What Is Jogo Bonito? Explaining Brazil's Playstyle at the 2022 World Cup


Jogo bonito is dominating the world stage. 

Brazil’s run in the 2022 FIFA World Cup is resembling a potential title contender with every passing game. 

The Seleção finished atop a Group G that included tough European opposition in Serbia and Switzerland and had the luxury of rotating its squad against Cameroon ahead of the knockout stage. 

They then faced South Korea in the round of 16, where a dominant first-half display led to a seamless 4-1 victory that saw jogo bonito emerge into the spotlight. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the term:

What does jogo bonito mean?

Jogo bonito is a Portuguese saying that translates to “The beautiful game.” In football terms, it emphasizes an expressive style of play that tactics can’t teach. Individual skills, one-touch passing, off-ball movement and creativity are all central to the playstyle. 

Who first called it jogo bonito?

Brazilian football legend Pelé is largely responsible for popularizing jogo bonito. In 1977, Pelé named his autobiography “My Life and the Beautiful Game” where the dedication reads, “I dedicate this book to all the people who have made this great game the Beautiful Game.”

What is an example of jogo bonito?

A great example of jogo bonito comes from one of Brazil’s most recent goals. 

In the 4-1 victory over South Korea, striker Richarlison brought the ball down with multiple controlled touches with his head before laying it off to center back Marquinhos, who then quickly passed it to fellow center back Thiago Silva as Silva gave a one-touch pass back to Richarlison for the open finish. 

Individual skills, one-touch passing and off-ball movement are all present in the mesmerizing play, with two defenders flaunting their attacking prowess in the process. 

How many World Cups has Brazil won?

Brazil has won the most World Cups in history, having lifted the trophy five times. The wins came in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002. 

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