About Salvador

Brazil has the biggest black population of any country outside Nigeria.

Over 10 million African slaves were shipped to Brazil, six times more than to the United States.

Slaves were prohibited from practising their own faiths. To avoid persecution they gave Catholic names and figures to all their African gods, giving birth to the Afro-Brazilian religion of candomblé.

Astero FC training with capoeira We all know about Brazil's football ability. They've won the World Cup five times. But is there something else in their culture that gives them an extra edge to produce all those world-beating skills? Capoeira, a martial art developed by the slaves, is a foot-fighting technique disguised as a dance. Alex discovers a football club who claim to have had huge success using Capoeira in their training regime.


  • ALMIR MONTEIRO, Football manager, Astero FC:

    England was beating Brazil by one to nil and, suddenly, Ronaldinho, who was marked by Cole, ran through the midfield to the penalty area. Cole went with him. Ronaldinho used a move known in football as a 'feint', but in Capoeira it's called 'explosion'. He passed his foot over the ball, shifting his weight to the outside, making Cole, in one movement, lose his balance. When Cole recovered, Ronaldinho was already two steps ahead, finding Rivaldo well positioned to score.

    This move was fundamental, and it's a situation typical of Capoeira.

    We won the Bahia State Cup, the Junior Bahian Championship. We won international tournaments in France, in the United States, in Argentina. That was the result of our training with Capoeira, among other things. It's a new methodology for football.


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