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Football – the beautiful game.  Unless of course you’ve just spent your last tenner on a cold open terrace with rain and wind battering you from all sides.  We’ve all watched Brazilian football and wondered why we don’t play it in quite the same way.  Brazil have won 5 World Cups now, England have only managed the one – although as a Welshman this is one too many – so what are they doing so right and us so wrong.  
Which country is that?
It’s often said that youngsters in this country play too much football at a young age and it ruins their chances in later years but at the same time we see video footage from South America that show kids playing nothing but football. So where’s the contradiction?  It’s down to the way our kids play football.  In Brazil most youngsters don’t play “proper” football till about 15 or 16, and instead play a game called Futebol De Salão.  Directly translated it means “football of the hall” and is an equivalent of our 5-a-side game but is played with a small size 2 football with virtually no bounce.
C'mon - I'll take you all on.Players who were brought up playing this variant of the game include Pele, Jairzinho, Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Middlesborough’s Juniniho.   It was in fact Juninho who introduced the game to soccer coach, Simon Clifford. The pair set up a Futebol De Salão league in Leeds and Simon went to Brazil so he could see for himself exactly how the Brazilians do it.
Several years later Clifford is regarded as one of the most influential coaches in the country and has set up 250 FDS schools throughout the UK.  He even coached the novices on the set of Bend It Like Beckham

Movie
”Learn to Play The Brazilian Way” is a one-hour coaching video where Simon demonstrates the techniques, skills and training methods that the Brazilians have used for decades and explains their skill and athleticism.  
Simon uses kids from his schools to help demonstrate each move to the camera and this is often interspersed with video of Brazilians using the same techniques in actual games.  Simon goes through various moves and tricks including moves to beat players, dribbling, juggling, turns, traps, passing and of course, shooting. Many of the skills presented would enable you to practice alone and then some require a pair. A minor criticism is that some of the skills are demonstrated too quickly (slow-mo may help here) for the viewer to easily see exactly how the skill is performed.  Clifford does a good job of encouraging the kids on the video and really gives the impression that he knows what he's talking about.
And for my next trick....
Video
Given the content the picture quality is adequate but nothing special.  Half of the coaching is presented outdoors on a football field and the other half indoors but the lighting is fine and the camera work covers what it needs to. The disc is presented in 16:9, which is always good, and the menus are clearly laid out if a bit unimaginative.  
The Extras are mostly rehashed footage and presented in 4:3 and the image quality here is mostly poor, but this could be down to the quality of the source footage.

Audio
The sound on the disc is 2-Channel but does the job.  Simon is well spoken and easy to hear and there is no background noise to distract you from the information being given.  Like video, nothing special but functional.   The music can really start to grate after a while and a soundtrack without this would have been greatly appreciated.
Championeeeeeees!
Extras
As previously discussed the extras on the disc are old footage, taken from the documentary “Heart of Football” but if you are interested in football certainly worth a watch.  These clips show how central to Brazilian life football is and follows people of all ages and social classes playing the game in Brazil.  Interviews are included with Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Zico, Luiz Felipe Scolari and Mario Zagallo among others.

Overall
Quite how well you can transfer the information on this disc onto the field is questionable.  Learning techniques and tricks like this is usually easier by copying but you almost certainly won’t find yourself able to kick a ball around your living room in front of your television, so the disc isn’t as effective as it could be and certainly wouldn’t be an alternative to actually attending one of Simon’s schools. Maybe this was the ploy.  Certainly better for youngsters as older players will find it extremely difficult to alter the “way they play” and of course for anyone watching, this disc isn’t a magic wand.  For the hour running time on the screen you would have to put that in many times over out on the park honing your newfound skills.  All in all a decent disc but don’t expect miracles. There is no substitute for proper coaching and practice.


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