Messi, Neymar, Sanchez: In search of South America’s next star

February 10, 2015

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Angel Correa is leaving Argentina to play in Spain.
“For the crunch World Cup match against England last year, Uruguay were without their captain and centre-back Diego Lugano. In to replace him came Jose Maria Gimenez, a 19-year-old who had played in a grand total of one league match the previous season and one Copa del Rey fixture for Atletico Madrid. It is hard to imagine England, or another major European nation, throwing a youngster into the deep end in this way. But Uruguay had no qualms. Gimenez had been immaculate the previous year in the World Under-20 Cup, and that was good enough. This story helps to explain the importance of under-20 football in South America. There are plenty of others like it.” BBC – Tim Vickery


FIFA candidates must heed past lessons

February 5, 2015

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“Now that a few candidates have thrown their hats into the ring, at least the next FIFA presidential election should generate a healthy debate, something which seems to be in short supply on the subject. The European, and particularly the English, press go on and on about corruption scandals. There is much to applaud here. The most noble part of journalism is that which digs into stories and asks questions which make those in power uncomfortable. Moreover, corruption is clearly harmful, with corrosive effects on institutions and individuals.” The World Game – Tim Vickery (Video)


Three 2014 World Cup moments etched in my memory

January 7, 2015

“With South American football currently slumbering through its high summer siesta, I hope I might be forgiven for glancing backwards at what has just become last year’s World Cup. The tournament was well worth remembering – for the protests it engendered beforehand, for the spectacle it provided us with during and for the memories that linger afterwards. These are some of mine.” The World Game – Tim Vickery


Club World Cup: Real Madrid ahead for San Lorenzo

December 17, 2014

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“Squeezed around domestic commitments, European champions Real Madrid arrived in Morocco this week for the Fifa Club World Cup – but their South American counterparts, San Lorenzo of Argentina, have been there in spirit for months. Ever since an emotional night in August when they won the Copa Libertadores, South America’s equivalent of the Champions League, San Lorenzo have found it impossible to forget about the Club World Cup.” BBC – Tim Vickery


The price of super stardom

December 10, 2014

“On July 7th 1957, with little more than 30 senior games under his belt and still a few months short of his 17th birthday, Pele made his debut for Brazil, scoring his side’s goal in the 2-1 defeat to Argentina in Rio’s Maracana stadium. The previous day, at the church fete in Woolton, Liverpool, the 16 year old John Lennon met Paul McCartney, two years his junior, for the first time. The rest, of course, is history – until, hundreds of hits and a thousand goals later, their decade came to an end. In April 1970 McCartney announced the break up of The Beatles. A couple of months later Pele made a glorious farewell to the stage he had made his own, winning the World Cup for the third time with a team that still set the standard for Brazil sides. The closeness of the dates is uncanny.” The World Game – Tim Vickery


Why are South Americans succeeding in England?

November 21, 2014

“Earlier this month Sergio Aguero’s goal won the Manchester derby for City. Nothing unusual there, perhaps – the little genius has been a consistent matchwinner since joining the club just over three years ago, with 64 goals in 98 Premier League appearances. Much more striking is that Aguero was part of a South American contingent which on the pitch that day was more numerous than English players – a fact which serves as a symbol for the season.” BBC – Tim Vickery


The significance of Turkey v Brazil this week

November 14, 2014

“Turkey hosts Brazil in a match-up of the two teams that contested the 2002 World Cup semi-final, but will the occasion be a celebration of the heights they scaled in Japan and Korea? Or tinged with melancholy at the dwindling football fortunes of both nations in the years since?” The World Game – Tim Vickery


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