A simple answer, an Englishman who introduced Brazil to Football.
Brazil was a relative late-comer to the game and owes its national sport – as many countries do – to the enthusiasm of a soccer playing Brit.
Charles ‘Nipper’ Miller – the son of a Scottish Banker – was born in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo in 1875 – but like many children of ex-patriates was sent back to England to be educated.
Association Football (soccer) was a game played at many of the top schools in England at the time and Banister Court School in Southampton, where Charles was sent, was no exception.
Soccer quickly became the most important thing in young Charles’ life and he developed a reputation as a lethal striker.
His talent was noted and he was chosen to represent the Hampshire County team – winning a Hampshire Cup medal in 1893.
In 1894 his schooling over, Charles sailed for Brazil – with two footballs in his luggage.
Arriving in Sao Paulo he found to his surprise that although the English community had established cricket clubs – nobody played his beloved game of football.
Miller set to work teaching the rules and organizing teams in several British owned companies.
His efforts were rewarded. The game began to be appreciated and to spread.
He formed a team – the Sao Paulo Athletic Club (which he captained) – and challenged a side that had been formed at Mackenzie College.
This game, played on a field at Chacara Dulley on 19 June 1899 is the first recorded soccer match in Brazil.
Miller’s team won 1-0 in front of 60 spectators.
In 1901 the Liga Paulista de Futebol consisting of five teams was formed.
Samba soccer had arrived.
The first Brazilian league title (1902) was won by Miller’s Sao Paulo Athletic Club in a play-off match with Paulistano – SPAC winning 2-1.
SPAC also won the 1903 and 1904 titles.
Charles Miller died in 1953 – five years before Brazil won the World Cup title for the first time – but his place in soccer ‘s hall of fame will endure forever.
Charles Miller was the man who brought soccer to Brazil.