OFFICIAL NAME: Federal Republic of Brazil
FORM OF GOVERNMENT: Democratic federal republic
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: Portuguese
AREA: 3,286,470 square miles (8,511,965 square kilometers)
MAJOR MOUNTAIN RANGES: Serra do Mar, Serra do Espinhaço
MAJOR RIVERS: Amazon, São Francisco, Paraná, Tocantins
Most Brazilians are descended from three ethnic groups: Amerindians, European settlers (mainly from Portugal), and Africans. Starting in the 19th century, waves of immigrants from Europe, the Middle East, and even Japan added to this mix. This diversity of cultures has created a rich religious, musical, and culinary culture.Brazilians are soccer crazy, and their country has produced some of the best players. The most famous of all is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pelé. Brazil has won the World Cup soccer finals five times, more than any other nation, and will host the tournament in 2014.