Latin American Studies Football (Soccer) in Latin America
by
Patrick Ridge
  • LAST MODIFIED: 27 June 2018
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199766581-0197

Introduction

Fútbol—spelled without the accent in Mexico—or futebol as it is known in Brazil, represents one of the most popular cultural institutions in Latin America. Whether played in the stadium or the barrio, the sport brings together millions, often serving as the common social bond in an otherwise diversely populated region. Only baseball surpasses this popularity in the Caribbean and countries like Nicaragua, Panamá, and Venezuela. Football was introduced primarily by British expatriates living in port cities and urban industrial centers during the second half of the 19th century. Early on, only an elite few enjoyed the game, but eventually the masses would adopt it and make it their own, more often than not through the establishment of local clubs that reflected regional and social identities. With the advent of international sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup—first held in 1930—men’s football quickly became linked with masculinist nationalism, especially in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay, countries that have won the competition a combined nine times. The construction of modern stadiums like the Maracanã and the Estadio Azteca have helped stimulate these feelings of national and regional identity. However, men’s football and its venues have served as tools for several dictatorships, among these, Augusto Pinochet’s, Emílio Garrastazu Médici’s, and Jorge Rafael Videla’s neo-fascist regimes (see the separate Oxford Bibliographies article in Latin American Studies “Military Government in Latin America, 1959–1990”). International rivalries have even resulted in conflicts such as the so-called Football War (1969) between El Salvador and Honduras, and heated domestic matches in some countries continue to fuel stadium violence. Regardless, regional talent and style have enriched the European-born sport. The approach of mid-century greats like Di Stéfano, Pelé, and Garrincha renewed interest in football, and the dazzling play of stars such as Maradona, Ronaldinho, Messi, Neymar, and Marta have allowed the Latin American game to become the world’s most popular form. This has resulted in a substantial amount of scholarship dedicated to the sport, studies that examine questions of nationalism, violence, race, gender, identity, and politics. While several players and coaches have produced their own primary accounts, prominent fiction writers have also used their texts to explore the sport’s social and cultural impact within the region. Furthermore, the chronicle (see the separate Oxford Bibliographies article in Latin American Studies “The Chronicle”), particularly in Mexico and Brazil, has served as an important literary medium to provide meaning to the sport.

General Overviews

A historical and chronological overview of football in Latin America can be found in Goldblatt 2006 and Campomar 2014. Nadel 2014 provides the historical origins of the game by country while Sebreli 2005 and Fiengo 2006 break their Spanish-language texts up by different social issues. While Galeano 2014 and Mouat 2012 offer poetic and humorous essays and vignettes of football and its players, DaMatta 2006 and Villoro 2016 compile chronicles of past competitions, among other essays. Wood 2017 provides an important critical analysis of football literature in the region.

  • Campomar, Andreas. Golazo! The Beautiful Game from the Aztecs to the World Cup. New York: Riverhead Books, 2014.

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    A comprehensive chronological history of football from its origins in England, its parallels with the Mesoamerican ballgame, information on regional club teams, and commentary on recent social issues such as fan violence.

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  • DaMatta, Roberto. A bola corre mais que os homens. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Rocco, 2006.

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    A Portuguese-language collection of the author’s chronicles on the 1994 and 1998 World Cups and other topics such as fandom. Also includes essays on the social significance of the game, international competitions, and coaches.

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  • Fiengo, Sergio Villena. Golbalización: Siete ensayos heréticos sobre fútbol, identidad y cultura. San José, Costa Rica: Grupo Editorial Norma, 2006.

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    Seven Spanish-language essays on football that analyze social topics such as nationalism, masculinity, television, media, and most notably, the author’s conclusions on the current globalized state of the game.

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  • Galeano, Eduardo. Soccer in Sun and Shadow. Rev. ed. Translated by Mark Fried. New York: Open Road Integrated Media, 2014.

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    One of the founding literary texts on football—originally published in 1995—this English translation includes poetic essays on the game’s participants and other elements, as well as nostalgic vignettes of past World Cups and the region’s most notable players such as Garrincha, Pelé, and Maradona. As the title suggests, the text shows the light and dark side of the sport, including football’s lost innocence amid recent commercialization.

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  • Goldblatt, David. The Ball is Round. New York: Riverhead Books, 2006.

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    At almost a thousand pages, and not limited to Latin America, the text represents one of the most comprehensive histories of football. Broken up into five parts, the author traces the game’s British origins, its national popularity in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Brazil, as well as commentary on futebol arte, links to the region’s military dictatorships, and television’s impact on the sport.

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  • Mouat, Francisco. Nuevas cosas del fútbol. Santiago, Chile: Lolita Editores, 2012.

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    Drawings by Chilean cartoonist Guillo accompany this hybrid text’s humorously philosophical exploration of football’s numerous post-goal celebrations, own goals, and regional personalities, as well as definitions of other “things” associated with the Latin American game.

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  • Nadel, Joshua H. Fútbol!: Why Soccer Matters in Latin America. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 2014.

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    Divided by country, this historical overview identifies the national narratives of football—accompanied by key player bios and photography—in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Honduras, Mexico, and Paraguay. Additionally, the study considers the game’s early- to mid-20th-century professionalization and the overall omission of women from these national narratives. Table of contents and excerpt available online.

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  • Sebreli, Juan José. La era del fútbol. 4th ed. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Debolsillo, 2005.

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    Building on the original release of Fútbol y masas in 1981, this Spanish-language text provides a detailed historical analysis of football and its relation to money, religion, sex, violence, hooliganism, media, and politics. Also offers an examination of the Argentine dictatorship’s coordination of the 1978 World Cup and the mythical status of Diego Maradona. Includes an extensive bibliography of football-related sociological, historical, and cultural texts.

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  • Villoro, Juan. God Is Round. Translated by Thomas Bunstead. New York: Restless Books, 2016.

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    The English translation compiles essays and chronicles from the author’s Dios es redondo and Balón dividido, texts originally published in 2006 and 2014, respectively. Features intellectually sound writings that comment on fandom—particularly that associated with Mexican football—the sport’s political ties, and Argentine greats Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi.

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  • Wood, David. Football and Literature in South America. New York: Routledge, 2017.

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    A critical literary analysis of major fictional texts from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, and Uruguay. Themes include foundational football narratives, nationalism, aesthetics, dictatorships, politics, gender, and women writers.

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Reference Works

Gifford 2018 offers a comprehensive reference guide to soccer, including pages dedicated to the women’s game. Dunmore and Donaldson 2015 gives readers a thorough rundown of the FIFA Men’s World Cup. Other reference works focus on the game’s language. Used on and off the field by players, coaches, fans, and commentators, football’s jargon relates to the game’s rules, positions, strategies, and plays. Talio and de Lucca 2009 provides an important dictionary of Spanish-language terms related to the sport while Fontanarrosa and Sanz 1994 offers an illustrated counterpart of terminology within the Argentine context.

  • Dunmore, Tom, and Andrew Donaldson. Encyclopedia of the FIFA World Cup. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.

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    The encyclopedia includes recaps, lists of individual awards such as the golden ball, boot, and glove, and an A-Z guide of the sport’s most prestigious international competition. This includes overviews of the region’s nine World Cup titles (Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay). Offers a thorough guide to the men’s World Cup, but very few references to the corresponding women’s tournament.

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  • Fontanarrosa, Roberto, and Tomás Sanz. Pequeño diccionario ilustrado: el fútbol argentino. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Aguilar, 1994.

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    The late Fontanarrosa incorporates comical sketches—more often than not, his typical single-panel drawings with word bubbles—that accompany Sanz’s entries. The dictionary offers a humorous guide to Argentine football and its colloquialisms.

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  • Gifford, Clive. The Kingfisher Soccer Encyclopedia. World Cup ed. New York: Kingfisher, 2018.

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    Employing a thematic structure, this reference guide discusses soccer’s origins, tactics, on-field legends, teams, and competitions. Color images accompany references to the Copa América, players such as Ronaldo, Diego Maradona, and Lionel Messi, and the region’s various club teams.

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  • Talio, Daniel, and Guillermo de Lucca. Diccionario de fútbol. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Claridad, 2009.

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    An extensive reference work that provides Spanish-language explanations of football terms, as well as encyclopedic entries on the region’s most notable players, coaches, and clubs.

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Anthologies

Along with historical and sociological work, football’s widespread popularity in the region has led to the publication of several anthologies of fiction and poetry on the topic. Stein and Campisi 2016 provides the most complete anthology of translated short stories from the region. While Reyes and Fuentes 1998 and Valdano 1995 offer works that compile regional writings in Spanish, da Costa 2006 has prepared a collection of short stories in Portuguese. For a regional focus in Argentina, Fontanarrosa 2011 compiles short stories in his anthology while Pagano 2010 and Piñeiro 2014 offer works by the country’s women writers. For short stories from Mexico and Chile, see Fernández 2006 and Llanos 2013, respectively. Montero and García Sánchez 2012 includes several Latin American poems on football.

  • da Costa, Flávio Moreira, ed. 22 contistas em campo. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Ediouro, 2006.

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    Includes an introduction of football fiction by da Costa and short stories by notable Brazilian authors such as Rachel de Queiroz, Moacyr Scliar, Edilberto Coutinho, and Sérgio Sant’Anna. The text also features Portuguese translations of short stories by Mario Benedetti and Horacio Quiroga.

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  • Fernández, Marcial, ed. También el último minuto: cuentos de fútbol. Mexico City: Ficticia, 2006.

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    The standout of a series of pocket-sized Mexican anthologies—Ediciones del futbolista—dedicated to football fiction. Includes memorable short stories written by Mexican playwright Vicente Leñero and filmmaker Carlos Cuarón, as well as others by Rafael Ramírez Heredia, Eduardo Langagne, and Gerardo de la Torre.

