

4. Trying to break into a women’s prison

In 2010, Balotelli and his brother decided to make an impromptu visit to, of all places, a women’s prison in Bresica, Italy. When stopped by police in their Mercedes at the entrance, Balotelli explained, in all seriousness, that he and his brother wanted to see the prison and decided to go on a whim. Unfortunately for them, the authorities turned them away.

3. Using his karate skills…on an opponent

Italians can have a reputation for being hot headed, and Balotelli is apparently no exception. But Balotelli takes his anger to a whole new level. In a crucial match between Manchester City and Kiev in March 2011, Balotelli’s frustrations got the best of him when he delivered a ninja kick to one of his opponents. In response to this blow, the referee dealt Balotelli a blow of his own: a red card.

2. Dueling with rolling pins in a restaurant

In 2011, before an important match against Chelsea, Balotelli went to an Indian restaurant for dinner. One thing led to another, and somehow, by the end of the night, he and a friend were playfully dueling… using rolling pins. His amateur swordfight cost him a week’s worth of wages – £150,000 – but didn’t seem to affect his playing: Balotelli would go on to score two goals the next day, as Manchester City beat Chelsea 6-1.

1. Earn over $10,000 in parking fines

Mario Balotelli loves Italians…Italian cars, that is. He also apparently loves racking up parking and traffic fines. He racked up an impressive $10,000-plus in parking fines; as a result, his Maserati was impounded 27 times. Not that the fines are any burden: one time, when stopped by the police, Balotelli had over $25,000 next to him on the passenger seat. When they asked him why he was carrying so much money on the front seat of his car, he simply replied: “Because I can.”

(this post courtesy VOA’s French language World Cup blog. Check it out at

Good Grades in Brasilia

African Students Dig Into Academics in Brasilia

Brazil is not only a dream destination for soccer fans from all over the world. The emerging power is also receiving more and more students from Africa. The country is more accessible than the U.S. or Europe, and African students can find better infrastructure here than they can at home.

With almost 40,000 students, the University of Brasilia is an institution in Brazil’s capital city.  Among them are a hundred or so Africans who came to try the Brazilian adventure.  Most of them are from Angola or Cape Verde, but you also find some Francophones from Ivory Coast and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Read more here.




World Cup Salaries: Who Makes the Most?

Didier Drogba earns $20.8 million per year.


Cote D’Ivoire’s Didier Drogba, who gained wide notoriety playing for Chelsea in the British Premier League, is the highest paid African footballer and the fifth highest paid player in the world.

Look what he earns in relation to other highest paid players in the world.


Player Team Total Salary Endorsements
Age Position
1 Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal
(Real Madrid)
$44.0 M
(21,3 Mds CFA)
$23.0 M
(11,1 Mds CFA)
$21.0 M
(10,2 Mds CFA)
29 attacker
2 Lionel Messi Argentina
(FC Barcelona)
$41.3 M
(20,0 Mds CFA)
$20.3 M
(9,8 Mds CFA)
$21.0 M
(10,2 Mds CFA)
27 attacker
3 Wayne Rooney England
(Manchester United)
$21.1 M
(10,2 Mds CFA)
$18.1 M
(8,8 Mds CFA)
$3.0 M
(1,5 Mds CFA)
28 attacker
4 Sergio Aguero Argentina
(Manchester City)
$20.9 M
(10,1 Mds CFA)
$17.4 M
(8,4 Mds CFA)
$3.5 M
(1,7 Mds CFA)
26 attacker
5 Didier Drogba Côte d’Ivoire
$20.8 M
(10,1 Mds CFA)
$15.8 M
(7,6 Mds CFA)
$5.0 M
(2,4 Mds CFA)
36 attacker
6 Yaya Touré Côte d’Ivoire
(Manchester City)
$20.7 M
(10,0 Mds CFA)
$18.2 M
(8,8 Mds CFA)
$2.5 M
(1,2 Mds CFA)
31 midfield
7 Neymar Brazil
(FC Barcelona)
$20.5 M
(9,9 Mds CFA)
$10.5 M
(5,1 Mds CFA)
$10.0 M
(4,8 Mds CFA)
22 attacker
8 Fernando Torres Spain
$20.0 M
(9,7 Mds CFA)
$17.0 M
(8,2 Mds CFA)
$3.0 M
(1,5 Mds CFA)
30 attacker
9 Zlatan Ibrahimovic Sweden
$19.7 M
(9,5 Mds CFA)
$17.2 M
(8,3 Mds CFA)
$2.5 M
(1,2 Mds CFA)
32 attacker
10 Kaka Brazil
(AC Milan)
$19.3 M
(9,5 Mds CFA)
$13.8 M
(6,7 Mds CFA)
$5.5 M
(2,7 Mds CFA)
32 midfield

Click here to show the other players in the top 10 list of highest paid.

How long would it take for you to make Drogba’s salary?

In Cote D’Ivoire, for example, the average salary is US$690 a year. Drogba earns that amount in less than 30 minutes. Click below to see how long it takes for Drogba to make what you make.

Enter your annual salary here (en dollars US): $

(this post courtesy of VOA’s French World Cup blog. Check it out at