There is no other country in the world that has the same relationship with football as Brazil does. There, the beautiful game is sacred, a religion, while other countries view it as an economic or social escape route.
Due to this fact, Brazilians are often deemed some of the best natural footballers. The country created ‘Joga Bonito’ and is considered the cradle of the best players in history, they also have an unmistakable stamp: their trademark yellow jersey.
The Brazilian national team is also known by various nicknames, such as the ‘Scratch du Oro’, the ‘Cerdeamarela’ or the ‘Canarinha’, all dating back to the 1950s.
So what is the origin of the Canarinha nickname and why do Brazil wear yellow?
Brazil is the team that has participated in the most number of FIFA World Cups, having never missed a single tournament. They are also the five-time champions of the competition, something no one else has done. Their last victory was in 2002, in South Korea and Japan, and since then they have been looking for their sixth win.
Why are they called the Canarinha?
The origin of the nickname and the colour of the kit go hand in hand, as there was a time when they were not ‘the Canarinha’ and did not wear yellow. It all came about via a blot on Brazil’s footballing history.
At the 1950 World Cup in Brazil, everything was in place for the host country to win the tournament. However, in the final against Uruguay the unthinkable happened with the hosts losing 2-1. This forced the Brazilian football federation to overhaul the national team’s identity.
Why do Brazil wear yellow?
In 1953, a competition was launched for Brazilians to submit their designs for the team to wear, because their current kit did not express “the vitality of the country”, according to an article published in the scientific journal FuLIA of the Federal University of Minas Gerais. Until then, the Brazilian kit had been a mix of white and blue.
The competition was launched by a newspaper, Correio da Manha, and the requirement was that the following colours should be used: yellow, green, blue and white, the colours of the flag.
In the end, the winner was a shirt in which the colour was canary yellow. Thus, canarinha, which translates to canary was the nickname bestowed on the Brazilian national team.