The Beautiful Game

A phrase first coined by Didi (Valdir Pereira), borrowed by Pele (Edison Arantes do Nascimento) and later embellished by Ruud Gullit with his phrase, 'shexy football'. Football, football, football. Not soccer, football.

Many games that were codified by the British such as Cricket and Rugby seemed only to travel to the English speaking world, or their nearest neighbours. Cricket especially seems to have taken off only in those territories over which the British held sway. Rugby's appeal is comparatively more widespread, with some appeal in the Latin world too.

However, football's appeal is truly global. Again, it is the actions of the British which have taken the game around the globe. The first football clubs founded in many parts of the Latin world for example, were so by ex-pat British. Italian giants AC Milan were formed by (amongst others) Nottingham lace Herbert Kilpin.

There are other examples, the game was brought to Argentina by British railway workers in the 1860's. Scotsmen James Donohue and Charles William Miller are credited by various sources with bringing the game to Brazil. Indeed Donohue is given credit for having marked out the first football pitch in Brazil, next to his place of work in Bangu, Rio.

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