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 left flank, meant that a France side which looked impressive on paper often looked confused […]

Mar 242015
 
Tite's Tactics See Corinthians Back To Their Best

Corinthians have begun the new season in storming fashion and have a strong claim to be the best team in Brazil right now. They are unbeaten in all competitions with 12 wins and 3 draws, and have conceded just 6 goals along the way. More impressive than the numbers, however, is the manner of their performances: Ruthlessly efficient, combining stout defending with precise, targeted moments of beautiful and devastating counter-attacking football, they have rarely looked like they are anything less than 100% confident that they will win the game. This […]

Feb 082015
 
Brazil's Decline Reflected in South American U20 Championships

Brazil’s first competitive games after the World Cup shambles came in the South American Under-20 Championships, which have just come to a conclusion in Uruguay. With a young, articulate coach in Alexandre Gallo, who had time to prepare for the competition, this was an excellent opportunity to put last year’s disappointments in the past and show that Brazilian football has licked its wounds, learned its lessons and moved on. That opportunity was emphatically not taken. True, Brazil did claim one of South America’s four places in the World Under-20 Cup, […]

Jan 302015
 
Galo Child (Slight Return): Bernard Out In The Cold At Shakhtar

During the last fortnight, Shakhtar Donetsk have been touring Brazil, playing winter break friendlies with Serie A sides Flamengo, Atlético Mineiro, Internacional, Cruzeiro and recently relegated Bahia. With 14 Brazilians currently listed in their first team squad, this was a literal homecoming for a significant portion of the Shakhtar squad. For no player was this slight return more spiritually nourishing than for Bernard Duarte. His move to the Ukraine has been difficult from the very beginning and his desire to leave may as well be inked onto his already heavily […]

Jan 062015
 
Brazil Squad for 2015 South American Youth Football Championship

The 2015 South American Under 20 Championships will be held in Uruguay between the 15th of January and Febuary 7th, with the next generation of Brazilian stars hoping to show their class on this continental stage. Brazil last won the tournament in 2011, when young striker Neymar, then at Santos, made his name and finished as the competition’s top scorer with nine goals. This squad also included the likes of Lucas Moura, Oscar, Danilo, and Alex Sandro. Three stadiums will be used for the tournament, the Estadio Suppici in Colonia, the Estadio Domingo […]

Dec 292014
 
Are Attempts at Modernization Breaking Brazilian Club Football?

Last week, in the same bar and restaurant district of Belo Horizonte where visiting fans from Colombia, Chile, England and other countries gathered during the World Cup, Reinaldo, former Brazil international and the Atlético Mineiro’s all-time leading scorer, held a promotional event. During the party a big TV screen outside the bar showed some of the greatest moments from the glorious, though injury scarred career of O Rei (“the King”) during the 1970s and 80s. Many of them took place at the Mineirão stadium, and all were accompanied by shots of […]

Dec 042014
 
From The Ritz to The Rubble - Brazilian Football's Inglorious Isolation

For a decade now, around this time of the year, the Footecon event has taken place in Rio.  Its tag line – ‘the main forum of the football industry in the Americas.’  It began life more than anything as a conference of coaches, and at heart that is what it remains, though over the years it has tagged on elements of business. Time to declare an interest; I have attended every edition of Footecon.  I owe the event a massive debt of gratitude.  It has taught me more than I […]

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 […]

Jul 052014
 
Brazil Taste Own Medicine as Neymar Exits World Cup

There’s a catchy song doing the rounds on Brazilian TV which has a chorus – “Mostra tua força Brasil” – which translates as “show your strength, Brazil”. During last night’s game, they might have taken this show of strength too far for their own good. The Seleção’s quarter-final against Colombia will be remembered as the match which saw Neymar’s World Cup come to an end. The much talked about “poster-boy” of Brazil suffered a knee to the back from Juan Zuniga which ended his game and his tournament, as Brazil […]

Apr 192014
 
Brasileirão 2014 - Brazilian Série A League Preview

The 2014 Brasileirão season will be broken into two parts, thanks to the mid-season break for the World Cup. The season starts on April 19th, breaking from June 2nd to July 14th, and will come to a close on December 6th. Here’s a look at all the participants, including their aims and players to look out for. We begin, perhaps unfashionably, with a look at the clubs in the north east of Brazil, written by The Independent’s Brazilian football writer, James Young. Whilst wishing it could be otherwise, given the financial challenges faced […]