On the outside of the beautiful game

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Photo by Aaron Cranford

By Aaron Cranford

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — When you’re watching a soccer match, it’s easy to not think about what happens just outside of the stadium.

However, if you step away from the bright lights and tens of thousands of raucous fans, you see how o jogo bonito‘s influence stretches into the lives of so many people. Soccer is important to many in Rio, but it’s not only important to the people who attend the game.

The people outside of the stadium, working to sell a jersey or a can of beer for a few reaiis are connected as much to the beautiful game as anyone, due to the attention the sport receives in this city.

Aside from the game being a form of entertainment, the sport creates opportunity for people to work and live in the seaside city.

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Among the hustle and bustle of fans rushing to get inside, many men whisk by, collecting aluminum cans left on the ground or in trash bins. These undoubtedly will be sold for a quick profit.

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And those unable to secure a ticket, whether that be because of a lack of money or something else, must look from the outside in, mere yards away from the bright lights and cheering crowd.

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The beautiful game does not extend only to those observing from within the stadium, the game connects everyone, inside and out.

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This is an ongoing series of journal entries, in which I will explain and document my preparation for travel and travel through Brazil in May through August of 2015. You can read each journal entry on The Orange Traveler or on ojogobonito.weebly.com where they will initially be published.

Have you traveled to Rio de Janeiro? What was your experience like?

Share your thoughts below.

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