May 212015
 
Roberto Firmino - At The Forefront of Neymar's Brazilian Backing Band

Since reassuming the reins of the Seleção last August, Dunga’s manifesto has contained two over-arching promises, both designed to clear up the mess of the previous administration, as manifestos are wont to do. Firstly, to expunge the memory of the game now known in common parlance as “the 7-1.” Dunga has made a good start with a perfect set of friendly results, but the Copa América in Chile would be the first proper band aid […]

May 202015
 
Rubinho - Juventus’ Invisible Brazilian

Goalkeepers are different. So wrote Brian Glanville and, as on most occasions, the wise man of football writing was right. You have to be different to be a goalkeeper. Your basic purpose – that of stopping goals from being scored – means that you are the only one allowed to break one of the most basic rules of the game, that of playing with your hand rather than your feet. But there’s more; goalkeepers are […]

May 092015
 
2015 Brasileirão Season Preview

This preview of the 2015 Brazilian season was written by Anthony Wood (@FRfutebolAnt) and Luke Butler (@FRfutebolLuke), who are Brazilian football experts for the football data and analysis company, Football Radar. After a few long and arduous months of state championship football, the 2015 edition of Brazil’s premier league competition, the Brasileirão, kicks off this weekend. The league has seen eleven different teams crowned champions over the past two decades and this season looks set to be as competitive and unpredictable […]

May 042015
 
Copa Libertadores 2015 - Knockout Rounds Preview

  Corinthians, São Paulo, Internacional, Atlético Mineiro and Cruzeiro all emerged from the group phase of the Copa Libertadores unscathed. Some qualified with greater ease than others, Tite’s Corinthians consummately sailed through the ‘group of death.’ In contrast, Galo, who really ought to fit their supporters with pacemakers as standard, qualified by the skin of their teeth. The main obstacle to a Brazilian club snafuing this year’s Libertadores comes mainly from Argentina, specifically Boca Juniors, […]

Apr 232015
 
Jefferson - The New Number One In Brazil's Travelling Circus

The late English showman Bob Monkhouse had at least one great line in his locker; “everyone laughed when I told them I was going to be a comedian,” he said.  “Well, they’re not laughing now!” It is a comment that Botafogo goalkeeper Jefferson may well appreciate.  An unorthodox part of his modest upbringing in Sao Vicente, on the outskirts of Santos, was a spell he spent in a circus as a clown’s assistant.  But he […]

Apr 122015
 
The Gringo and O Jogo Bonito

World Cup Classics – Brazilian Style It was 1977 when I fell in love with football, but in 1978 that love fast became an addiction thanks to the amazing World Cup in Argentina, complete with the ticker tape entrances and some truly great matches. I had decided to follow Scotland, not only as the only home UK nation to qualify, but more for being a budding Liverpool fan, Kenny Dalglish was in his pomp, with […]

Apr 112015
 
Philippe Coutinho - Strength of Character

For some reason, when people think about footballers they assume that they are different; that their talent arms them with more than a simple ability to control a ball better than the rest of us. It is (partly, at least) why so much is made when players slip up. People don’t expect footballers to want to go out partying, to want to smoke, to give in to temptation of any kind….they’re footballers, the luckiest people […]

Mar 312015
 
Éder - An Italian Made in Brazil

Goals have a miraculous tendency for clearing any criticism that had preceded them; they’re the perfect antidote to any negative (and forcefully put forward) observations. Goals have lifted Eder from one club to another as his never faltering strike rate attracted ever bigger clubs until, this season he was asked to prove his worth at the highest stage of Italian football. And a goal is how he answered his latest round of critics, those who […]

Mar 312015
 
Roberto Firmino Fires Brazil to Friendly Win v Chile

BRAZIL 1 R FIRMINO (72) CHILE 0 Roberto Firmino proved his worth once again, as partly experimental Brazil side defeated Chile to continue their excellent winning streak in non-competitive games. The run now stands at seventeen straight wins in friendly matches, but the first half of this game at the Emirates Stadium in London must have had Brazil coach Dunga thinking that this was the end of the streak. Jorge Sampaoli sent out a typically dynamic […]

Mar 282015
 
France 1, Brazil 3 - Tactics From The Friendly Match

France – 1 Varane 21′ Brazil – 3 Oscar 40′, Neymar 57′, Luiz Gustavo 69′ This victory at the Stade de France was Brazil’s 16th consecutive friendly win, and one which saw Dunga’s men line up in a formation containing no real centre forward. The shape was a very fluid 4-2-2-2 formation, in which much of the play was focused down the left hand side. The roaming play of Neymar, Oscar, and occasionally Filipe Luis down this […]