The bus with the players of German national soccer team arrives in central Berlin Tuesday, July 15, 2014. Germany’s World Cup winners shared their fourth soccer title with hundreds of thousands of fans by parading the trophy through cheering throngs to celebrate at the Brandenburg Gate on Tuesday. An estimated 400,000 people packed the “fan mile” in front of the Berlin landmark to welcome home coach Joachim Loew’s team and the trophy — which returned to Germany for the first time in 24 years. (AP)
Germany’s goalkeeper Manuel Neuer celebrates after the World Cup final soccer match between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, July 13, 2014. Germany won the match 1-0. (AP)
For nearly 40 years in the land of the jogo bonito– the Beautiful Game, as Brazilian legend Pele once called the sport he graced– participation in the sport was legally restricted to… wait for it… men.
Yup. Women were NOT allowed to play football for 38 years by government decree. The reason? Football was considered incompatible with “female nature.” That decree was lifted in 1979, but as the online magazine Good reports, not much has changed in Brazil:
Now, girls are permitted to participate, but are hardly encouraged, despite being just as dedicated to the sport, if not more so than men—in 2010, the majority of Brazilians watching the World Cup Games were women. The committed few who pursue football face more challenges and far less rewards than their male counterparts.
To be sure, Brazil isn’t alone in its chauvinism in football. What’s remarkable, however, is how in a country where the sport is so revered, the culture surrounding it can be so discriminatory, directly and indirectly. It’s even more remarkable when compared with places like the United States, where football is still relatively small compared to other sports, yet its women’s teams are consistently among the best teams in the world.
Things may be changing in Brazil, though, and the woman who is arguably Brazil’s greatest female footballer, Marta Vieira da Silva, is leading the charge.
Read more here from Good magazine.
As Germany and Argentina prepare for their World Cup final match on Sunday, they might want to work on their lifting and kissing as well as their passing and shooting.
In the past 40 years, 10 teams from six different countries have won the World Cup. But they all have one thing in common: lifting the Cup triumphantly above their heads, and kissing the Cup in celebration of their achievement. Scroll below to see 40 years of players lifting and loving the World Cup:
Spain defeated the Netherlands 1-0, earning the country’s first World Cup.
Despite a head-butt from France’s Zinedine Zidane, Italy prevailed 5-3 on penalty kicks to win.
Brazil bested Germany 2-0 and took home their fifth World Cup, held in the air in this photo by Brazil’s Rivaldo.
France beat powerhouse Brazil 3-0 for their first (and to date only) World Cup. Pictured here are Zinedine Zidane, Marcel Desailly and Laurent Blanc.
Brazil forward Romario can barely contain his emotions as he kisses the Cup following his team’s close win over Italy on penalties 3-2.
1990: West Germany
In a rematch of the 1986 World Cup, Germany would get revenge on Argentina with a 1-0 victory.
Diego Maradona holds the trophy aloft as he and his teammates celebrate a 3-2 win over West Germany.
Italy beat West Germany 3-1 to take home the Cup.
Despite a 1-1 tie after 90 minutes, after scoring two goals in extra time, Argentina would win 3-1 against the Netherlands.
1974: West Germany
Franz Beckenbauer hoists the Cup after West Germany beat the Netherlands 2-1 at the Olympic Stadium in Munich.