James Nalton

Editor and owner of The Botafogo Star. Author of Brazilian football column Sambafoot Sunday, and freelance football writer for various publications. Follow on Twitter

Nov 142017
Some Friendly: Tite & Brazil's Modern Football Tour

There is no such thing as a friendly for the Brazil national team, or at least not for its hoards of fans around the world. Brazil don’t just play friendlies, they take part in the Brazil Global Tour: it’s got a sponsor and everything. No other team in the world has such fanfare attached to non-competitive games, but when these types of games were all they had to play during the build-up to their 2014 […]

Nov 092017
Arthur of Gremio is Ready for the Next Step to Europe & Selecao

At some stage during its quest for Jogo Bonito, Brazil decided it needed insurance, (writes James Nalton). Once a nation famed for churning out an endless stream of attacking talent which would eventually make its way to Europe, it’s now a talent factory just as useful for the holding midfielders used to provide cover for these free spirits. The country of Pelé, Garrincha, Jairzinho, Ronaldo, and Ronaldinho et al, also produced Mauro Silva, Mazinho, Dunga, […]

Dec 062016
Cafu Says Neymar Can Be Best In the World

Since 2008 the highest individual accolade a soccer player can receive, the Ballon d’Or, has been won either by Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. Now there is a new contender challenging for the title and according to Brazilian legend Cafu, Neymar is set to become the best player in the world. Cafu spoke with The Silver Times about Neymar’s talent in an interview stating, “this is a genuine phenomenon, this is one of the best […]

Nov 182015
Brazil 3, Peru 0 - South American World Cup Qualifying

Brazil move into third place in the South American World Cup Qualifying table after a 3-0 victory against Peru in Salvador. The three goal margin moved them ahead of Paraguay and Chile who’ve also notched up seven points from four games. The Brazil side, containing a healthy mix of domestic based players and European based stars, lined up in a 4-1-4-1 formation with Neymar leading the line. An early error from Willian led to an […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]