Football is a strong element of identification for this country, whose international footballers, from Pele to Ronaldo, have always played the role of ambassadors in terms of image. Beyond this stereotypical image, many other factors must be considered when looking at this global expatriation, starting with the social structure of a country that offers little hope of social mobility for youth coming come from low-income backgrounds.
These difficulties are added to a Brazilian football system with structural flaws resulting in fragile business models for the clubs. Brazilian clubs rely mainly on transfers, especially internationally, based on the positive image of Brazilian players as technically very proficient. aided by the positive stereotypes associated with the technical value of the Brazilian player. "There is a hierarchy of relations between the big Brazilian clubs and the base, which, through a very selective system, will allow the best talents to emerge, to the detriment of the great mass of young people. Added to this are the direct relationships that foreign clubs have with their Brazilian counterparts, often created and maintained by former players." (Rial, 2015, 64).
As such, the Brazilian player enjoys what Ravenel (2018) calls "an exceptional competitive advantage." He explains this by the positive stereotype attached to Brazilian players that presents, according to him, a selling point. Corroborating this, Ribeiro and Dimeo (2009, 732) quote a Brazilian agent placing his players in the Faroe Islands and Iceland: "It is much easier to place a Brazilian footballer than a footballer of another nationality. There is an international fashion for the Brazilian. [...] The Brazilian always has the image of kindness, of party, of carnival. It doesn't matter how talented you are, it's always very attractive to have a Brazilian in your team.”
Thus, 1262 Brazilian players are present in 86 world championships. Their number one destination remains Portugal (260). In addition to the language community, Brazilian players find, in Portugal, administrative facilities to boost their career: After one year in the country, they can ask for a special status allowing them not to be considered as foreign players and to pass under the radar of the quotas applied to foreign players. Also, access to a Portuguese nationality is easy for them. This allows them to access the European market, without restrictions based on their nationality of origin, and with the help of pre-established networks by the Portuguese clubs, renowned in this field.
In the rest of Europe, Brazilians are mainly present in the Mediterranean basin such as Italy (69), Spain (46), Turkey (35). In Asia, it is the Japanese clubs (65) that call upon them the most. By transferring to lower-rated leagues, these players hope gain exposure in order to join more prestigious clubs, often European, later on. Finally, it can be said that Brazilian footballers "are a bit like American basketball players, namely a globalized workforce, present in all countries and regardless of the level of sport." (Ravenel, 2017)