Athletes from a range of nations, showing skill and passion and love for what Brazilians call "the beautiful game" - there was plenty of that going around during this year's superlative sporting event, the World Cup, but this is also the weekly scene at 51st and Guadalupe. Each week, as the sun relents, a rotating group of international students and locals lace up their cleats, throw their backpacks into the goal nets, and attempt to outdo each other on the pitch. It's a better workout than softball, for sure, and transcends the muscled machismo of pick-up basketball into sport that often, even at this grassroots level, masquerades as art. Those Brazilians are right.
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