The Evolution of Brazilian Football

July 1, 2009

“Brazilian football, unlike any other cultural interpretation of a particular sport, has the ability to conjure up in one’s mind an essence of mystery, of carnival, of rhythm, of unadulterated joy and freedom. Futebol is so deeply, so passionately interwoven into the fabric of Brazilian culture that the two entities are inextricably linked, they define each other and share an intrinsic identity, an instantly recognisable global image.” (SoccerLens)

Trouble blights Huracan’s renaissance

July 1, 2009

“There’s a famous South American film with a title that translates as ‘God and the Devil in the Land of the Sun.’ It’s Brazilian, set in the country’s arid northeast. But it is Argentina that has the sun in the middle of its flag, and the title could easily and appropriately apply to events in Buenos Aires. Good and evil are not hard to find in Argentine football, sometimes in the same place – such as the Huracan club at the moment.” (BBC – Tim Vickery)

Football is ‘vulnerable’ to money laundering, but no names named (Guardian)
“Today’s report by the Financial Action Task Force raises the spectre, in calm, plain language, that football is vulnerable to criminals, who might take over beloved local clubs or use the transfer system to launder dirty money or evade tax. Some of it is not mightily surprising, but still, there is something startling about reading these warnings, set out calmly in an official report by an inter-governmental body whose job is ‘to protect the global financial system against money laundering and terrorist financing.'”

North/South Divide in Western Hemisphere (NYT)
“In soccer in the Western Hemisphere, North is North and South is South and they shall rarely meet on the soccer field. That was the word Tuesday from Concacaf, the sport’s governing body for the North, Central American and Caribbean region, which said that its club teams would no longer take part in the Copa Sudaméricana — primarily because the competition will put a strain on its regional club teams and conflict with the Concacaf Champions League, which will begin its second tournament in late July.”

Peru’s players have acted in a bid to arrest a decline in standards, writes Brian Homewood (World Soccer)
“Peruvian players have threatened they will boycott the national team unless sweeping and deep-rooted changes are made to the way football is run in their country. The Peruvian Players Union have sent a document to the federation (FPF) setting out what it sees as the reforms which are needed to end the seemingly interminable decline.”

Cana Dig It? Yes, You Can & All White On The Night (A Cultured Left Foot)
“Oh dear Arsene, what are you going to do? Felipe Melo has signed a new contract extension, which explains the transfer buzz that was created around him, at Fiorentina to whom will you turn now that your primary target has probably got a hugely inflated escape clause surrounding him?”

Who will be market movers? (BBC – Phil McNulty)
“Manchester City’s “stratospheric” efforts to muscle in on the Premier League’s elite Gang of Four have set a searing pace in the summer transfer market. Gareth Barry has already been snared from Aston Villa, along with Blackburn Rovers striker Roque Santa Cruz – but they increasingly appear to be mere warm-up acts for the forthcoming main attractions.”

The fine tuning of pre-season (BBC – Paul Fletcher)
“June turns into July and the sanctuary of the beach gives way to the toil of the training ground in the scorching summer sun as players return for pre-season.”

Owen A Debt Of Gratitude To A Brochure? (Three Match Ban)
“Politeness costs nothing, so first of all, thank you Michael Owen for the brochure, but I will not be taking the opportunity to sign a ‘ruthlessly determined person who is desperate to be back in the England squad.’”

Defender leads from the front (FIFA)
“Australia’s successful qualification campaign for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa was built on a remarkably consistent and thrifty defensive line. Marshalling the back-four virtually throughout the 14-match campaign was captain Lucas Neill, whose consistency played a key role in helping his side achieve a national FIFA World Cup record of seven consecutive clean sheets.”