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“Os ingleses o inventaram, os brasileiros o aperfeicoaram!” Anon (The English invented it, the Brazilians perfected it)
“Socrates to Zico…Oh, what a turn…He threw Gentile…Oh, it's there…Socrates scores a goal that sums up the philosophy of Brazilian football…How to play when you are a goal down”. Barry Davies
In June 2012, I spent a week in the Department of Neurology, Hospital Universitário Antonio Pedro, Niterói (close to Rio de Janeiro on the south-east coast of Brazil), hosted by Professors Moreira and De Freitas, courtesy of an exchange programme organised by the Association of British Neurologists (ABN) and The Brazilian Academy of Neurology (BAN). This was a fantastic opportunity to spend time in a vibrant, exotic environment and to compare and contrast two rather different healthcare systems. I arrived in Brazil in the midst of a strike by academics over terms, conditions and fears of privatisation and so felt eerily at home!
Brazil is a country of extremes; the fifth largest country in the world, home to the largest number of species of primates, amphibians and plants, and has economic growth rates that dwarf those of the UK (Brazil recently overtook the UK as the sixth largest economy). However, Brazil has a darker side; high crime rates fuelled by gross …
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