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  • Fontanarrosa, Roberto, ed. Cuentos de fútbol argentino. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Aguilar, 2011.

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    Compiled by Argentina’s most prolific football writer, the text kicks off with Fontanarrosa’s prologue followed by a selection of short stories by prominent Argentine writers such as Adolfo Bioy Casares, Jorge Luis Borges, Juan Sasturain, José Pablo Feinmann, Osvaldo Soriano, and Liliana Heker, among others.

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  • Llanos, Soledad Camponovo, ed. El fútbol también se lee. Santiago, Chile: Publicaciones Cultura, 2013.

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    The result of a national literary competition, this anthology includes twenty short stories written by contemporary Chilean authors, some set during Pinochet’s military dictatorship.

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  • Montero, Luis García, and Jesús García Sánchez, eds. Un balón envenenado: poesía y fútbol. Madrid: Visor Libros, 2012.

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    A combination of Latin American and Peninsular poems in Spanish, the anthology boasts works by Gioconda Belli, Ramón Cote, Horacio Ferrer, Nicanor Parra, Eduardo Galeano, and Horacio Salas, as well as Mario Benedetti’s famed ode to Maradona. Additionally, the collection includes Rafael Alberti’s and Miguel Hernández’s foundational poetic works written on Spanish football.

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  • Pagano, Mabel, ed. Mujeres con pelotas. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Deldragón, 2010.

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    Coordinated by Mabel Pagano, this short-story anthology by women writers from Argentina includes a prologue by María Rosa Lojo and narratives by Pagano, Beatriz Actis, Patricia Suárez, and Susana Szwarc, among others. The Spanish-language collection represents one of the first to showcase women’s writing in a literary and athletic sphere historically dominated by men.

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  • Piñeiro, Claudia, ed. Las dueñas de la pelota. Buenos Aires, Argentina: El Ateneo, 2014.

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    Selection and prologue by Claudia Piñeiro, this second major anthology featuring Argentine women’s writing includes a brief overview of football literature, as well as contributions in Spanish from notable writers such as Ana María Shua, Esther Cross, María Rosa Lojo, Susana Szwarc, and Gabriela Cabezón Cámara. Prologue, Cross’s text, and contents available online.

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  • Reyes, Juan José, and Ignacio Trejo Fuentes, ed. Hambre de gol: crónicas y estampas del futbol. Mexico City: Cal y Arena, 1998.

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    A diverse Spanish-language anthology that includes interviews, short stories, poetry, essays, and plays from Latin America and Spain. Notable entries include Juan Villoro’s interview of Mexican commentator Ángel Fernández, works by Mempo Giardinelli, Vicente Leñero, and Vinícius de Moraes, as well as an excerpt from Pedro Ángel Palou’s El último campeonato mundial. For full text of the latter, see Palou 1997 under Mexico and Central America: Primary Sources.

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  • Stein, Shawn, and Nicolás Campisi, eds. Idols and Underdogs. Translated by George Shivers, Shawn Stein, and Richard McGehee. Glasgow: Freight Books, 2016.

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    An anthology of translated short stories from eleven countries. Features some of the biggest names in contemporary regional fiction, including Juan Villoro, Sérgio Sant’Anna, Edmundo Paz Soldán, and Ricardo Silva Romero. Themes include fandom, violence, globalization, and military terror in the Southern Cone. Published interviews follow each text and provide authors’ take on current issues regarding the game, among them, FIFA’s recent corruption scandal and the sport’s historic misogyny.

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  • Valdano, Jorge, ed. Cuentos de fútbol. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Alfaguara, 1995.

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    Former Argentine player and coach Jorge Valdano compiles Peninsular and Latin American short stories in one of the first anthologies dedicated to football fiction. Includes texts by the compiler himself, as well as others written by well-known authors such as Mario Benedetti, Roberto Fontanarrosa, Eduardo Galeano, Augusto Roa Bastos, Osvaldo Soriano, and Juan Villoro.

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Bibliographies

While Arbena 1989 and Arbena 1999 represent key bibliographies for researchers of sport in Latin America, including football, Aguirre 2018 offers a comprehensive collection of references on the topic.

Journals

While Soccer & Society represents an academic journal dedicated solely to football, International Journal of the History of Sport and International Review for the Sociology of Sport provide historical and interdisciplinary perspectives on sport, including articles dedicated to Latin American football. Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature offers original fiction and critical work on the topic.

Edited Collections

Most significant scholarship on football can be traced to the 1980s, particularly in Argentina and Brazil. For work from these pioneers, see Archetti 1999 under Río de la Plata Region: Secondary Sources or DaMatta, et al. 1982, cited under Brazil: Secondary Sources. Inspired by these studies and theories, scholars began organizing colloquiums dedicated to the sport, events that led to the publication of various edited collections on football. Alabarces 2000 and Alabarces 2003 represent the fruit of these scholarly meetings, offering critical essays on the topic in various countries. Arbena and LaFrance 2002 compiles essays in English on football and other popular sports, thus spearheading work on Latin American sport from the North American perspective. L’Hoeste, et al. 2015; Miller and Crolley 2007; and Stavans 2011 all include English-language essays written by some of the field’s top researchers. Armus and Rinke 2014 compiles historical essays on the game in the Southern Cone. Godio and Uliana 2011 and Meneses and Rabadán 2012 cover topics such as globalization, national identity, and immigration. For essays on the sport’s violence, see Carrión and Rodríguez 2014.

  • Alabarces, Pablo, ed. Peligro de gol: estudios sobre deporte y sociedad en América Latina. Buenos Aires, Argentina: CLACSO, 2000.

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    Introduced by Alabarces, this collection of critical essays written in Spanish or Portuguese is divided into seven sections related to football. Analyzes topics such as gender, globalization, myths, national identity, race, politics, violence, and religion. Mainly covers issues in the Southern Cone.

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  • Alabarces, Pablo, ed. Futbologías: fútbol, identidad y violencia en América Latina. Buenos Aires, Argentina: CLACSO, 2003.

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    A collection of critical essays—written in Spanish or Portuguese—compiled and introduced by the leading sociologist of Latin American football. Works cover issues such as fandom, violence, national and social identity, and globalization in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Uruguay.

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  • Arbena, Joseph L., and David G. LaFrance, eds. Sport in Latin America and the Caribbean. Wilmington, DE: Jaguar Books, 2002.

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    One of the pioneer studies on Latin American sport in English, this collection of critical essays includes analyses on football and political conspiracy in Argentina, its links with the Catholic Church in Costa Rica, origins in Nicaragua, and questions of national and social identity in Brazil and Peru.

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  • Armus, Diego, and Stefan Rinke, eds. Del football al fútbol/futebol: historias argentinas, brasileiras y uruguayas en el siglo XX. Madrid: Ahila, 2014.

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    A collection of essays in Portuguese and Spanish on the history of football in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. Broken up into two parts, the first identifies the origins of the sport in these Southern Cone nations. The second group of essays includes analyses on football’s links to Peronism and the Estado Novo, early Argentine films dealing with the game, and the recent renovation of Rio’s Maracanã.

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  • Carrión, Fernando, and María José Rodríguez, eds. Luchas urbanas alrededor del fútbol. Quito, Ecuador: 5ta Avenida Editores, 2014.

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    A lengthy collection of Spanish-language essays that predominantly explore issues of identity and violence associated with football throughout the region. Other sections provide critical essays on the sport’s political ties, commercialization, globalization, and role in urban development and identity.

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  • Godio, Matías, and Santiago Uliana, eds. Fútbol y sociedad: prácticas locales e imaginarios globales. Sáenz Peña, Argentina: EDUNTREF, 2011.

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    Prologue by Argentine anthropologist José Garriga Zucal, this collection of Spanish-language essays explores a variety of social topics associated with football in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico, as well as an analysis on the Copa Libertadores, the region’s most prestigious club tournament. Other topics include globalization, nationalism, violence, and debates surrounding the implementation of new stadium technologies to assist referees. Contents and foreword available online.

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  • L’Hoeste, Héctor Fernández, Robert McKee Irwin, and Juan Poblete, eds. Sports and Nationalism in Latin/o America. New York: Palgrave, 2015.

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    An excellent collection of English-language essays on sport and nationalism in Latino and Latin American culture. Showcases the biggest names in football criticism, including Pablo Alabarces’s follow-up to his famed Fútbol y Patria (see Río de la Plata Region: Secondary Sources). Football-related essays explore the theme of nationalism and its relation to gender, globalization, commercialization, the media, and transnationalism. Chapter previews available online.

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  • Meneses, Guillermo Alonso, and Luis Escala Rabadán, eds. Offside/fuera de lugar: fútbol y migraciones en el mundo contemporáneo. Mexico City: Clave Editorial, 2012.

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    A collection of Spanish-language essays on football, immigration, and identity in Argentina, Mexico, and Spain, as well as Hispanic and Chicano communities living in the United States.

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  • Miller, Rory M., and Liz Crolley, eds. Football in the Americas: Fútbol, Futebol, Soccer. London: Institute for the Study of the Americas, 2007.

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    A four-part edited collection that includes essays in English by notable football critics, among them Richard Giulianotti, Pablo Alabarces, Roger Magazine, and David Wood. Analyses cover topics such as masculine, club, and national identity, as well as football’s impact on local economies. Countries include Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Peru, among others.

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  • Stavans, Ilan, ed. Fútbol. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood, 2011.

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    Part of the Ilan Stavans Library of Latino Civilization, this collection of English-language essays aims to explore the origins of football fandom and passion in the United States, particularly among immigrant communities and Latinos. With this goal in mind, Stavans compiles football analyses on themes of globalization, politics, business, and national identity in Argentina, Brazil, and Peru, among others. Notable contributors include Richard Giulianotti and Pablo Alabarces.

