Aug 212016
 
Brazil Finally Have Their Gold Medal

7-1 will never be erased. No one in Brazil will tell you differently. Winning the Olympics, which many rightfully point out is simply a glorified youth tournament, pales in comparison to the national embarrassment that was Germany’s 7-1 win against Brasil in the 2014 World Cup. But just as the stain that is the 7-1 will never be cleaned, so too, the shine that is the Olympic Gold Medal will never fade. Embed from Getty […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Apr 052016
 
Mancini - Flamboyance In An Unlikely Setting

He is remembered mostly for one moment of brilliance; a flurry of step overs that turned defenders from actors to spectators before he proceeded to fire a ferocious shot into the roof of the net. Amantino Mancini’s goal against Lyon is a natural inclusion whenever a highlights reel of the best goals of the Champions League is compiled and that moment of genius has granted him immortality. That goal, however, is also Mancini’s curse.  It […]

Mar 252016
 
Thiago Silva and Dunga - Two Households Alike in Dignity

12th June, 2014. Brazil opens a World Cup as host for the first time in 64 years with a group match against Croatia. The Brazil team lines up arm in arm as the opening chords of the national anthem whir around Arena Corinthians. Before the opening lyrics are uttered, Neymar is pictured blinking back tears, as are several of his teammates – the emotion of the occasion producing an undevourable lump in their throats. Hulk, […]

Feb 062016
 
Why Brazil Must Now Select China Based Players

  Anyone who has followed the goings on during this transfer window couldn’t have helped but notice the rise of Chinese football in the world scene. This window alone, Chinese sides have signed Jackson Martínez from Atlético Madrid, Fredy Guarín from Inter, Ramires from Chelsea, and Alex Teixeira from Shakhtar Donetsk. However, it wasn’t just European based players who took the plunge; accepting large swaths of money to move to China. Continuing a trend of […]

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 […]

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 […]