Sep 272015
Souness: Zico & Júnior Amongst The Best Ever

Former Liverpool midfielder Graeme Souness has described Brazil’s Zico and Junior as two of the best players he ever played against. Writing in his column for The Sunday Times, the Scotsman heaped praise on the iconic Brazilian midfielder. “From my own career, Zico stood out as a world-class player,” he said. “I played against him several times for Liverpool, Sampdoria, and Scotland but never got within 6ft of him, never laid a finger on him. […]

Sep 272015
Can Alexandre Pato Earn a Brazil Recall?

“I want to return to the Seleção, that’s my aim. It (the squad) will be announced on Thursday, and I deserve to be in the national team. I am the best Brazilian striker, I don’t see anyone better. I can be there, I can help teammates, either as false nine, on the left, on the right, but it’s Dunga’s decision.” So said Alexandre Pato, shortly before Dunga announced his squad for World Cup qualifiers against […]

Sep 092015
Brazil Ease Past The USA in Yet Another Friendly Win

Brazil’s impressive record in friendly matches continued as they defeated a poor USA side by four goals to one in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The last friendly Brazil failed to win was way back in August 2013, when a Daniel Alves own goal gave Switzerland a win in Basel. The United States, or the USMNT as they’re more commonly known, were coming into this game off the back of a 2-1 win against Peru, but their hopes […]

Aug 112015
Futsal - Football From The Streets to The Halls

  There’s a video on YouTube which shows Liverpool and Brazil midfielder Philipe Coutinho getting hold of the ball, slaloming past three defenders and then slamming it past the goalkeeper.  It is a wonderful expression of skill and technical mastery; the fluidity of execution breathtaking. In this video, shown below, Coutinho isn’t in a Liverpool shirt.  Nor is he playing for any of his previous European clubs; Inter and Espanyol. Indeed, he isn’t even on […]

Aug 052015
Fluminense Hoping for Ronaldinho Revival in Rio

After a feckless spell in Mexico with Querétaro, Ronaldinho Gaúcho returns to Brazil with Fluminense this month. Having turned 35 in March, he is winding down the final years of his career. He has never been the most fastidious player when it comes to his physical preparation, in fact, at times he has treated training as an optional part of a footballer’s existence. His peerless quality has masked his devil may care attitude in the […]

Jul 282015
The Strength of Street Football & Brazil's Production Line

A few months ago a website wanted to pay me good money to go to Santos and write a profile piece on the team’s young striker Gabriel ‘Gabigol’ Barbosa.  And I ended up talking myself out of a lucrative commission. The idea started to lose appeal when he did little of note at the start of the year in the South American Under-20 Championships.  And it died a death when he was not even selected […]

Jul 232015
Brazil's Coaching Crisis - One Step Sideways, Two Steps Back

The contrast between two of the managers at June’s Copa America could hardly have been more obvious. First there was Dunga, the arch-paranoia-pragmatist, piling on extra central defenders – there were four on the pitch by the end of the game – to protect a slim lead against humble Venezuela, before his side’s paucity of attacking options sans Neymar was painfully revealed in defeat in its next game against Paraguay. On the other hand there […]

Jul 122015
Can Dunga's Brazil Recover from Copa America Failure?

For Dunga and Brazil, the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup get underway in October, so the coach does not have much time to pick over the rubble of a pretty disastrous Copa América campaign. The Copa is usually considered a neat precursor to the qualifiers. It marks the beginning of a new cycle in the international calendar, and as such, many coaches use it as a laboratory to perfect the formula for the seasons […]

Jul 082015
Rodrigo Ely - AC Milan’s Brazilian Gamble

Despite all the barriers that FIFA and UEFA try to put up to prevent big clubs from stockpiling players, it is unlikely that they will ever be successful. The potential economic benefit is quite simply too large for rich (mainly) European sides not to try and benefit. They easily afford spending a couple of millions on a handful of prospects in the hope that one of them either comes good or can be sold on. […]

Jun 202015
Brazil 1, Serbia 2 (AET) - Under 20 World Cup Final

Brazil made it to the final of the 2015 U20 World Cup thanks to wins on penalties v Uruguay in the last 16, and Portugal in the quarter finals. A 5-0 thrashing of Senegal in the semi-final was the only time the side had really let loose as they always threaten to do, but they returned to their previous guise for this, often frustrating final match. The first chance came after ten minutes, when Boschilia whipped […]