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Río de la Plata Region

Almost twenty years after the establishment of the official Cambridge Rules—guidelines that distinguished soccer from rugby—the first match in Latin America was played on Argentine soil in 1867. At the time, elite British social classes represented the game’s primary participants and the sport was often used as a way to cultivate “gentlemen,” particularly in private schools. However, in the early 20th century, football quickly became a popular cultural institution, especially among working and immigrant classes living in urban centers. Clubs established in distinct neighborhoods allowed men, in particular, to develop homogenized urban identities. Around the same time, nationalist thinkers used the sport, as well as the male sporting body, as symbols for the nation. Mythical figures such as the pibe—a youthful player that relies on dribbling and creativity over strength and tactics—came to embody national identity, specifically in Argentina. Success in international competitions such as the World Cup allowed nations to not only display their sporting prowess, but also national capabilities. Uruguay experienced early success, winning the inaugural event in 1930 and upsetting Brazil in 1950 in what is now known as the Maracanaço. Not until 1978 did Argentina win the competition, but this triumph is overshadowed by the propagandistic use of the event by Jorge Rafael Videla’s military dictatorship. Most Argentines choose to celebrate the 1986 victory, most memorable for the national team’s 2–1 win over archrival England and Diego Maradona’s so-called “goal of the century” and “hand of God goal.” Men’s football continues to be linked to the nation—for example, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s Fútbol para todos program essentially nationalized all games involving the Argentine men’s national team from 2007 to 2017—and current players such as Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez boost the game’s popularity within the region. However, these players are often transferred and sold to the world’s most prestigious professional leagues in Europe. Due to this, domestic leagues have generally failed to generate the same type of revenue and popularity, not to mention the violence and corruption that has plagued these entities in recent years. Although men’s football has experienced historic success, especially on the national stage, fútbol femenino in countries like Argentina and Uruguay continue to be sidelined. For instance, the two nations have failed to qualify for the last two women’s World Cups and domestic leagues receive a fraction of the financial support directed toward men’s football.

Primary Sources

The region showcases a notable literary tradition, specifically in cultural centers such as Buenos Aires (see the separate Oxford Bibliographies article in Latin American Studies “Argentinean Literature”). The success of the Argentine national team in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as the significant impact of the region’s players abroad, has led a number of these participants to publish autobiographical accounts that share these glories and contemplate the impact of the local approach on the European-born sport. Football’s popularity and social impact within the region has also led several authors to dedicate their works to the cultural phenomenon. National identity, violence, nostalgic references to past football glories, and mythic personas such as the pibe represent common themes and motifs of these literary texts.

Autobiographies

Di Stéfano 2000; Maradona, et al. 2007; and Maradona and Arcucci 2017 offer first-person accounts from the region’s most notable players. These, as well as Ardiles and Mora y Araujo 2010 and Menotti 1986, recount the international success of the Argentine national team and the impact of the game’s local players in Europe. Bochini 2016 narrates the career of one of the country’s most decorated domestic players. Simeone 2016 offers a guide to the game through a series of personal anecdotes and Suárez, et al. 2014 features an autobiographical account written by a contemporary Uruguayan star.

  • Ardiles, Osvaldo, and Marcela Mora y Araujo. Ossie’s Dream: The Autobiography of a Football Legend. 2d ed. London: Corgi, 2010.

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    First published by Bantam in 2009, the former Argentine midfielder recounts playing under César Luis Menotti, winning the 1978 World Cup, and his domestic stint with Huracán. Also comments on his success abroad for Tottenham Hotspur and playing in England during the Falklands War.

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  • Bochini, Ricardo. Yo, el Bocha: mi autobiografía. 3d ed. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Planeta, 2016.

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    Featuring prologues by Argentine greats Diego Maradona and Daniel Bertoni, as well as chapter interludes by Eduardo Sacheri, Jorge Valdano, and Jorge Barraza, Ricardo Bochini, nicknamed el Bocha, recounts his successful career with the national team and Club Atlético Independiente, including commentary on his five Copa Libertadores titles with the latter. Accompanied by colored photography. First chapter available online.

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  • Di Stéfano, Alfredo. Gracias, vieja. Las memorias del mayor mito del fútbol. Edited by Enrique Ortego y Alfredo Relaño. Madrid: Aguilar, 2000.

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    In this lengthy Spanish-language autobiography, with accompanying photography, Di Stéfano comments on his early playing days in the streets of Barracas, domestic stints at River Plate and Huracán, time with Bogotá’s Millionarios as a result of the Argentine players’ strike, and success with Real Madrid. Noting these lineups’ mix of European and South American talent, he shares his experience of winning multiple domestic and international titles with the Spanish club.

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  • Maradona, Diego, and Daniel Arcucci. Touched by God: How We Won the Mexico ’86 World Cup. Translated by Jane Brodie and Wendy Gosselin. New York: Penguin, 2017.

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    Originally published in 2016, the text includes a preface by Víctor Hugo Morales, the announcer that narrated Maradona’s famed “goal of the century.” The player comments on this masterpiece—and its narrator—and the “Hand of God” goal scored against England, as well as Argentina’s triumph against West Germany in the 1986 World Cup final. Accompanied by colored photographs and captions with the player’s commentary. Contents and preface available online.

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  • Maradona, Diego, Daniel Arcucci, and Ernesto Cherquis Bialo. Maradona: The Autobiography of Soccer’s Greatest and Most Controversial Star. Translated by Marcela Mora y Araujo. New York: Skyhorse, 2007.

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    Although originally published in 2000, this English translation preserves the lunfardo used by Argentina’s most notable player to narrate his up-and-down career. Accompanied by color images, Maradona speaks of his humble beginnings in Villa Fiorito, early domestic success with Argentinos Juniors, frustrating stint with Barcelona FC, football glory with Napoli and the men’s national team in 1986, and the pain experienced after his expulsion from the 1994 World Cup.

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  • Menotti, César Luis. Fútbol sin trampa en conversaciones con Ángel Cappa. Barcelona: Muchnik, 1986.

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    Features a series of conversations between Menotti, the coach of the 1978 Argentine men’s national team that won the World Cup, and Ángel Cappa, his assistant for many coaching stints during the 1980s and 1990s. The book comments on the game’s relation to social class, particularly the individualized style associated with the pibe and potrero. Also includes commentary on the 1978 World Cup and the military dictatorship.

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  • Simeone, Diego. Creer: el desafío de superarse siempre. Barcelona: Planeta, 2016.

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    The former Argentine defensive midfielder essentially offers a guide to the game through a series of anecdotes on his professional playing days in Argentina, Spain, and Italy, time with the national team, and more recent managing experiences for teams like Atlético Madrid. First chapter available online.

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  • Suárez, Luis, Peter Jenson, and Sid Lowe. Crossing the Line: My Story. London: Headline, 2014.

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    The Uruguayan striker recounts his professional stints with Nacional, FC Groningen, AFC Ajax, and Liverpool before signing with FC Barcelona in 2014. Comments on his controversial on-field issues with the national team, among these, his handball against Ghana in the 2010 World Cup and the infamous biting episode against Giorgio Chiellini in the 2014 competition. Suárez also defends the racist accusations against him following his feud with Patrice Evra.

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Literature

Quiroga 2008 offers one of the earliest texts written on football. Other texts such as Borges and Casares 1976 and Benedetti 1984 provide writings from the region’s household names. Fontanarrosa 2013 compiles works from Argentina’s most established writer of football fiction, while Sacheri 2016 and Soriano 2008 provide English-language translations of other compatriots known for their writings on the sport. Casciari 2016 compiles numerous football texts in an interactive literary blog. Other translations, Cohen 2012, Fernández Moreno 2014, and Shua 1998, present football-themed tales from contemporary regional writers.

  • Benedetti, Mario. “Puntero izquierdo.” In Esta mañana; Montevideanos. By Mario Benedetti, 128–134. Madrid: Alfaguara, 1984.

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    Narrating from a hospital bed, the beaten protagonist of this short story—a left winger who fails to carry out a prearranged match result—hints at the sport’s historic violence and political ties. Served as the inspiration to the first segment of Andrés Wood’s film Historias de fútbol. For the Portuguese translation, see da Costa 2006 under Anthologies.

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  • Borges, Jorge Luis, and Adolfo Bioy Casares. “Esse est Percipi.” In Chronicles of Bustos Domecq. By Jorge Luis Borges and Adolfo Bioy Casares, 125–128. Translated by Norman Thomas di Giovanni. New York: Dutton, 1976.

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    Published originally in Spanish in 1967—see also Fontanarrosa 2011 under Anthologies—this short story’s narrator quickly notices the disappearance of Buenos Aires’s famed River Plate stadium. The tale hints at Borges’s well-known critical attitudes toward football as the protagonist then discovers that the sport is nothing more than a staged drama on television and radio.

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  • Casciari, Hernán. “Fútbol.” Editorial orsai. 5 April 2016.

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    Created by one of Argentina’s most established bloggers—perhaps best known for Diario de una mujer gorda—this football blog includes numerous short stories on the sport. The blog’s digital platform offers an interactive experience for users, including recorded “podcasts” of each text, embedded videos featuring football highlights, and comment sections that facilitate communication between Casciari and other readers.

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  • Cohen, Marcelo. “Magical Soccer.” Aethlon 30.1 (2012): 85–92.

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    This translation by Richard McGehee—Spanish-language text included in Fontanarrosa 2011 under Anthologies—offers a fantastical account of a player as he confronts an opposing goalkeeper. Fighting with a torrential downpour and a ferocious foe, Galissou fails to convert a crucial penalty kick. Available online by subscription.

