Jul 102016
 
Leandro Damião - The Man Who Should Have Been King

The most striking feature of the Brazil squad picked by Carlos Dunga for the Copa America was the dire lack of strikers of real quality. For sure there was still plenty of attacking flair in his selection – Philippe Coutinho, Douglas Costa, Oscar, Willian – yet once Neymar announced that he was opting to go for Olympic gold rather than the continental title, Dunga had effectively run out of top quality strikers. That the thirty […]

Jul 092016
 
Going For Football Gold - Why Brazil Prioritise The Olympics

Football and the Olympics have historically made for uneasy bedfellows. The Olympics is, at its essence, a celebration of the amateur principles of sport. In modern times, it has become a festival for athletics and minority sports to spend four weeks in the soda light. European football, with its global popularity and garish riches, does not fit comfortably into this brief. The 2012 Olympic Games in London was greeted with a slew of articles in […]

Jun 222016
 
Life Will Be No Beach for Tite - Brazil's New Manager

Tite will assume the reigns of the Seleção for the resumption of the World Cup qualifiers in August. He is a significant upgrade on Dunga, as a glance at the track record of the two coaches suggests. Tite is comfortably the best Brazilian coach around, albeit the bar has been exponentially lowered over the years by a poisonous coaching culture. Impatient club owners sack managers with impunity, then compound this vicious cycle by hiring from […]

Jun 102016
 
Brazil v Haiti: Seven One Again

For Brazilians, 7×1 is a scoreline that will always carry meaning. It was, of course, the scoreline of the trashing that Germany gave them in the 2014 World Cup. That match dashed the dreams of Brazil lifting the Cup on their home soil, and stained Brazilian football in a way which will never be washed clean. It wasn’t insignificant then, that on Wednesday night in Orlando, Brazil defeated Haiti by that same score in their […]

Jun 042016
 
Brazil in the Copa America 2016 - A Preview

The last time Brazil played a major tournament on American soil, they were crowned World Champions for the fourth time. This time, the story could be vastly different. Ironically enough, the stadium that hosted Brazil’s coronation in 1994, The Rose Bowl in Pasadena just outside Los Angeles, will host their debut in this year’s Copa América Centenario, which will take place Saturday against Ecuador. Brazil enter Saturday’s match a team in crisis. Manager Dunga has […]

Jun 042016
 
Luisao - The Player Benfica Can’t Live Without

In football as in history, it is the story of the victors which is glorified while that of the defeated is, at best, forgotten. So it is that Seville’s five successes in the Europa League has seen them being put forward as the model of a club that achieves success despite constantly selling its best players whilst Benfica, twice losing finalists of this same competition, are overlooked. Yet Benfica have remained competitive – arguably doing […]

May 282016
 
Expectations of Dunga's Brazil - Copa America 2016 Preview

On Saturday, 4th June, Brazil kick off their Copa América Centenário campaign against Ecuador in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The stadium holds happy memories for the Seleção and troubled coach Dunga as they lifted the World Cup in that very arena back in 1994. Dunga interpreted that triumph as an act of defiance against a hostile press, who had come to regard him as emblematic of Brazil’s transition from futêbol artistes to functional army. […]

May 122016
 
2016 Brasileirão Preview & Predictions

After three months of largely uninteresting state league football mixed in with some Copa Libertadores fun, Brazil’s national league, the Brasileirão, makes its much anticipated return this weekend. Things are much different now than they were last December when the 2015 campaign concluded. Then, Corinthians were the deserved champions and looking like the best side in the recent history of South American football. Now, Timão has seen so many of the players that made that […]

May 102016
 
Brasileirão 2016 Preview - Best & Worst Case Scenarios

With the slog that is the Brazilian state leagues finally behind us, the eyes of the country turn to the Brasileirão. The are story-lines aplenty, with Flamengo looking to return to relevance on the pitch, a heavily weakened Corinthians seeking to win back to back titles, and plenty of teams looking likely to make a run at the title. With those in mind, let’s take a look at the best and worst case scenarios of […]

May 092016
 
Alisson - Brazil's and Now Roma's Number One?

Overused (and, often, misunderstood) when it was first imported from baseball, it has since become unusual to hear of Moneyball in football. Clubs’ use of statistics in making decisions over players is no longer the novelty that it once was and so the desire to talk about it has greatly diminished. It is clear, however, that those clubs with ambitions of making it among the elite but do not have the financial wherewithal to buy […]