Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — The beautiful game is an integral part of many lives in Rio, and that’s no more evident than on the beach of Copacabana.

In the United States, people usually toss a flying disc or an American football as an enjoyable activity on the beach, but on Copacabana, most beach activities involve a bola, even those exercising underneath the warm sun.

While reading and relaxing on the beach for weeks on end, I’ve spectated many groups, usually comprised of three to five people, playing keepy-uppies. And from time to time, I also have thoroughly enjoyed watching teams of two compete in a recreational game of futevôlei, a game structured like volleyball but without the use of one’s hands.

Sometimes, there are also competitive beach soccer matches played on Saturday afternoons that are fun to watch. If you want to play or participate in any other activity, though, people are welcoming to others, even an Americano like myself, so feel free to play and enjoy o jogo bonito on Copacabana.

And if you don’t have a ball, fear not because while bandeiras of soccer teams whip in the wind, many beach vendors stroll along in the beige-colored sand, selling uma bola to anyone interested.

Check out more pictures of soccer on Copacabana below:

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 Rio de Janeiro? What was your experience like on Copacabana beach?

Share your thoughts below.

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