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  • Fernández Moreno, Inés. “Miracle in Parque Chas.” Southern Review 50.3 (2014): 419–423.

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    This short story, translated by Richard McGehee, takes place in Buenos Aires’s Parque Chas. Listening to the broadcast of a match between Argentina and Brazil on his Walkman, the young narrator serves as an unreliable yet uplifting commentator for his compatriots after a storefront’s televisions lose reception. For Spanish text, see Fontanarrosa 2011 under Anthologies. Available online by subscription.

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  • Fontanarrosa, Roberto. Puro fútbol: todos sus cuentos de fútbol. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Planeta, 2013.

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    An anthology of short stories written by Argentina’s most well-known writer working with football. These Spanish-language texts capture the masculinist discourse traditionally associated with the sport, as well as Argentine colloquial language. The narratives demonstrate how soccer has become a central element in regional and cultural identity. Some have also served as the inspiration for Juan José Campanella’s animated film Metegol and the Argentine TV miniseries Los cuentos de Fontanarrosa.

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  • Quiroga, Horacio. “Juan Polti, half-back.” In Cuentos escogidos. By Horacio Quiroga, 523–525. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Alfaguara, 2008.

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    Like many of his other short stories, most notably those included in Cuentos de amor de locura y de muerte, this tale ends with a tragic demise, this time for Juan Polti, a halfback playing for Nacional de Montevideo. Originally published in Atlántida in 1918, the text represents one of the earliest dedicated to the sport. For the Portuguese translation, see da Costa 2006 under Anthologies.

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  • Sacheri, Eduardo. “A Smile Exactly like That.” Southern Review 52.3 (2016): 471–480.

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    Originally published in La vida que pensamos, the narrator of this selected translation by Richard McGehee recounts the Maracanaço—Uruguay’s upset victory against Brazil in the 1950 World Cup—to a young female love interest in a cafe in Buenos Aires. Available online by subscription.

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  • Shua, Ana María. “A Game of Soccer (193?) in the Back Yard of the Old House.” In The Book of Memories. By Ana María Shua, 21–31. Translated by Dick Gerdes. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1998.

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    This chapter from The Book of Memories—a text documenting the fictional accounts of the Rimetka family and often deemed a metaphor for collective memory in Argentina—presents a backyard pickup game between Argentine youths. Breaking from the traditional national myth of the masculine pibe, this story features Judith, a talented twelve-year-old with innate dribbling skills and a strong left foot. Available online by subscription.

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  • Soriano, Osvaldo. “The Longest Penalty Ever.” In The Global Game: Writers on Soccer. Edited by John Turnbull, Thom Satterlee, and Alon Raab, 88–95. Translated by Miranda Stramel. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2008.

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    Originally included in the author’s Spanish-language anthologies Arqueros, ilusionistas y goleadores and Cuentos de los años felices, as well as Valdano 1995 under Anthologies, this translation presents a wild match between the fictional Deportivo Belgrano and Estrella Polar. Unable to clear a late-match brawl, the referee rules that the game’s decisive penalty kick must be taken a week later. Adapted for Roberto Santiago’s film El penalti más largo del mundo.

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Secondary Sources

Besides the appearance of football in the region’s literary and cultural spheres, numerous critical studies examine the sport’s sociocultural impact, particularly from historical and sociological perspectives. Frydenberg 2011 identifies the early origins of the game in Argentina. Archetti 1999 and Alabarces 2008 employ sociological approaches to analyze the national narratives surrounding Argentine football, while Sasturain 2010 chronicles the ups and downs of the men’s national team. Levinsky 2016 provides a detailed history of the Argentine Football Association. Alabarces 2014 and Zucal 2010 explore themes of masculinity and violence in their football-themed studies, and Alabarces, et al. 1998 compiles essays on a number of social topics related with the sport in Argentina. In studies focused specifically on football in Buenos Aires, Gaffney 2008 provides a critical history of the capital’s stadiums and Rein 2015 examines the Jewish identity—see the separate Oxford Bibliographies article in Latin American Studies “The Jewish Presence in Latin America”—associated with Club Atlético Atlanta. For more on the history of football in Paraguay and Uruguay, see Campomar 2014 and Nadel 2014, both cited under General Overviews.

  • Alabarces, Pablo. Fútbol y patria: el fútbol y las narrativas de la nación en la Argentina. 4th ed. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Prometeo, 2008.

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    A fundamental text on the country’s national narratives of football, including discourses involving the supposed criollo style. Other chapters analyze the political role of the game during the Perón years, as well as its use under the military dictatorship of the 1970s and 1980s. Finally, the text offers analyses of more recent cultural phenomena such as the national popularity of Diego Maradona and the effects of globalization.

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  • Alabarces, Pablo. Héroes, machos y patriotas: el fútbol entre la violencia y los medios. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Aguilar, 2014.

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    Argentina’s most distinguished sociologist working with football offers a critical work on the sport and its relation to nationalism, masculinity, and these constructions in the media. Chapters explore national icons like Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi, the current issue of stadium violence, the masculine phenomenon of aguante, the government’s use of television and sport, and critical commentary on writers like Roberto Fontanarrosa, Osvaldo Soriano, and Eduardo Sacheri.

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  • Alabarces, Pablo, Roberto Di Giano, and Julio Frydenberg, eds. Deporte y sociedad. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Editorial Universitaria de Buenos Aires, 1998.

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    An edited collection of critical essays on football in Argentina. Divided into five sections, topics include the role of football in Argentine schools, as well its relation to history, politics, regional and local identity, globalization, and gender.

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  • Archetti, Eduardo P. Masculinities: Football, Polo and the Tango in Argentina. Oxford: Berg, 1999.

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    One of the most influential critical texts on football in Argentina, especially in terms of masculinist nationalism. The English-language work identifies the origins of nationalist discourse and its links to football, most notably the concept of the pibe and potrero, supposed mythical elements of the Argentine approach to the game. Additionally, offers an analysis of these concepts and their embodiment by players like Diego Maradona.

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  • Frydenberg, Julio. Historia social del fútbol: del amateurismo a la profesionalización. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Siglo Veintiuno Editores, 2011.

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    A thorough Spanish-language study on the early history of football in Argentina, from its arrival by way of the English in the mid-19th century until its professionalization in the early 20th century. While the first part explores the game’s British origins, the second explores the establishment of the country’s most popular club teams, notable players, and the effects of the sport on neighborhood, regional, and national identity.

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  • Gaffney, Christopher. Temples of the Earthbound Gods. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2008.

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    This study offers a critical exploration of football stadiums in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. Introductory chapter provides a general theoretical framework and history of these structures. Analyses on these constructions in the Argentine capital include photography, maps, and commentary on urban space, stadium behavior, sexuality, and the origins of barras bravas, the country’s most notorious fan groups. Available online by subscription.

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  • Levinsky, Sergio. AFA: el fútbol pasa, los negocios quedan. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Autoria Sherpa, 2016.

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    A thorough history of the Argentine Football Association. Organized chronologically, the text provides information on football’s origins in the country, professionalization, the establishment of the AFA, and the ties between the organization and the government. This includes chapters on Peronism, the military dictatorships of the 1970s and 1980s, and Kirchnerism, as well as writings on long-time AFA president Julio Grondona. Prologue, introduction, and first chapter available online.

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  • Rein, Raanan. Fútbol, Jews, and the Making of Argentina. Translated by Martha Grenzeback. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2015.

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    This English translation of the author’s Los bohemios de Villa Crespo offers a social history of Jews in Argentina through the lens of football. Accompanied by several photographs, the text considers how Club Atlético Atlanta—a team located in Buenos Aires’s Villa Crespo—helped to integrate Jews into Argentine culture. Introduction available online.

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  • Sasturain, Juan. La patria transpirada: Argentina en los Mundiales 1930–2010. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Editorial Sudamericana, 2010.

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    Written by one of Argentina’s most established football writers, this Spanish-language text chronicles the Argentine men’s national team and their multiple World Cup appearances from 1930 to 2010.

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  • Zucal, José Garriga. Nosotros nos peleamos: violencia e identidad de una hinchada de fútbol. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Prometeo, 2010.

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    An ethnographic study of barras bravas in Argentina, specifically those from Buenos Aires’s Club Atlético Huracán. Examines the fan behavior and identity associated with these groups, including analyses of masculine rituals of aguante and violence against supporters from rival teams.

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Brazil

Although it has been argued, legend has it that Brazilian football was founded when Charles Miller—born in São Paulo to a Scottish father and Brazilian mother—returned to his home country from a British boarding school with two footballs and a set of rules in 1895. In its early days, football functioned as an elite cultural entity, specifically in athletic clubs. Here, sportsmen used the game as a way of cultivating gentlemen. Although the working and immigrant classes were excluded from these venues, these social groups started their own clubs soon thereafter. By the late 1920s, these clubs were drawing crowds of around 35,000 supporters. Taking note of this mass popularity, Getúlio Vargas—with a coup in 1937, the leader established the Estado Novo (see the separate Oxford Bibliographies article in Latin American Studies “Getúlio Vargas”)—used football as an essential tool for constructing Brazilian national identity. During this time, discourses associated with racial democracy, principally the celebration of supposed Afro-Brazilian cultural elements, helped construct the national game as futebol arte. In between Vargas terms, the Brazilian men’s team would reach the 1950 World Cup final, but their Uruguayan opponents would upset them 2–1 in front of 200,000 supporters, now known as a national tragedy deemed the Maracanaço. Despite this, Brazil would experience a golden age during the late 1950s on into the 1970s. Led by icons such as Pelé and Garrincha, Brazil triumphed in the 1958, 1962, and 1970 World Cups. Similar to Vargas, General Emílio Garrastazu Médici would use football as a propagandistic tool, this time to equate the success of his military rule with that of the 1970 victory (see the separate Oxford Bibliographies article in Latin American Studies “Military Government in Latin America, 1959–1990”). The Brazilian government still relies on football as a way of generating national fervor and support, as proved by Lula and Dilma Rousseff’s recent coordination of the men’s World Cup in 2014. Nonetheless, the event has been plagued by protests, corruption scandals, and abandoned stadiums, not to mention Brazil’s 7–1 loss to Germany. However, the Brazilian men’s national team holds five World Cup titles, more than any other nation, and the women’s team has enjoyed continued success, qualifying for every World Cup competition since 1991 and placing second in 2007. Brazilian footballers such as Neymar, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, and Marta also represent some of the most talented and popular players in the world.

