Building a World Cup Stadium in the Amazon

September 25, 2013

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“The most challenging aspect of building a World Cup soccer stadium in the middle of the Amazon is debatable. Some might say it is figuring out how to get oversize cranes and hundreds of tons of stainless steel and concrete into a city surrounded by a rain forest that stretches for about 2.1 million square miles. Others might mention the need to put most of those materials together before the rainy season floods the entire construction site. Then, of course, there are those who might point to the need to install the special chairs. Yes, the chairs. It may seem like a small concern — at least compared with the whole everything-being-flooded possibility — but one of the less obvious issues that comes with building a stadium in the jungle is what the searing equatorial sunlight here can do to plastic.” NY Times

More than a game in Brazil
“I spent August in London, which means that returning to my adopted city of Rio de Janeiro there is a ritual which I always have to go through – catching the 472 bus to Sao Januario, the stadium of Vasco da Gama. It is the best way I know of ensuring that, in mind as well as in body, I have put London in the past and am focused on events over here.” The World Game – Tim Vickery


Paolo Di Canio: What now for Sunderland’s former manager?

September 25, 2013

“Passion, pride, desire, discipline, determination – on the surface Paolo Di Canio’s managerial principles sound ideal. You buy into the philosophy, respect the club, take pride in the badge, and you work hard. Very hard. It is a concept that can have the players enthralled and the fans enraptured when it works, as witnessed by promotion from League Two with Swindon Town and a place at the top of League One the following season.” BBC


Manuel Pellegrini & Mauricio Pochettino buck a coaching trend

September 25, 2013

“For more than an hour in last Wednesday’s Champions League matches, up and down the continent, every goal had been scored by players from either Argentina or Brazil – an extraordinary example of South America’s contribution to European club football. In comparison to the impressive feats of the players, surprisingly little of that contribution has come from coaches. There have been a few South American success stories on the other side of the Atlantic – Brazil’s Otto Gloria and Chile’s Fernando Riera spring to mind. But opportunities have been limited – hence the general surprise when Argentina’s Gerardo Martino was rushed into the Barcelona job, an appointment which suggests a desire to keep Lionel Messi content.” BBC – Tim Vickery


Italy’s recent racism judgment could be a game-changer

September 25, 2013

“History was made on Monday. Or at least, a legal precedent of the kind that could in time have massive ramifications around Europe. And perhaps, eventually, change our match-going experience forever. Sound excessive? Bear with me. The Italian FA charged Milan for the fact that some of their fans engaged in racist abuse during Sunday night’s match against Napoli.” ESPN


SV Darmstadt 98 – Can they do it again?

September 25, 2013

“At the end of last season, SV Darmstadt 98 finished in 18th place in the 3. Liga and therefore were relegated to the Regionalliga. Only 8 victories in 38 matches and 32 goals in the whole season were enough to relegate the Lillies. However, as the club were preparing for life in the Regionalliga, the news that Kickers Offenbach’s license had been denied offered them a lifeline. With Offenbach’s relegation, Darmstadt were safe and were to play another year in Germany’s third tier.” Bundesliga Fanatic