The Start Of Something Special: Why the Brasileirão Is the World's Best League

Gustavo DestroSenior Analyst IMay 10, 2010

The end of the European football season for many is the end of the football year; the next three months usually involve waffling through newspaper reports trying to figure out who's coming and who's going.

For sportswriters it is the most damning part of the year, many respectable journalists have to step down to the point of writing the goings on of players during their off seasons, and really, who wants to hear that?
That's just depressing for us non-millionaires, non-Bugatti driving, non-WAG dating, non-Mediterranean Beach Vacationing mere humans.

Yes, the World Cup will help this year and the arguing about who should be part of the team, who should not, 30-men provisional rosters, and 23-men rosters will take up loads of time that would otherwise be spent arguing over which transfer reports were the most accurate, when, let's face it, none are.

But there is salvation in these barren times where footy for Europeans consists of replays of the glory years (depending on which team you root for, those can be some very grainy black-and-white tapes), international tournaments or friendlies and constant transfer speculation. The answer comes from across the Atlantic, from the Americas.

No, I'm not talking about Major League Soccer, although I must admit the quality of play has improved significantly over the past few years (Maybe Becks did have an impact).
No, I am talking about the Brasileirão, the Brazilian national league competition.

Many people over the world admit that Brazilians have, indeed, perfected the game the English invented, and consistently field some of the best players in the world. What many people do not know is where these players begin their playing careers.

The first contact many foreigners have had with the likes of Robinho, Julio Cesar, Lucio and Luis Fabiano probably came watching a Brazil side playing in an international tournament or friendly against a high profile club or watching Serie A, Ligue 1 or La Liga.

The reality is the chances of anyone outside of Brazil knowing Julio Cesar from his Flamengo days, or Ronaldinho from his Grêmio days or even—and this is for the old timers out there—Ronaldo "Fenômeno" from his time playing for Cruzeiro is close to none.

Which is a shame really.
As Sports Illustrated's Tim Vickery pointed out in a recent column , the Brasileirão is great not just because of the chance to get an early glimpse of the next big thing in Brazilian football, but because the parity is much more noticeable than in any European league.

Take, for example, Avaí's campaign last season.
The recently promoted squad out of Florianópolis was picked by many "experts" to finish in the relegation zone and be cannon fodder for bigger clubs such as Corinthians and São Paulo. Instead, the tiny club surprised everyone by reaching as high as fourth during the last month of the season before ultimately finishing sixth and qualifying for the Copa Sul-Americana (South America's Europa League).

This is just one of the millions of reasons why the Brasileirão is arguably the most entertaining league in the world, and the timing of it comes as a gift for football starved fans in Europe.

So do yourself a favour and call your cable or satellite provider and subscribe to GOL TV, if only for the three months during the summer where football is hard to come by, brush up on your Portuguese, and get ready to witness some of the best football in the planet.

You'll not be disappointed.