Primary Sources

Notable first-person accounts come from the stars of Brazil’s golden age, among these, Pelé and Tostão. Shared in the former’s two autobiographies, the success of the national team during this era, as well as the numerous friendly matches played abroad by Pelé and his Santos squad, helped Brazilian football to become one of the world’s most popular sporting spectacles. Domestically, these international titles also boosted Brazilian nationalism. This national sentiment, as well as the social identity associated with regional clubs, represent common themes in the country’s primary literary texts dedicated to football.

Autobiographies

While Nascimento and Fish 2007 covers Pelé’s youth, national, and professional career, Nascimento, et al. 2006 offers a similar first-person account accompanied by an overview of the player’s more recent off-field accomplishments. Tostão 2016 uses memory to explore the evolution of Brazilian football.

  • Nascimento, Edson Arantes do, Orlando Duarte, and Alex Bellos. Pelé: The Autobiography. Translated by Daniel Hahn. London: Simon & Schuster, 2006.

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    Accompanied by color photos and an appendix that lists the player’s goals, Pelé comments on his early days playing on the streets of Bauru, World Cup triumph at the age of seventeen, injury and sidelining from the 1962 competition, success with Santos FC, repeated World Cup glory in 1970, race and poverty in Brazil, and his off-field accomplishments as Extraordinary Minister of Sport. Preview available online.

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  • Nascimento, Edson Arantes do, and Robert L. Fish. My Life and the Beautiful Game: The Autobiography of Soccer’s Greatest Star. 2d ed. New York: Skyhorse, 2007.

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    Originally published in 1977, this autobiography includes a poem by Pelé, black-and-white photographs, and an appendix detailing the Brazilian’s appearances and goals. The player comments on beginnings in Bauru, World Cup appearances in 1958, 1962, 1966, and 1970, success with Santos FC, and his stint with the New York Cosmos. Also shares his thoughts on his first marriage, family, nickname, and race in Brazil.

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  • Tostão. Tempos vividos, sonhados e perdidos: um olhar sobre o futebol. São Paulo, Brazil: Companhia das Letras, 2016.

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    Although the introduction states that the text is not an autobiography, Tostão uses his memories as a child, player, doctor, commentator, columnist, and citizen to explore the evolution of Brazilian football. These memories include his time playing under coaches like João Saldanha and Mário Zagallo, World Cup triumph in 1970 alongside Pelé, and work with TV Bandeirantes, ESPN Brasil, and Folha de S.Paulo. Introduction and first chapter available online.

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Literature

Machado 1978 offers a poem that elevates the on-field feats of the nation’s masculine heroes. Chronicles included in Rodrigues 2013a demonstrate the nationalist sentiment produced by football and concepts such as futebol arte. Filho 2010 considers the supposed Afro-Brazilian elements of this national narrative. Texts such as Rodrigues 2013b reflect on Brazil’s vast football archive and past. Amado 2010, Lispector 2015, and Sant’Anna 2016 offer tales that reference the country’s most recognizable football personalities and venues. Laub 2006 and Prata 2005 present the regional and social identity involved with some of Brazil’s most popular clubs.

  • Amado, Jorge. “The Soccer Ball and the Goalkeeper.” World Literature Today 84.4 (2010): 23–25.

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    A children’s tale by one of Brazil’s most important modernist writers. Despite being directed at younger audiences, this translation offers several subtle references to Brazilian football lore, including Pelé’s thousandth goal. By incorporating a number of goal-related terms in Portuguese, the story also demonstrates the sport’s varying lexicon in the country. Translated by Richard McGehee. Available online by subscription.

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  • Coutinho, Edilberto. Bye, Bye Soccer. Translated by Wilson Loria. Austin, TX: Host Publications, 1994.

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    A translation of the acclaimed Maracanã, adeus, published originally in 1980 and the winner of the prestigious Casa de las Americas prize. This volume of football-themed short stories mixes fiction with appearances by some of Brazil’s real-life greats, including Pelé and Garrincha. While some texts demonstrate the game’s immense popularity within the country, others present how this has led to its manipulation by businessmen and politicians.

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  • Filho, Mário. O negro no futebol brasileiro. 5th ed. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Mauad, 2010.

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    Originally published in 1947 with a preface by Gilberto Freyre, the text represents one of the first to recognize the impact and struggle of Afro-Brazilian players in the country. Although often considered a secondary source, Filho weaves history, chronicle, and narrative to form a romanticized account of these participants, suggesting that their integration proves essential to the development of a uniquely Brazilian style and nation.

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  • Laub, Michel. O segundo tempo. São Paulo, Brazil: Companhia das Letras, 2006.

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    This contemporary football novel intertwines two tragic events in the narrator’s life, the divorce of his parents and the loss of his favorite football club. Revolves around the real-life gaúcho rivalry between Sport Club Internacional and Grêmio Foot-ball Porto Alegrense. The narrator struggles with the latter’s loss in the famed Gre-Nal do século, played in 1989. First chapter available online.

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  • Lispector, Clarice. “In Search of a Dignity.” In The Complete Stories. By Clarice Lispector, 415–426. Translated by Katrina Dodson. New York: New Directions, 2015.

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    Written by one of Brazil’s most celebrated writers of the 20th century, the protagonist of this short story gets lost inside of Rio de Janeiro’s famed Maracanã.

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  • Machado, Gilka. “Aos heróis do futebol brasileiro.” In Poesias completas. By Gilka Machado, 200–202. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Cátedra, 1978.

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    Written in 1938, this poem celebrates the so-called masculine heroes of Brazil’s national team that placed third at the 1938 World Cup. Includes stanzas dedicated to Leônidas da Silva, the competition’s leading goal scorer and one of the first black footballers to achieve recognized success in the country, feats that further challenged the sport’s historic elitist ties.

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  • Prata, Mario. Palmeiras – um caso de amor. 2d ed. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Ediouro, 2005.

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    Part of a series dedicated to Brazil’s most popular club teams, this hybrid text features a Romeo and Juliet-like short story between “lovers” of São Paulo’s Corinthians and Palmeiras. Includes drawings by Beto Faria, as well as appendices dedicated to the history of the latter club. Served as the inspiration for Bruno Barreto’s 2005 film O casamento de Romeu e Julieta.

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  • Rodrigues, Nelson. A pátria de chuteiras. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Nova Fronteira, 2013a.

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    Originally available on the Brazilian government’s “Portal da Copa” before the 2014 World Cup, this text features writings by the country’s most legendary football chronicler. Compiles notable chronicles from Brazil’s golden age and includes selections from the author’s Personagem da semana column, texts that gave Pelé his royal nickname and highlighted the artful skills of Garrincha. Each entry includes footnotes that explain match details and results.

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  • Rodrigues, Sérgio. O drible. São Paulo, Brazil: Companhia das Letras, 2013b.

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    This acclaimed novel—winner of the 2014 Prêmio Portugal Telecom de Literatura—features a protagonist facing the death of his father, a renowned football chronicler. At his father’s dying side, both reader and son experience a narrative exploration of some of Brazil’s most significant football writings and events. First pages available online.

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  • Sant’Anna, Sérgio. “In the Mouth of the Tunnel.” In Idols and Underdogs. Edited by Shawn Stein and Nicolás Campisi, 53–83. Translated by George Shivers, Shawn Stein, and Richard McGehee. Glasgow: Freight Books, 2016.

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    In this short story, the inner thoughts of the protagonist exteriorize the pressures of coaching in Brazil. Not only this, the stream-of-consciousness narration provides the reader with a Brazilian cultural imaginary of futebol, including the impact of footballing greats Sócrates and Rivelino, São Paulo’s famed Corinthians, and intertextual references to songs like “Meio-de-campo” by Gilberto Gil.

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Secondary Sources

Bellos 2014, Bocketti 2016, Goldblatt 2014, Kittleson 2014, and Wisnik 2008 all provide excellent historical overviews of football in Brazil, including its origins and links to nationalism. Helal, et al. 2001 examines the role of media and race in these nationalist constructions. DaMatta, et al. 1982 and Lever 1995 offer more sociological approaches to the sport, particularly the game’s social impact and parallels with everyday Brazilian life. Fontes and Buarque de Hollanda 2014 and Zirin 2016 offer similar analyses to those mentioned, but also others dedicated to the social and cultural impact of the country’s recent coordination of the 2014 World Cup, particularly the resulting changes within stadiums and surrounding neighborhoods, as well as civil unrest and political corruption.

  • Bellos, Alex. Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life. Rev. ed. New York: Bloomsbury, 2014.

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    A journalistic study, this text—accompanied by several color photographs—provides a historical overview of football in Brazil, including the game’s origins in the country, a recap of the tragic Maracanaço, an explanation of futebol arte, and bio pieces on Pelé, Garrincha, and Sócrates.

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  • Bocketti, Gregg. The Invention of the Beautiful Game: Football and the Making of Modern Brazil. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2016.

