First it was the students. Incensed not simply by a rise in the cost of public transport, but by the broadening impasse between public and private interests that it signified, they took to meeting rooms and then to the streets. A hundred people became a thousand and the zeroes kept being added.
Soon, it seemed to the outside world, Brazil was aflame. That may have been partly true, but a far more prevalent feeling – at least within the country itself – was that Brazil was alive. What started as a dispute about bus fares became a rainbow tapestry of causes, claims and (for the most part) contained chaos.
Encouraged by the movement’s adopted slogan, “Vem pra rua!” (Come to the street!), the country found its voice for the first time in over 20 years. It was angry and indignant. It was beautiful.
The protests eventually came to an end, as everything does. But something of the spirit of those few weeks (or is it just the tear gas?) has remained in the air. That, at least, is the only real way of parsing what has been a landmark couple of weeks in Brazilian football.
Read the rest of this article on the Common Sense FC movement, at Yahoo! Eurosport.