RIO DE JANEIRO, June 24 — How does Brazil do it? Year after year, World Cup after World Cup, soccer stars seem to roll out of here like cars off a factory assembly line.
First came the generation of Pelé, Garrincha, Tostão and Rivelino, followed by Zico, Falcão and Socrates. Since the mid-1990’s, Romário, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and now Kaká, Adriano and Robinho have further burnished Brazil’s reputation for unmatched excellence. To the average fan around the world, Brazilian soccer appears to be a powerful, well-oiled machine.
But those who know it best are aware that the reality is far more complicated, that the country’s record five World Cup championships are more a result of popular passion for the beautiful game, as it is often called here, than of any organized apparatus that methodically finds and develops players.
“There is no system in Brazil,” said Carlos Roberto de Oliveira, who, playing as Roberto Dinamite, was a member of the Brazilian national team in the 1970’s and early 1980’s. “Everything happens on a random, haphazard basis.”
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