Brazil 2014 – David Luiz and the Colour Yellow
Michael Thomas heads down to the launch of the Brazil 2014 kit to marvel on the colour yellow and listen to David Luiz talk about the spirit of his country.
Yellow is an exceptional colour. If yellow was in the royal court, it would definitely be in line for the throne at some point, probably just behind red and blue. From canaries in the coal mines, the MacDonalds M to the Yellow Pages, this particularly vibrant hue has punctuated popular iconography, probably since time began…
It’s a much better colour than, say, orange or, arguably, purple.
If you had to compile a list of yellow things in order of importance, the Brazilian kit would be pretty high up. Since the advent of colour TVs, we’ve been watching the agile Brazilian strip deftly dummy its way around pitches to score victory after victory for its human proprietors.
So, when XWHY was invited down by Nike to the launch of the 2014 design, we jumped at the chance to get some more yellow in our lives.
Nike took the opportunity to showcase some of the strips they’d been responsible for since they took on the task of dressing the Brazil team in 1998. From the first Dri-Fit strip, designed for World Cup in 1998, through to the 70s-inspired shirt worn during the disappointment of South Africa in 2010, they had it all on show.
Interestingly, this year the kit has been supplemented by an innovative feature fabric – none other than recycled plastic bottles. Each full strip uses an average of 18 of these bottles. Forget the Michelin Man, the Brazilians are going to be running around like little Evian babies, only hopefully a lot more streamlined.
Q&A with David Luiz
I love London. It’s one of the greatest cities in the world. The quality of life is good, I play for an amazing club, so I enjoy it. I always say, that how can people ask: “Ah why is my life this… why does this happen?”. I never say that, I say “thank you”. Thank you because I sleep, I have my bed, I have a roof over my head and people forget there are people that do not have the basic things. So I’m a lucky guy.
With brazilian food! Brazilian people always have a happy heart. I try to enjoy life day by day, with my job, with my friends. Some people complain, because it’s Monday and it’s raining but I say, “Come on, there are some people that cannot work and they cannot go to the car when it’s raining.” That is the Brazilian spirit. It might be a difficult life but its my life.
Brazilians love to make new friends, to try new things. I’m so happy with the humility of my country, everyone wants to help you and that is amazing for me.
I think it’s the history – the great names we’ve had in the past like Romario, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and we have won many world cups so everyone wants to know how Brazilians play football. We have changed a lot, there are more tactics involved as the game has developed. Before, there was more about individual players and people loved the skills.
I learnt on the street with my Dad. He always said: “You never have to change how you want to play football. You need to enjoy it. You need be happy to play.”
So if you need to learn different tactics or different positions, it’s ok. I mean, I was playing striker before midfield, left back, right back, but I always try to improve my game.
In Brazil they give the football to the kids on the street and say “Play, play go on play.” In 10 years we’ll worry about the qualitative way. Football is a qualitative sport, but its good to play like normal kids. Later we will see if you can play football or not.
I would say Romario, Ronaldo and Ronaldinho were role models for me. Also my dad was my idol and still an example for me. These three were the best players in the world and they showed the Brazilian style and were happy people, good guys.
My first week the coach would stop the training and say: “Come on, you’re not in Copacabana now you know, come on wake up!”
I was trying to dribble do skills. In Brazil, it is a lot slower because of the weather. I had never played on a wet pitch before I moved.
I’ve never scored for Brazil, so then would be a good time and of course the 6th star.
So there you go, we’ve learnt that David Luiz is a very “happy” guy, from a land of very “happy” people. In addition to getting a peek at the new strip, we were also treated to a screening of the latest Nike TV ad titled “Dare to be Brazilian”. And I’ve got to say, besides falling in love with the colour yellow, I’ve spent my evening wanting to move to Sao Paulo and have a son who will go on to captain Brazil.
In fact, I think maybe I will. And I will call him Nigelinho! Watch this space…
WORDS: Michael Thomas