Introducing is a new feature on Box To Box looking at a handpicked selection of magazines, fanzines, websites, blogs, teams and individuals who produce great quality content on football and football culture.
Following on from the debut Introducing piece on Bled FC we take a look at the English-language Brazilian football website – O Canarinho. Yellow flashing with blue on bronzed skin, dancing, darting, with a ball moving like paint strokes. Zig-zags, turns, pass, pass, pass. The iconic jersey of the Seleção that defines and epitomises football in the South American country is where the website gets its name – O Canarinho – the little canary.
The man behind the scenes is a 25-year-old Londoner currently living in São Paulo, Joshua Law, freelance journalist and contributor to a number of different sites including These Football Times, The Football Pink, The Set Pieces and Outside Of The Boot.
What is the story behind the creation of O Canarinho?
Joshua Law: I’ve always liked Brazilian football, especially the national team, but it was my trip to the 2014 World Cup that sparked my interest in the domestic game. I went to my first league match here in August 2014, between Palmeiras and Bahia at the Pacaembu stadium in São Paulo and I was hooked. From then on I followed the league more closely and in 2015 I moved over here. As I started to gain a slightly deeper understanding of Brazilian football and football culture I thought it would be interesting to share some of that with the English-speaking world so I started writing a few bits for sites like These Football Times, The Football Pink and Box To Box. From there it seemed the logical step to create my own site.
What is the unique ‘selling point’ of your project?
JL: There isn’t much written in English on Brazilian football and what there is often focuses on young talent that will soon be making its way to Europe. Obviously, that’s the main point of interest for your average British fan but there is a lot more to Brazilian football than that. I just wanted to explore some of the more culturally and socially interesting aspects of the game. There are match reports, talent reports and all that stuff on O Canarinho but I try to vary the content a bit as well.
Out of everything you have done through O Canarinho so far, what are you most proud of/what has been your most enjoyable moment?
JL: I started doing a series about the smaller teams in Brazil, specifically in São Paulo, which is really enjoyable. I go to the stadiums and look into the history of some of the less well-known sides. Going to the lower-league games here is great, I would absolutely recommend anyone who is coming to Brazil and likes football to go to a game at one of the less celebrated grounds, the atmosphere can be fantastic even if the quality of the football sometimes leaves a little to be desired. The state championship is ongoing at the moment so expect a few more articles in the series soon. I also wrote a piece about Marta for These Football Times in the run-up to the Olympics which I was quite proud of. Marta is sensational, some of the things she can do with a football are mind-boggling.
What next for O Canarinho?
JL: Just keep on going and see what happens. As I said I want to continue the series about the smaller clubs but apart from that there are no concrete plans. Brazilian football can always be relied on to throw up talking points, though.
Out of all the football websites, magazines and fanzines out there, what are your personal favourites?
JL: Apart from O Canarinho and Box To Box I think These Football Times is great, The Football Pink, The Set Pieces I like a lot. The Blizzard is obviously the level we all aspire to. Futebol Cidade is good for South American stuff. For anyone interested in Brazilian football, and who speaks Portuguese, there is a great independent magazine called Corner.
To someone wanting to start up a similar project to yours, what would be your words of advice?
JL: Just go for it.
For more on O Canarinho, check out the website here and follow the project on Twitter here along with Joshua Law’s personal Twitter here. To get in touch feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.