Nov 222014
 
Prêmio Craque: Brasileirão 2014 Best Player Candidates

We’re entering the dying throes of another Brasileirão season which, though somewhat elongated due to the World Cup, still seems to have gone by in a flash. The Campeonato Brasileirão looks like it will stay with Cruzeiro this year. The Copa will join the trophy in residency in Belo Horizonte, with Atlético Mineiro and Cruzeiro battling out the final. We are also approaching the time of individual appraisal, when awards and trinkets are handed out to the outstanding players of Brasileirão. Below, I don a rubber glove and give some [...]

Oct 252014
 
Eight of the Most Promising Brasileirão Wonderkids

The Brasileirão has always been a place where many top players shine for the first time, and whilst that isn’t happening as regularly as it used to, there are still a few young players who have impressed this season. Here are some of them: Alison (Santos, 21 years old) Unlike previous promising players at Santos, Alison is a defensive midfielder. His good positioning and tackling have seen him called up for Brazil’s Olympic team on a regular basis. However, he still needs to improve certain parts of his game. He [...]

Oct 202014
 
Gabriel Boschilia - The Jewel In São Paulo's Crown

My new piece on this site is about one of the many exciting prospects who lined up for Brazil during last-year’s FIFA U17 World Cup. When you hear about that competition, you’d expect it to be Nathan who stole the show despite Brazil’s elimination in the quarter-finals, but it’s not him. Many fans of Brazilian football will know this player by now, but for those who don’t, let me introduce to you Gabriel Boschilia, a player who made his début for São Paulo’s senior team earlier this year after some convincing performances for [...]

Oct 122014
 
Unforgiven: The Everlasting World Cup Woe of Fred & Jô

In Beijing this weekend, Brazil’s ‘new’ era under Dunga received its stiffest examination, as they defeated World Cup finalists Argentina in the opulent ‘Bird’s Nest’ stadium. For Seleção fans, cleansing the stain of The Copa is going to be an incremental and rather raw process. No matter how incisively stitches are extracted, the scar lingers and the skin takes on an unweathered appearance forever more. Such was the brutality of the 7-1 mauling by Germany in Belo Horizonte, that casualties from the humiliation were inevitable. The squad charged with carrying [...]

Sep 122014
 
Will Pato and Ganso Sink or Swim at São Paulo?

This weekend a revitalised São Paulo welcome campeões and league leaders Cruzeiro to Morumbi. It will undoubtedly be billed as a top of the table clash, but in reality, it probably represents the last chance for this season’s league title race to remain competitive. Around 12 months ago, Botafogo played Cruzeiro at Esádio Mineirão in very similar circumstances, with the Rio club clinging onto the tail of ‘a raposa.’ Clarence Seedorf missed a penalty with Cruzeiro 1 x 0 to the good and it proved to be a fork in [...]

Sep 072014
 
Paulo Henrique Ganso: A Revival in São Paulo

There’s a certain player in Brazil, who around four years ago was regarded as the next big thing to come out of a country which is famous for producing some of the finest football prospects. ‘Next big thing’ is a term, often overused, which describes any young player who starts to show the slightest glimpse of promise, but in this case it had some substance. I’m not talking about Neymar here, but  his close friend, and a player who was once mentioned in the same breath as him – Paulo Henrique Ganso. Years have passed [...]

Aug 142014
 
Brazil U20s Squad for COTIF L'Alcúdia 2014

Brazil under-20s coach Alexandre Gallo, has assembled a squad of young players who will take part in this years Torneo Internacional de Fútbol Sub-20 de L’Alcúdia. The tournament, thankfully shortened to COTIF, takes place in L’Alcúdia, Valencia, and features a mixture of club and international teams. This years participants are Brazil, Argentina, Lvante U.D., Ecuador, China, Mauritania, Barcelona, Valencia, Qatar, and Indonesia. Here are Brazil’s fixtures: 12th August – Brazil 1-1 Qatar 14th August – Brazil v Equador 16th August – Brazil v China 17th August –  Brazil v Valencia FC [...]

Aug 112014
 
The Rise and Fall of Leandro Damião

Leandro Damião was widely regarded as one of the most talented Brazilian strikers when he started shining for Internacional in 2010. But despite his success early on his professional career, he could not live up to expectations for long and declined fast. In order to understand his decline, it is important to take into account how Leandro Damião rose to stardom in first place. Most Brazilian players who are developed at clubs from an early age, often play futsal during their early youth careers. However, Leandro Damião started his career [...]

Aug 082014
 
What Next For Ronaldinho Gaucho?

There is an old adage that the star that burns twice as bright burns for half as long and no player quite emphasises that maxim quite like Ronaldinho Gaucho. Last week he brought the curtain down an on 18 month whirlwind romance in Belo Horizonte with Atlético Mineiro. He left basking in the affection of the Galoucura and the club’s hierarchy. Though in truth, Ronaldinho’s spell at the club had been in steady decline since a bad thigh tear last August, Atlético’s fans recognise that they’ve probably never quite had [...]

Aug 022014
 
Money's Too Tight To Mention in Post-World-Cup Brazilian Football

Last Friday, caps in hands, the chairmen of 12 of Brazil’s biggest football clubs travelled to the national capital Brasilia to meet with president Dilma Rousseff. The reason for the trip was to discuss the proposed Law of Sporting Financial Responsibility, which aims to restructure teams’ massive public debts over a 25 year period, while not unreasonably requiring them to comply with their financial obligations, such as paying players’ wages on time. In the murky world of Brazilian football, such obligations are often seen as optional. “If the law isn’t [...]