By Ueslei Marcelino
Most Brazilians, rich or poor, are passionate about soccer. But that’s not to say that this love of the sport permanently unites the nation – recent protests over the World Cup have made that clear.
Brazilian society still suffers from class division and there is a wide gap between the wealthy and the less well-off. It seems to me that we Brazilians are not one people, but for a short while, whenever the national team plays, we can pretend we are.
Milton Souto is poor. Agenor Netto is wealthy. I went to photograph them in their respective homes as they watched Brazil play Chile on June 28th in a round-of-16 World Cup soccer match.
Mr. Souto’s house is humble, made of wooden slats with a dirt floor. Their family vehicle is a horse cart.
They have nothing of great value. Still, a tiny, old television set on a shelf in the living room guarantees them a view of the World Cup. The small sofa they gather on to watch the match is the most coveted corner of the house.