The Northeast plays Football too: World Cup and regional identity in the Brazilian Northeast

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This article examines how ideas about northeastern regional identity circulated in discussions of World Cup football. It first presents the preparations of and discussion around the 1950 World Cup match between Chile and the United States in Recife. Then, it analyzes attention given to World Cup football by regionalist intellectuals and artists, including musicians, clay artists, poets, and authors of cordel literature. This analysis shows that World Cup football provided a space within which the terms of regional (and national) identity were contested and debated, emphasizing the multivalence of regional discourse.


Original languageEnglish
JournalEstudos Históricos
Issue number68
Early online date13 Dec 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Dec 2019


  • Football, regional identity, popular art, World Cup 1950