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Horizontes Antropológicos

Print version ISSN 0104-7183

Abstract

RIAL, Carmen. Rodar: a circulação dos jogadores de futebol brasileiros no exterior. Horiz. antropol. [online]. 2008, vol.14, n.30, pp. 21-65. ISSN 0104-7183.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-71832008000200002.

Among the millions of Brazilians who currently live abroad, nearly 5 thousand play football at the world's top clubs. This article uses an anthropological perspective to analyze the migration of these Brazilian players with successful careers, seeking to understand the characteristics of this particular global circulation of people and money, which has enormous impact on the mediascape (Appadurai, 1990): of all "exports". Of all Brazilian emigrations now underway, that of football players has the greatest symbolic impact, both in Brazil and abroad. Like the "brain drain" caused by the emigration of scientists, this is a case of "fleeting feet". I look at the plans, consumption and lifestyle of these players based on ethnographic data gathered in Seville, Spain and Eindhoven, Holland, and from discussions with more than 40 Brazilian players living or trying to live in foreign countries. The contacts were conducted in Toronto, Canada; Almelo, Groningen, Alkmaar, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam Holland, Tokyo, Japan; Lyon, Le Mans, Nancy and Lille France, Monaco; Charleroi, Belgium and in Fortaleza, Salvador and Belem, Brazil. I explore the intersections of age, social origin and religion and found that many of the players were the youngest siblings in their families. The large majority are poor and attend evangelical churches. I also found that these immigrant athletes are increasingly younger. I conclude that the constant exchange of employer (club or global club), of countries and the large number of "repatriots", characterize this migratory movement as a circulation. It is what the players call the "rotation", seen positively as an opportunity for experience. This circulation takes place in protected zones, where a banal nationalism (Billig, 1995) is constantly activated. Even after obtaining legal citizenship, they continue to be seen and perceive themselves as foreigners. Nationalization thus has a strategic purpose (Sassen, 2008). I conclude that they cross geographic borders without entering the countries, because their borders are the clubs and not the countries.

Keywords : emigration; football; global club; nationalization.

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