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Let's be honest, we all think of soccer when we talk about Brazil. Of course there's the carnival and delicious food & drinks but futebol is what dominates the field. There's such a big soccer culture in Brazil that they even go by país do futebol, or "Football Country”.

Kids playing soccer at the beach
Kids playing soccer at the beach (Image by LhcCoutinho from Pixabay)

São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil by population and also the birthplace of Brazilian soccer. You may wonder why? Well, fun fact: the first official soccer match was played in São Paulo in 1894. Then came the first club team, the leagues, the stadiums being built exclusively for soccer, and so on. Nowadays Terra do Brasil is a powerhouse in this sport.

You know how some people call New York a concrete jungle? Well, let's just say Sao Paulo is its South American counterpart. Despite the day to day madness, people unite over that one thing they love: soccer. Here's a few places you can't miss if you're a true soccer lover.

Neo Quimica Arena (Previously Arena Corinthians)

The house of Corinthians soccer team for the next 20 years! Towards the end of 2020 the new naming-rights sponsor of the arena was announced along with the deal made with the team. It hosted a few matches during the 2014 World Cup, the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2019 Copa América. Make sure you have about 1-2hrs to tour this wonderful arena. The house of the people!

Museu do Futebol

Inaugurated in 2008, the Museum of Football tells the history of Brazilian soccer. It's located inside the Pablo Machado de Carvalho Municipal Stadium aka Estádio do Pacaembu, and is one of the most visited museums in the country. If you want to understand a little bit better the appreciation Brazilians have towards the sport, then this is a can't miss. Oh! And be aware that this museum is located under the bleachers.

Pablo Machado de Carvalho Municipal Stadium, known as Pacaembú Stadium
Museu do Futebol at Pacaembú Stadium, Sao Paulo (Photo by Miguel Schincariol, Getty Images)

Allianz Parque

The former Palestra Itália Stadium got demolished and transformed into a multipurpose stadium built for shows, concerts and mostly soccer games. It's the Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras house and it meets all of FIFA's standards to host multiple international soccer matches. Other great features of this arena are the Allianz Parque Hall, another event venue with capacity for up to 12k people, and The Brain Coworking, shared workspaces and storage for small companies. Don't miss their Stadium Tour with access to the press room, bleachers, private cabins and more.

São Cristóvão Bar

If you breathe soccer, you'll feel right at home here. The bar is completely soccer themed! Located in Vila Madalena, a bohemian neighborhood, São Cristóvão Bar has a lively ambient, good music, and people being... well... they can get loud, especially if there's a game. One thing you will love are the walls. They are completely covered in photos, posters and jerseys of Brazilian renowned players and teams. We recommend you try their cachaça.

Elidio Bar

A soccer themed bar located on the east side of the city. It's named after the owner, Elidio. He sadly passed away in 2012 but his obsession with soccer carries on with his establishment and the incredible collection of soccer items they have. It includes autographed jerseys and framed photos from all different eras. If you have a deep passion towards Brazilian soccer, you'll for sure want to stop by.

Share with us your experience wandering around the streets of São Paulo! Tag us and use #covatravels

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