From Ronaldo’s record setting World Cup goals to Pele’s hat-trick of World Cup victories, few countries have churned out so many legendary international soccer players as Brazil, so it’s no surprise that football is serious business in Rio de Janeiro. With Brazil set to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup, it seems everyone in Rio has caught football fever and from the beach to the favelas, everywhere you turn, you’ll see local kids kicking a ball around a makeshift goal.
If you’re not lucky enough to get tickets for the 2014 World Cup games, there are still plenty of opportunities to watch world-class soccer in Rio with regular games by the city’s four local teams - Flamengo, Botafogo, Fluminense and Vasco. Rio’s football season runs from January through till May, with local teams competing for the Gunabara's Cup and Rio's Cup, after which the Brazilian Championship games take place from May until December, featuring 20 teams from around the country.
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