As in the rest of South America, futebol (rhymes with cootchie-mall) is without a doubt Brazil's national sport. Because the Brazilians are hosting the next World Cup, in 2014, they automatically qualify and therefore don't have to compete to secure their spot-- and yes, it's only 2012 but the elimination rounds have already started. But there are tons of "friendly" international games up until then (not to mention the local teams, which people are passionately devoted to), and people get just as into watching them even though there aren't really any consequences to losing. A few weeks ago Brazil played Colombia, and large groups from both sides gathered to watch the game in a Colombian-owned establishment in Lapa, one of the downtown neighborhoods. The Brazilians are in the yellow, blue and green shirts, while the Colombians are in the yellow, blue and red shirts (confusing, I know, and not readily distinguishable). I do like watching soccer, but sometimes it's even more fun to watch other peoples' reactions.
The game ended up being a tie-- no resulting to penalty kicks when the outcome doesn't actually matter-- so both sides went home frustrated. And when I say "both sides went home frustrated" I mean "both sides went to another bar where they drank a lot of beer and danced samba in the rain until 5 a.m." Life's tough.