Love of football gives rise to footvolley in Brazil

Whether it’s played for fun or bragging rights, football is a Brazilian way of life.


From all ages and all walks of life, it’s unifying.

“All around the streets [and] on the beaches, people breathe football,” says Adelaide United defender Cassio Oliviera.

“You can see the little kids, the first present they get is a ball.”

Back to his roots in Rio, Cassio is relishing some time in the sun and enjoying Brazil’s very own modified brand of football – futevolei or footvolley.

“It’s like a volleyball but without using your hands,” explains foot volley player Matheus Adriano.

“[You] just use your foot and head, chest, not your hands.”

But it will never replace the real thing.

With legends like Pele and Bellini to look up to, it’s not hard to see why Brazilians have such high aspirations.

“If you ask 10 kids here what they want to do when they grow up, I’m telling you, 100 per cent, 9 will say football players,” Cassio says.

Just like Cassio’s 10-year-old-son, Bernando.

“I’d like to play in the World Cup in a really great team,” he says.

Football here has no postcode – it’s just as popular on the poor streets within the favelas.

But some, like little Caw-ban, are safer on the sand than high in the hills.

“Here I am safe to play but in the hills it’s a bit dangerous because there are shotguns,” he says.

“I need to remain in the home because if I go out something bad can happen.”

Cassio says there is a special quality about playing football that can help provide an escape from everyday problems.

“We have a lot of problems in our country and football I think is a kind of happiness for the people for the people and brings us happiness.”