Tactical Analysis: Argentina 1-1 Brazil | Argentina improve but to no avail

November 21, 2015

“Last Friday, the South American derby between Argentina and Brazil was played. The game should have been played on Thursday but had to be suspended due to heavy rain that fell on Buenos Aires. The match found an Argentine team without two of their stars, with Messi and Agüero both out injured and this only added to the absence of Carlos Tevez. Martino’s team started with a 4-3-3 system, while Dunga used a 4-2-3-1 system, trying to stop the Argentine midfield, and cut the creative circuit.” Outside of the Boot

Hulk now proving his worth to Dunga and the Selecao

November 21, 2015

“I’ll get the cliche out the way early: Hulk really has been incredible this season. When Stan Lee created the Marvel character he certainly wouldn’t have expected the slogan ‘The Incredible Hulk’ to be applied to a Brazilian footballer, however, it epitomizes Hulk’s form this term and a Selecao career that had seemingly run its course is now back in full swing.” Outside of the Boot

Brazil fail to reach World Cup? Don’t rule it out as they head to Argentina

November 16, 2015

“That if Brazil failed to qualify for the World Cup? The prospect seems incredible but it is one that football may have to try to come to terms with. It is still a distant possibility but, given how awful the side have been at their last two major tournaments and given how they have started qualifying for Russia 2018, it is not as preposterous a scenario as it would once have seemed. With Argentina also stuttering off the blocks there will be an unexpected sense of anxiety about Thursday’s meeting in El Monumental.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson

Mane Garrincha: The Beethoven of Football

October 11, 2015

“The perfect prototype of the modern footballer is Cristiano Ronaldo; tall and imposing, hulking, well toned muscles that are regularly flexed for the cameras, endorsement deals due to dazzling Hollywood looks and a marketability due to a superficial charm or theatrics off the pitch. In the current football climate Mane Garrincha would not be looked at twice by companies that want to market their products, probably the equivalent of Dean Windass, he was that hideously deformed. Born with multiple defects that ruled him out of various potential moves to clubs who deemed him too far gone and incapable of producing anything worthwhile on a football pitch. How wrong they were because it was due to his deformed spine and a right leg bent outwards and a left leg half a dozen centimeters shorter bent inwards that allowed him to hook the ball in that special way that conjured those mazy dribbles that dazzled many fans.” Outside of the Boot

FA Cup: Ilkeston goalkeeper’s journey from war in Ukraine

September 10, 2015

“Playing in the seventh tier of English football was probably not quite how Evandro Rachoni saw his career going when he left Brazil to seek fame and fortune. But then, being threatened by masked gunmen as a platoon of tanks drove by was probably not part of the plan either. That, though, is just one part of an incredible journey that has seen the Brazilian goalkeeper go from playing against Ballon d’Or winner Rivaldo in Angola, escaping war-torn Ukraine to now living in the small Derbyshire town of Ilkeston preparing to play in the FA Cup first qualifying round.” BBC

Copa Libertadores 2015: River Plate complete their redemption cycle

August 7, 2015

“On a wet and windy August night in Buenos Aires, River Plate ran out as 3-0 victors against Tigres to secure a third Libertadores crown and finally complete their redemptive cycle.  4 years ago – 1,501 days to be precise – Los Millonarios suffered relegation; now they stand atop the continent, the only side to have won back-to-back Sudamericana and Libertadores titles.” Outside of the Boot

Tim Vickery’s Notes from Brazil: Ronaldinho’s last decade summed up in 90 minutes

August 3, 2015

“The last 9 years of Ronaldinho Gaucho’s professional life were nearly summed up in his first 90 minutes for his latest club. The former FIFA player of the year had been presented to fans of Fluminense of Rio at a previous game a fortnight earlier. A big crowd had come out for the occasion, and, inspired, Ronaldinho declared himself raring to go, desperate to get out there on the field. He neglected to add that it would be some 8 days before he actually turned up for training – part of the deal he agreed with the club was that he would straight away be granted two weeks holiday. Since he had not been in action since the end of May (with Queretaro in Mexico) this in itself was an eye opener, yet more evidence that getting the most out of his extraordinary talent is not at the top of his list of priorities – which would seem to have been the case for some time.” World Soccer – Tim Vickery (Video)


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