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    The study traces the origins of Brazil’s so-called beautiful game. Considers the role of the sport as a central element in national identity, particularly at the turn of the century, the Vargas years, and the country’s golden football era. Includes analyses on the game’s early sportsmen and torcedores, and an epilogue dedicated to the current state of futebol arte during the country’s recent World Cup. Available online by subscription.

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  • DaMatta, Roberto, Luiz Felipe Baêta Neves Flores, Simoni Lahud Guedes, and Arno Vogel, eds. Universo do futebol: esporte e sociedade brasileira. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Pinakotheke, 1982.

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    One of the founding sociological studies on Brazilian football, this edited collection of Portuguese-language essays includes an introduction by Roberto DaMatta and other writings considering the sport’s relation to nationalism, social identity, politics, and its parallels with the country’s everyday life.

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  • Fontes, Paulo, and Bernardo Buarque de Hollanda, eds. The Country of Football: Politics, Popular Culture & the Beautiful Game in Brazil. London: C. Hurst, 2014.

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    An essential collection of essays—some translated from Portuguese—on the past and current state of football in Brazil. A preface by Richard Giulianotti preludes selections that cover topics such as the sport’s ties to nationalism, professionalism, the military dictatorship of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, as well as important essays on stadium policy and the social impact of the country’s coordination of the 1950 and 2014 World Cups.

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  • Goldblatt, David. Futebol Nation: The Story of Brazil through Soccer. New York: Nation Books, 2014.

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    A chronological historical overview of Brazilian football, including essays on the invention of the beautiful game and its role during the Vargas years, the military dictatorships, and more recent democratic era. These chapters also cleverly weave references to the country’s football-themed popular culture into its pages.

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  • Helal, Ronaldo, Antonio Jorge Soares, and Hugo Lovisolo, eds. A invenção do país do futebol: Mídia, raça e idolatria. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Mauad, 2001.

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    A collection of Portuguese-language essays that consider the role of the media, race, and the country’s most famed footballers in linking football and nation. Key essays offer critical analyses of Mário Filho’s O negro no futebol brasileiro, racism in the 1920s, and the media’s role in constructing the country’s national football myths.

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  • Kittleson, Roger. The Country of Football: Soccer and the Making of Modern Brazil. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014.

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    A chronological overview of football in Brazil, specifically during the country’s key social and political movements of the 20th and 21st centuries. Chapters analyze how the sport became linked with Brasilidade, the national pride stimulated during the golden era, its use during the military dictatorships, and its commercialization—particularly Nike’s branding of the game as jogo bonito—in recent years. Available online by subscription.

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  • Lever, Janet. Soccer Madness: Brazil’s Passion for the World’s Most Popular Sport. 2d ed. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press, 1995.

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    One of the first English-language studies dedicated to football in Brazil. Chapters consider the sport as a nationalist institution, its capabilities for stimulating social integration, role in cities such as Rio de Janeiro, popular icons, and fandom.

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  • Wisnik, José Miguel. Veneno remédio: o futebol e o Brasil. São Paulo, Brazil: Companhia das Letras, 2008.

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    A comprehensive Portuguese-language overview of Brazilian football. Approaches the game’s origins and reinvention in Brazil, the role of key footballing icons, the discursive impact of the country’s literary and chronicling legends, and the game’s relation to Brazilian identity, politics, economy, and behavior. Sample available online.

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  • Zirin, Dave. Brazil’s Dance with the Devil: The World Cup, the Olympics, and the Fight for Democracy. 2d ed. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2016.

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    A journalistic study of Brazilian football, particularly leading up to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games hosted in the country. This includes its role under Lula and Rousseff. Considers key social dilemmas resulting from the coordination of these mega-events, among these, protests, the gentrification of favelas, corruption, and abandoned stadiums. Also offers pieces on football icons such as Pelé, Garrincha, and Sócrates, as well as the women’s game.

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Mexico and Central America

Other than Nicaragua and Panama, nations where baseball reigns supreme, football serves as the most popular sport in the region. Like other regional histories, immigrants represented the game’s first practitioners. In Mexico, during the Porfiriato (see the separate Oxford Bibliographies article in Latin American Studies “The Era of Porfirio Díaz, 1876–1911”), British and Scottish engineers formed the country’s first clubs in cities like Pachuca and others were later established in the capital. Likewise, expatriates in neighboring Central American countries—drawn to the region primarily for its coffee and banana industries—introduced the game. The game started as an elite cultural entity and many clubs were solely controlled by English-speaking or Ladino communities belonging to the wealthy upper-classes. However, the sport quickly became popular among the masses. Following the Mexican Revolution (see the separate Oxford Bibliographies article in Latin American Studies “The Mexican Revolution, 1910–1940”), the establishment of the Mexican Federation of Association Football (FMF) in 1927 helped to nationalize the game in Mexico, while the national team’s participation in the first World Cup in 1930 allowed for the country to appear on the international stage. The men’s national team has experienced mild success in recent years, and although these teams have failed to win the tournament, Mexican fans are known worldwide for their fervor and faithful attendances. Football has also boosted nationalism in neighboring Costa Rica and Honduras, and in the case of the latter, the sport has provided a site of visibility and inclusion for historically marginalized Afro-Hondurans. However, rather limited success has often weakened the sport’s links with national sentiment. For example, only Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, and Panama have qualified for the final tournament. Historical and political conflict also tend to heighten regional football rivalries. For instance, a 1970 World Cup qualifier played between Honduras and El Salvador led to the so-called Football War. Furthermore, recent games involving the United States and Mexico have fueled a significant rivalry since the 1990s, often dramatizing border tensions (see the separate Oxford Bibliographies article in Latin American Studies “Mexican-US Relations”). Mexico’s Liga MX fields the region’s most talented professional clubs and numerous international players. Women’s football in Costa Rica and Mexico share a storied history, and while these national teams have qualified for various World Cups, the two also currently feature ligas femeninas. Also worth mentioning is the significant rise in female spectatorship in recent years, particularly in Mexico.

Primary Sources

Most football literature originates from Mexico, including work from some of the country’s most notable writers. Like other Mexican fictional texts—one thinks of titles like Juan Rulfo’s Pedro Páramo or more recent narco fictions—violence and ghosts represent common elements of some football works. For instance, see Castañeda 2013 and Villoro 2016. For a Nicaraguan example of football’s off-field violence, see Ramírez 2008. While fictional texts such as Palou 1997 suggest the absurd state of football in times of globalization, Leñero 1996 features a one-act play that exhibits the game’s masculine personalities and discourse. The poetic verses of Belli 2012 celebrate these men’s supposed on-field heroics. The Mexican chronicle also represents a popular literary genre (see the separate Oxford Bibliographies article in Latin American Studies “The Chronicle”), especially when it comes to challenging the “official” accounts of football disseminated in the country’s media outlets. Loaeza 2002, Monsiváis 1986, and Villoro and Caparrós 2012 offer chronicled accounts of the Mexican men’s national team during the 1986, 2002, and 2010 World Cups. Serna 2008 also challenges the sport’s traditional powers, this time, football’s governing bodies.

  • Belli, Gioconda. “Fútbol.” In Un balón envenenado. Edited by Luis García Montero and Jesús García Sánchez, 48–49. Madrid: Visor Libros, 2012.

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    Written by one of Nicaragua’s most accomplished contemporary writers, this poem celebrates football’s on-field heroes, equating them with gods such as Mercury. Suggests the sport’s parallels with religion, but also offers an objectifying gaze of the male athletic body. See also Montero and García Sánchez 2012 under Anthologies.

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  • Castañeda, Ricardo Chávez. “El final del futbol.” In Ladrón de niños y otros cuentos. By Ricardo Chávez Castañeda, 43–62. Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2013.

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    Written by a member of Mexico’s Generación del crack, this short story suggests football’s darker side. Over the years, Fernanda, a journalist and the tale’s narrator, has compiled stories that document the sport’s violent history, including on-field deaths, the 1985 tunnel 29 tragedy at the Estadio Olímpico Universitario, and the murder of Colombia’s Andrés Escobar. For her next piece, she travels to a small town with a bloody football past.

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  • Leñero, Vicente. “Gol.” In Los perdedores. By Vicente Leñero, 101–115. Mexico City: Ediciones El Milagro, 1996.

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    Written by one of Mexico’s most established playwrights, this one-act play takes place on a run-down football field in the capital. The goalie shouts orders at his teammates as he simultaneously converses with his friend Joel behind goal. Speaking about their sexual escapades, the dialogue exhibits the sport’s typical homosocial discourse. Also included in Reyes and Fuentes 1998 under Anthologies.

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  • Loaeza, Guadalupe. “Las viudas del futbol/Pobres de nosotras.” El Norte, 1 June 2002.

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    First of a series of chronicles published in El Norte that follows the Mexican men’s national team during the 2002 World Cup. Demonstrating the genre’s hybrid nature, these humorous texts document Mexico’s emotional highs and lows during tournament matches as seen through the eyes of Sofía, the series’ fictional protagonist. Available online by subscription.

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  • Monsiváis, Carlos. “¡¡¡Goool!!! Somos el desmadre.” Cuadernos Políticos 47 (1986): 57–73.

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    Written by Mexico’s most beloved chronicler, and also included in Entrada libre, these texts chronicle the country’s coordination of the 1986 men’s World Cup, less than a year after the catastrophic Mexico City earthquake. These writings capture the author’s witty and humorous observations of Mexican fan behavior during the tournament, including celebrations at the Angel of Independence and the booing of failing government officials within stadium walls.

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  • Palou, Pedro Ángel. El último campeonato mundial. Mexico City: Editorial Aldus, 1997.

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    Authored by a member of Mexico’s Generación del crack, this absurd novel presents the world’s last football championship. Taking place in the fictional kingdom of Holenia, the post-nationalistic tournament includes teams of (un)known writers, musicians, philosophers, and footballers, as well as skinheads and hooligans.

