Includes 2009 Preface. Lever's interest in Brazilian soccer and her friendship with Pel led to this thoughtful, well-written account of Brazilians' madness for spectator sports. Drawing on interviews with soccer club directors, coaches, players, officials, sportswriters, fan club leaders, and 200 fans, Lever gives readers a fascinating study of people, culture, and politics. She reaches beyond soccer in Brazil to analyze both the appeal and the cultural achievement of spectator sports in all modern societies. Sports, she finds, provide an arena for dramatizing conflicting loyalties while emphasizing the shared interests that make us all alike.