How does Brazil keep the World Cup party going? Send in the army

March 30, 2014

Rio de Janeiro Sec. XIX
“Eighty days before the start of the World Cup, the Brazilian government has deployed the army to occupy one of Rio de Janeiro’s largest groups of favelas. On Monday it was announced that, following a recent escalation in violence across the city, the army will soon be present in the Complexo da Maré for an ‘indefinite’ period. Rio’s favelas are, unfortunately, well known for their violence. Yet, a strategy launched by the government in 2008 to combat the entrenched power of drug traffickers by using community police units (UPPs), designed to bring security alongside investment and social services, has yielded some impressive results. For example, one formerly violent favela has not had a murder for more than five years.” Guardian

History of Rio de Janeiro’s Military Police Part I: 19th Century Beginnings
“To fully understand the nature of the Brazilian police force today, it is necessary to know about the context in which it was originally created. In 1808, threatened by the impending invasion of Napoleon, the Portuguese royal family took the decision to move to Rio de Janeiro, taking its Court of nearly 15,000 people with it. Rio´s law enforcement until that point had consisted in unarmed watchmen (guardas) chosen by the town council working alongside neighbourhood inspectors (known as quadrilheiros) employed by local judges. However, the arrival of the monarchy clearly necessitated a more organized force.” Rio On Watch – Part I: 19th Century Beginnings, Part 2: From Dictatorship to Drug War, Part 3: Community Policing

Rio Looks Like A War Zone As Troops Raid Slums Only Months Before The World Cup
“Brazil has deployed federal troops to Rio de Janeiro in an effort to rid slums of violent crime, drug traffickers, and gangs ahead of the FIFA World Cup in June. The drug lords are fighting back against the authorities, trying to recapture their territory after years of police occupations. This violent battle has raised concerns about safety and security at the upcoming World Cup soccer tournament in Brazil, which hundreds of thousands of foreigners are expected to attend. The final game in the tournament will take place at the Maracaná stadium, a few miles from the Manguinhos slums.” Business Insider (PHOTO)

Protesters in Brazil: ‘There Will Not Be a World Cup!’
“An Agência Pública reporter searched out the activists that mounted the first protest of the year against the World Cup due to be hosted in Brazil this year; what he found was a mixed group determined to stop the sporting event throughout protest and without ‘violent acts’.” Global Voices Online


Jupp Heynckes vs Pep Guardiola Tactics: Were Bayern better last season than this season?

March 30, 2014

“This years Bayern Munich squad have been proclaimed as something of legendary. They are the nigh indestructible club that have laid waste to their opponents clinically and efficiently. Where Jupp Heynckes promoted a side with massive physical presence, Pep Guardiola created an appealing creative nature, one that has supporters screaming for more. The question is, are they better than they were last year? Such a question is best answered by retrospection. A perspective on the famous treble-winners’s two seasons (2012-13 and 2013-14) is what we offer. Here’s our analysis on the team…” Outside of the Boot

Soccer Players You Should Know Before the World Cup: Antoine Griezmann

March 30, 2014

“France makes national football teams like it makes wine: generally older, kind of snooty about it, sometimes great, but often overhyped. And sometimes, like at the 2010 World Cup, you get one that’s gone extremely bad. Except maybe not this year. This year, France could be the wildcard. Increasingly in the lead-up to this summer, the country is breaking in a group of young, exciting players, and perhaps shifting its identity. Nobody exemplifies that more than Antoine Griezmann.” Grantland

Liverpool beats Spurs 4-0, tops Premier League

March 30, 2014

“Liverpool took advantage of an inept defensive display by Tottenham to cruise to a 4-0 win at Anfield on Sunday and return to the top of the Premier League for the first time since December. An eighth straight win for Liverpool was never seriously in doubt from the moment Luis Suarez scored his 29th goal of the campaign in the 25th minute, adding to an own-goal by Younes Kaboul inside two minutes. Philippe Coutinho’s low drive in the 55th and Jordan Henderson’s free kick, which crept in past a mass of legs in the 75th, finished off Spurs and fuelled the growing conviction inside Anfield – and increasingly across the country – that Liverpool can win a first English league title in 24 years.” SI

World Cup 2014: Cesare Prandelli on a quest to have Italy in peak condition with his blue-chip Azzurri

March 28, 2014

“Brazil is renowned as the home of joga bonito. But here’s a question: will the conditions allow beautiful football to be played at the 2014 World Cup? Considering the heat and humidity, the games every four or five days, the thousands of kilometres and many hours of travel in addition to the pressure of expectation the answer is: maybe not. Stamina and fitness are likely to be as important if not more so than skill and technique. This has informed the selection policy of Italy coach Cesare Prandelli. He doesn’t just want footballers booked on the plane to Brazil, he wants the best athletes the game has to offer too. That impression only hardened after Italy’s 1-0 defeat to Spain in Madrid at the beginning of this month.” Telegraph – James Horncastle

Know Your Enemy: Portugal left back Fabio Coentrao

March 28, 2014

“Fabio Coentrao was 13 when he joined his local club, Rio Ave. He soon developed as a quick and direct winger, a player with technical ability but also a certain rawness. He made his first-team debut at 16, and by 18 had established himself as a regular for his hometown club, then playing in the Portuguese second division, and earned the nickname the ‘Figo of the Caxinas.’ Rio Ave narrowly missed out on promotion that season but a decent run in the Portuguese Cup brought Coentrao to national attention, particularly when he scored with a 30-yard drive in a 2-1 defeat to Sporting, one of the three traditional giants of the Portuguese game.” SI – Jonathan Wilson (Video)

The striker who didn’t need to score

March 28, 2014

“Football supporters generally understand that different players are selected on what they can bring to the side; some wide midfielders are picked for their defensive capabilities over their attacking ones and not every central midfielder is expected to be able to spread the ball out to the wings from forty yards, some are there to tackle opponents and intercept passes. However, one fundamental misunderstanding still exists among a selection of football fans: every forward is picked to score goals.” January 16, 2014 Put Niels In Goal