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  • Ramírez, Sergio. “Pibe Cabriola.” Aethlon 26.1 (2008): 11.

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    This short story features two strikers with separate fates. One sustains success and serves to narrate the other’s tragic fall. The latter, Pibe Cabriola, mistakenly scores his own goal in an elimination game of the World Cup, an unforgivable error for many of his compatriots. The tale hints at the enormous pressures and threats experienced by players that fail to perform. Translated by Richard McGehee. Available online by subscription.

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  • Serna, Enrique. “Orgías futboleras.” In Giros negros. By Enrique Serna, 61–63. Mexico City: Cal y Arena, 2008.

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    This short essay explores the homoaffective touches shared by footballers—particularly post-goal celebratory embraces—and the institutional forces that attempt to suppress these friendly actions.

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  • Villoro, Juan. “The Ghost on the Edge.” In Idols and Underdogs. Edited by Shawn Stein and Nicolás Campisi, 153–175. Translated by George Shivers, Shawn Stein, and Richard McGehee. Glasgow: Freight Books, 2016.

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    Authored by Mexico’s most established football writer, this short story’s picturesque descriptions and end-of-the-world setting suggest the desolate territory experienced by a has-been left winger converted coach in Mexico’s second division.

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  • Villoro, Juan, and Martín Caparrós. Ida y vuelta: una correspondencia sobre fútbol. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Seix Barral, 2012.

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    A published correspondence between some of Mexico and Argentina’s most established football writers, these back-and-forth exchanges document the 2010 World Cup held in South Africa. This includes commentary on Mexican fans, players, and the national team’s 3–1 loss to Argentina.

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Secondary Sources

Most scholarship on football in the region focuses on Mexico. Gómez 2010, Magazine 2007, and Pasteur 2010 analyze football’s links to nationalism and social identity, and additionally offer ethnographic analyses of some of the country’s most popular club teams and fans. Murayama 2014 provides an economic overview of football within the country and other regions. While Kassing and Meân 2017 breaks down Mexico’s football rivalry with the United States, Poblete 2015 explores the game and its participants within US border zones. Gaitán 2006 offers a historical overview of football’s early years in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Costa Rica, while McGehee 2002 traces its origins in Nicaragua. Fiengo 2015 and García 2006 examine themes of nationalism and masculinity in Costa Rica. For a detailed history of football in Honduras, see Nadel 2014 under General Overviews.

  • Fiengo, Sergio Villena. “(F)Utopias: The Nationalist Uses of Soccer in Costa Rica.” Translated by Katherine Clarkson. In Sports and Nationalism in Latin/o America. Edited by Héctor Fernández L’Hoeste, Robert McKee Irwin, and Juan Poblete, 67–84. New York: Palgrave, 2015.

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    Written by Costa Rica’s leading football scholar, this article provides an overview of the nationalist uses of football in the country. Broken up into four main parts, it explores the sport’s origins, its nationalization in the 1920s, and key international performances by the men’s national team. Included in L’Hoeste, et al. 2015 under Edited Collections.

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  • Gaitán, Chester Urbina. “Fútbol e identidad nacional en Centroamérica: un análisis comparativo de los casos de Guatemala, El Salvador y Costa Rica.” Revista de Ciencias Sociales 3–4.113–114 (2006): 177–187.

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    A comparative analysis of football and national identity in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Costa Rica, specifically during the first half of the 20th century.

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  • García, Carlos Sandoval. Fuera de juego: fútbol, identidades nacionales y masculinidades en Costa Rica. San José, Costa Rica: UCR, Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales, 2006.

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    A sound sociological study on football and masculine identity in Costa Rica. Topics include the sport’s relation to nationalism, hegemonic masculinity, homosociality, and homophobia, as well as the representation of the male body.

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  • Gómez, Arturo Santamaría. Futbol, emigrantes y neonacionalismo. Culiacán, Mexico: Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa, 2010.

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    A Spanish-language study analyzing questions of football and national identity, particularly in Mexico, the United States, and US-Mexico border regions. Chapters include an overview of supposed national approaches to the game, a symbolic interpretation of the US-Mexico football rivalry and the Mexican-American War, and the sport’s role in immigrant communities.

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  • Kassing, Jeffrey W., and Lindsey J. Meân, eds. Perspectives on the U.S.-Mexico Soccer Rivalry: Passion and Politics in Red, White, Blue, and Green. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave, 2017.

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    An edited collection of critical essays dedicated to the US-Mexico football rivalry. Works consider rivalry’s history, media representations, and symbolic connections to political and border conflicts, as well as studies on fandom, national myths and identity, women’s football in Mexico, and gender. Available online by subscription.

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  • Magazine, Roger. Golden and Blue Like My Heart: Masculinity, Youth, and Power among Soccer Fans in Mexico City. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2007.

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    An ethnographic study of fandom in Mexico. Focuses specifically on fan groups of Pumas de la UNAM, Mexico City’s popular club team that is affiliated with the country’s largest university. Examines the group’s fan practices and their relation to masculine, urban, and social identity.

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  • McGehee, Richard. “Sport in Nicaragua, 1889–1926.” In Sport in Latin America and the Caribbean. Edited by Joseph L. Arbena and David G. LaFrance, 175–205. Wilmington, DE: Jaguar Books, 2002.

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    A historic overview of the origins of sport in Nicaragua. Although baseball represents the country’s national sport, the study provides a short section on Nicaraguan football. Included in Arbena and LaFrance 2002 under Edited Collections.

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  • Murayama, Ciro. La economía del futbol. Mexico City: Cal y Arena, 2014.

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    An economic study of football in Mexico and other Latin American regions. Topics include the economic aspects of the transfer market, the lucrative business of televising these sporting spectacles, and the game’s rampant corruption.

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  • Pasteur, Gabriel Angelotti. Chivas y Tuzos. Íconos de México: Identidades colectivas y capitalismo de compadres en el futbol nacional. Zamora, Mexico: El Colegio de Michoacán, 2010.

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    A historical and sociological overview of sport and football in Mexico. While the preliminary chapters examine football’s role during the Porfiriato, the Mexican Revolution, and the latter half of the 20th century, others offer ethnographic approaches to two of the country’s most popular and historic clubs, Club de Fútbol Pachuca and Club Deportivo Guadalajara (Chivas).

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  • Poblete, Juan. “Latino Soccer, Nationalism, and Border Zones in the United States.” In Sports and Nationalism in Latin/o America. Edited by Héctor Fernández L’Hoeste, Robert McKee Irwin, and Juan Poblete, 269–288. New York: Palgrave, 2015.

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    This article offers an ethnographic study of football and border zones in the United States. Focuses first on nonprofessional Latino players located within what the author deems internalized border zones, in this case, the pitch. Also explores the border phenomenon associated with international competitions involving the United States and Latino rivals. Included in L’Hoeste, et al. 2015 under Edited Collections.

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Andean Regions

As early as 1872, British expatriates were playing football in Lima, Peru, and soon others were to follow. Throughout the region, the sport among elites became a tool for modernization, but by the early 20th century, in many cases, the sport’s popularization and the establishment of club teams allowed participants to form social bonds based on class, professional, and political identities. Likewise, international competitions linked football with nationalism. In Chile, the country’s coordination of the 1962 men’s World Cup and the national team’s third-place finish boosted these sentiments. However, like Argentina and Brazil, football also served as a political tool for military dictatorships (see the separate Oxford Bibliographies article in Latin American Studies “Military Government in Latin America, 1959–1990”). Following the coup of Salvador Allende’s government in 1973, Augusto Pinochet quickly converted Santiago’s Estadio Nacional into a concentration camp for political dissidents. Despite this, the Chilean men’s squad has more recently won the 2015 and 2016 Copa América competitions. Colombian football traces its origins to the port city of Barranquilla. The country’s professional league boosted the game’s popularity during the early 1950s, but the sport failed to generate significant national fervor until the 1980s, specifically with increased investment in domestic clubs and local talent. This economic backing came primarily from drug cartels (see the separate Oxford Bibliographies article in Latin American Studies “Drug Trades in Latin America”), the most notable case involving Pablo Escobar’s support of Medellin’s Atlético Nacional. Prior to the 1994 World Cup, the national team ranked fourth in the world, and more recent success by both the men’s and women’s squads in the 2014 and 2015 competitions has helped to consolidate Colombian nationalism through football. Racial, ethnic, religious, and regional difference and exclusion has historically helped to sideline the sport’s connection to nationalism in Ecuador. However, competitive runs by the men’s national team in recent World Cups have helped strengthen a sense of national unity. The Peruvian national squad experienced mild international success during the 1970s and 1980s, and the team’s multi-ethnic composition served the nationalist discourse of the Revolutionary Government of the Armed Forces. However, both Peru and Bolivia have experienced little international success in recent years, despite the game’s domestic popularity. As far as the women’s game goes, besides Colombia, only Ecuador’s side has qualified for the women’s World Cup, suggesting the sport’s lack of support within the region.

Primary Sources

Football’s popularity in the Andean region has led to numerous narrative explorations of the sport, most notably in Chile and Peru. Del Riego 1987 offers one of the region’s first texts dedicated to football, a poem originally published in 1922 and written with futurist influence. Bolaño 2012 and Lemebel 2014 provide short stories written by some of Chile’s most internationally recognized fiction writers. Goldemberg 1985, Skármeta 1985, Roncagliolo 2014, and Vidal 2013 provide novelized accounts that explore the game’s relation to the region’s military dictatorships and national identity. Other novels such as Romero 2009 present the influence of drug money in soccer, specifically in Colombia. Finally, Pallares 2016 and Soldán 2016 offer football-themed short stories from Ecuador and Bolivia, respectively.

