May 152013

brazil badgeThe Botafogo Star was lucky enough to get the thoughts of Paulo Freitas on a few issues relating to Brazilian football. Paulo is Brazil’s Head Researcher for Football Manager, a Sky Sports correspondent, and a writer for The Elastico, Just Football and Sambafoot. He also runs the Brazilian football community on Google Plus.

Q) The Brazilian national team has a worldwide following and attracts spectators whereever they play. Do you think the Brazilian domestic league could ever be as popular as the national team?
A) I doubt it, competition is much fiercer when it comes to leagues and Brazil’s league have to compete with the national team itself too. But it’s certain the league’s popularity will still grow as more players stay in Brazil and others come, and Brazilian clubs succeed abroad, as Corinthians did when they beat Chelsea in the Club World Cup final.

Q) What do you think the Brazilian Football Confederation could do to improve the worldwide popularity of the domestic league in Brazil?
A) They have to get out of the way and let the clubs handle the league, as happens in the English Premier League, for example. Brazil’s FA lack the organization and the will to run the league, and is too affected by internal political issues.

Q) Attendances at games in Brazil has been poor of late. What do you consider to be the main reasons for this, and do you think they will start to rise again soon?
A) Many reasons such as too many games, no season tickets, poor kickoff times (often too late), poorly located stadiums and violence sometimes.

But I believe the main reason is that Brazilians are glory hunters, they tend to follow the team more closely only when the team are winning.

Q) Are there any young players currently playing in the Brazilian league whom you think will go onto great things, either in Brazil or abroad?
A) Dória is one, maybe Leandro (Palmeiras) if he becomes more consistent. Rafael (Santos goalkeeper) looks set to become a top goalie.

Q) Do Brazil have a realistic chance of winning the 2014 World Cup?
A) Brazil would need to improve a lot in one year to have a realistic chance, so I doubt. Brazil’s best chance is having an easier route to the final, like happened in the Olympics.

Q) The Brazilian team’s failure to win the World Cup on home soil in in 1950 hung heavy over the nation for decades after. Is this still remembered today, and what effect would a failure to win the 2014 tournament have in comparison?
A) It’s remembered mainly by the press, as most people were born after 1950, so didn’t see that defeat. A defeat at home nowadays wouldn’t have the same effect as 1) Brazil already have won the World Cup a few times, and 2) Fans don’t like the national team much anyway, so a defeat would just make more people lose interest, but wouldn’t be a national disaster as was in 1950, back then fans believed Brazil could win while nowadays most are sceptical, so a Brazilian defeat wouldn’t be a shock.

Doria Botafogo Blue

Doria in training for Botafogo. One to watch in Brazil this season.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>