GINGA – The Soul of Brazilian Football
DVD format released by Mr Bongo Essential World Football, 2014
Produced by Fernando Meirelles
Directed by Marcelo Machado, Hank Levine and Tocha Alves.
Yes a DVD!, I have been saving them for some bad weather days when there would be no football and they have come in useful in these depressing times. As like so many of my book reviews they are charity Shop finds for anywhere up to £1, this one 20p.
This is a documentary about why Brazilian Football is regarded as one of the best and most fluent in the world. Seven young footballers from all over the country, from diverse social, gender, disability and ethnic back grounds are followed as they try to use their amazing skills to break into football at the highest level. Some express a view about Ginga that it is the, rhythm, music and movement that gives them an indefinable quality to be able to take technique with the ball and movement of their body to a level that is difficult for others to contend with. One person even proposes that it is now within the Brazilian DNA.
Certainly the ball control skill shown is breath-taking not least by the two females that take part.
But the undoubted ball skills are not enough as a coach in Sao Paolo says that technique is 30% but strength is 70%.
All of those who are followed seem desperate and driven to succeed and are fully supported by their families. More than once it’s said that they want to be successful to provide for their family which may be as big a factor as Ginga. Games are played on the beach, in the street, on waste land or in homes but most striking is ‘Court Football’. Court football is played inside in Brazil and there are leagues for all ages and genders everywhere. Leagues start at an early age up to senior level where you can earn a living. Because of the smaller size of pitch, ball control and quick decision making are needed to shine. I would suggest that these two factors go hand in hand with Ginga to fashion the outstanding players and teams that have thrilled the world.
The DVD is in Portuguese with sub titles, changes shot very quickly and has a continual music background that does make it hard to follow. No substitute for a real game but worthwhile viewing.