I got my first taste of this not in Rio or São Paulo but in Lyon, France, where the dots of a year's study were joined by weekly five-a-side games with expatriate Brazilians and assorted others. It was on the unforgiving concrete of the local court that I first began to pick up Portuguese.
Jack Lang writes about football (mainly Brazilian) for a number of websites and publications, including The Mirror, Yahoo! Eurosport, When Saturday Comes, and UEFA.com. You can find links to all his articles on his blog, Snap, Kaká and Pop!