  • Bolaño, Roberto. “Buba.” In The Return. 2d ed. By Roberto Bolaño, 153–180. Translated by Chris Andrews. London: Picador, 2012.

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    Written by one of Chile’s most celebrated writers and included originally in the author’s anthology entitled Putas asesinas. This short story’s narrator—a Chilean left-winger now playing professionally in Barcelona—shares his encounters with teammate Buba, a recently signed African midfielder with a peculiar pre-match ritual. Original text in Spanish available online by subscription.

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  • Goldemberg, Issac. Play by Play. Translated by Hardie St. Martin. New York: Persea Books, 1985.

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    The novel follows Marquitos Karushansky Ávila as he comes to terms with his Jewish and Peruvian identity. To present this, the chapters oscillate between the youth’s experiences at a military academy and a match involving the Peruvian and Brazilian national teams, the latter including the likes of Pelé, Garrincha, Didí, and Vavá. A translation of the acclaimed Tiempo al tiempo.

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  • Lemebel, Pedro. “How Could I Not Love You (or the Micropolitics of Soccer Fans’ Gangs).” In The Chile Reader: History, Culture, Politics. Edited by Elizabeth Quay Hutchinson, Thomas Miller Klubock, Nara B. Milanich, and Peter Winn, 493–497. Translated by Beatriz E. Rodríguez-Balanta. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014.

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    Narrated from the stands, this short story queers a Chilean football match, at times in explicitly sexual terms. Suggests the queer elements of the game, among these, the embraces shared between male fans and chants directed at fellow and opposing supporters. Original Spanish text can be found in the author’s La esquina es mi corazón.

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  • Pallares, José Hidalgo. “The Idol.” In Idols and Underdogs. Edited by Shawn Stein and Nicolás Campisi, 135–146. Glasgow: Freight Books, 2016.

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    Written by the same author as the football-themed novel Sábados de fútbol, this short story is narrated by a fan of Rumiñahui, a fictional team from Quito. The tale presents the love-hate relationship shared between team followers and their idols, and it hints at the country’s regional tensions, often heightened during matches involving clubs from Quito and Guayaquil.

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  • del Riego, Juan Parra. “Polirritmo dinámico a Gradín, jugador de fútbol.” In Polirritmos y otros poemas. By Juan Parra del Riego, 37–40. Lima, Peru: Instituto Nacional de Cultura, 1987.

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    Written in a futurist manner and first published in 1922, this poem celebrates the bullet-like quickness of Isabelino Gradín, one of the first black football players and member of the 1916 Uruguayan national team that won the South American championship.

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  • Romero, Ricardo Silva. Autogol. Bogotá, Colombia: Alfaguara, 2009.

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    Authored by one of Colombia’s most recognized contemporary writers, this lengthy novel surrounds the assassination of Andrés Escobar, the Colombian center-back who scored on his own goal during the national team’s loss to the United States in the 1994 World Cup.

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  • Roncagliolo, Santiago. La pena máxima. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Alfaguara, 2014.

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    This detective novel—written by the winner of the 2006 Premio Alfaguara—preludes the author’s acclaimed Abril rojo. Protagonist Félix Chacaltana witnesses first-hand the atrocities committed by Jorge Videla’s military dictatorship as the narrative’s action coincides with 1978 World Cup tournament, including the Argentine national team’s questionable 6–1 upset over their formidable Peruvian opponents.

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  • Skármeta, Antonio. I Dreamt the Snow Was Burning. Translated by Malcolm Coad. London: Readers International, 1985.

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    A translation of Soñé que la nieve ardía, published originally in 1975. The political turmoil created by Augusto Pinochet’s military dictatorship serves as the backdrop of this novel as the footballing protagonist tries to find his place on a professional team in Santiago.

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  • Soldán, Edmundo Paz. “Just like Life.” In Idols and Underdogs. Edited by Shawn Stein and Nicolás Campisi, 35–46. Glasgow: Freight Books, 2016.

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    A football-themed short story written by one of Bolivia’s most established contemporary writers. The text presents an on-field murder from multiple perspectives, forcing the reader to piece together the tragic denouement. Hints at current issues of fan violence related to the sport.

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  • Vidal, Nicolás. La luz oscura. Santiago, Chile: LOM Ediciones, 2013.

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    Santiago’s Estadio Nacional serves a key narrative backdrop for this novel. Matías, the protagonist, considers the disparate memories of torture and sporting leisure associated with the stadium.

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Secondary Sources

In comparison with Brazil and the Río de la Plata region, fewer significant scholarly studies on football exist in the Andean region. Carrión, et al. 2006; Elsey 2011; and Panfichi 2008 offer the most thorough editions on the topic, analyzing football-themed social and cultural topics in Ecuador, Chile, and Peru, respectively. Dávila and Londoño 2003 and L’Hoeste 2015 offer important critical essays on football and Colombian nationalism, and Salcedo and Ruiz 2007 explores barras bravas in the country’s capital city. While Guarello and O’Nell 2008 and Marín 2007 provide historical overviews of Chilean football, Lucay and Quezada Jara 2010 considers the use of the sport during Augusto Pinochet’s military dictatorship. Stein 2002 analyzes the social effects of the game during its early years in Lima.

  • Carrión, Fernando, Raúl Pérez Torres, Kinto Lucas, and Pablo Samaniego, eds. Biblioteca del fútbol ecuatoriano. 5 vols. Quito, Ecuador: FLACSO, 2006.

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    This scholarly project dedicated to Ecuadorean football is divided up into five volumes that analyze the sport’s relation to literature, journalism, economy, history, and society. Each volume is also accompanied by numerous photographs related to the topic.

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  • Dávila, Andrés, and Catalina Londoño. “La nación bajo un uniforme: fútbol e identidad nacional en Colombia 1985–2000.” In Futbologías: fútbol, identidad y violencia en América Latina. Edited by Pablo Alabarces, 123–143. Buenos Aires, Argentina: CLACSO, 2003.

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    This critical work—published in Spanish—provides a brief historical overview of football in Colombia and an analysis of the sport’s role in forging Colombian national identity, specifically between 1985 and 2000. Included in Alabarces 2003 under Edited Collections.

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  • Elsey, Brenda. Citizens & Sportsmen: Fútbol & Politics in 20th-Century Chile. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2011.

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    An excellent English-language overview of football in Chile. Broken up into chronological analyses, study considers how the sport and Chilean club teams have helped to integrate working classes into urban politics, as well as offer a space for political identity and critique. Also includes chapters dedicated to the function of football during the Allende and Pinochet years.

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  • Guarello, Juan Cristóbal, and Luis Urrutia O’Nell, eds. Anecdotario del fútbol chileno. Santiago, Chile: Ediciones B, 2008.

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    A Spanish-language anthology of writings on Chilean football, including entries dedicated to past players, coaches, journalists, rivalries, and international competitions such as the World Cup and the Copa Libertadores.

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  • L’Hoeste, Héctor Fernández. “Race, Sports, and Regionalism in the Construction of Colombian Nationalism.” In Sports and Nationalism in Latin/o America. Edited by Héctor Fernández L’Hoeste, Robert McKee Irwin, and Juan Poblete, 85–105. New York: Palgrave, 2015.

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    Provides a historical overview of sports and its links to Colombian nationalism, focusing primarily on boxing, cycling, and football. Covers the latter’s origins, the so-called El Dorado era of the 1950s, and the popular rise stimulated by increased investment in domestic clubs and local talent, specifically by the country’s drug cartels. Included in L’Hoeste, et al. 2015 under Edited Collections.

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  • Lucay, Carlos González, and Braian Quezada Jara, eds. A discreción: viaje al corazón del fútbol chileno bajo la dictadura militar. Santiago, Chile: Editorial Forja, 2010.

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    An analysis of the role of football during Augusto Pinochet’s military dictatorship. Journalistic in nature, this collection includes writings from football historians and scholars, as well as testimonies from those living under the regime.

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  • Marín, Edgardo, ed. Historia del deporte chileno: entre la ilusión y la pasión. Santiago, Chile: Cuadernos Bicentenario, 2007.

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    A chronological history of Chilean sport from its origins in the late 19th century until 2006. Accompanied by numerous photos and statistics, the Spanish-language text includes sections dedicated to football’s early days, the 1962 World Cup, and the mild success experienced by the men’s national team during the 1990s and early 2000s.

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  • Panfichi, Aldo, ed. Ese gol existe: una mirada al Perú a través del fútbol. Lima, Peru: Fondo Editorial de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, 2008.

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    An edited collection of critical essays written in Spanish on football in Peru. Panfichi’s introduction explores key sociological approaches and texts associated with football. Essay themes include the sport’s links to social and cultural identity, violence, politics, and journalism.

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  • Salcedo, María Teresa, and Ómar Fabián Rivera Ruiz, eds. Emoción, control e identidad: las barras de fútbol en Bogotá. Bogotá, Colombia: Instituto Colombiano de Antropología e Historia ICANH, 2007.

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    An anthropological study—written in Spanish—of barras bravas in Bogotá. Chapters are divided into themes of social identity, fan practices, symbolic ideas of territory, hierarchy, violence, and strategies to prevent future violent conflict.

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  • Stein, Steve. “The Case of Soccer in Early Twentieth-Century Lima.” In Sport in Latin America and the Caribbean. Edited by Joseph L. Arbena and David G. LaFrance, 9–31. Wilmington, DE: Jaguar Books, 2002.

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    An English-language case study on the development of football in Lima from 1900 to 1930. Explores the effects of the sport’s popularization and institutionalization on the capital’s lower-class and elite populations. Included in Arbena and LaFrance 2002 under Edited Collections.

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