In Brazil, there’s only one thing that brings all people together: the beautiful game, futebol (soccer). The national team is known as the pride of the country and is the only team to win the World Cup five times. Although Brazil has an extreme wealth gap, people from all walks of life share a unifying bond through soccer. Unlike most dominant countries in world soccer, many of Brazil’s best players like Ronaldinho and Rivaldo come from poverty.

This series explores the importance of soccer in Brazil’s favelas, which are low-income communities that are often controlled by drug traffickers. While opportunities for success in the favelas are slim, futebol (soccer) is one of the only accessible paths to a better life.