The history of the beautiful game in Latin America can be quite ugly:
ethnic divisions within countries and bitter rivalries between them played out on the pitch. Political turmoil came to be reflected in the game; violence was common. But football also imbued the region with a sense of pride and self-belief. The success of Latin America’s players stands in contrast to the failures of its political leaders. Their fluid style of play is known round the world, giving the region a positive identity.