World Cup 2014 Tactics: Analysing Germany’s tactical approach, formation and set up

June 8, 2014

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“The Paradox of Choice. Analysis Paralysis. Kid in a candy store. All of these phrases seek to explain having too many options to effectively choose one solution. These are very apt phrases to explain the plight of Germany Manager Joachim Löw when attempting to select the attackers in Die Nationalmannschaft. Despite the defense and holding portions of his midfield being largely decided before the tournament begins, the attacking portions of his team are so full of options and combinations that it will be difficult for the sweater-clad manager to find the right blend of creativity and directness in his front four.” Outside of the Boot

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World Cup 2014: Rio horror show or a samba sensation?

June 8, 2014

“Last time the World Cup was held in Brazil, in 1950, it was designed as the propaganda centre-piece of Getúlio Vargas’s Estado Novo, the concrete sweep of the Maracanã, a modernist wonder that would be reflected in Oscar Niemeyer’s designs for the new capital, Brasília. Football, though, can be delightfully unpredictable and rather than consecrating the new Brazilian state, the World Cup offered a national disaster – ‘our Hiroshima’, as the playwright Nelson Rodrigues tastelessly put it – as Brazil, needing only a draw in the final game to seal the title, were beaten by Uruguay.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson


Brazil will not be perfect but there should be much to savour over the coming weeks

June 8, 2014

“Inspired by the idea of covering the 2014 World Cup, Danish journalist Mikkel Jensen studied Portuguese and based himself in Brazil to observe the build up to the big kick off on June 12. But in the middle of April he went back home, proclaiming that ‘the dream has become a nightmare.’ He had come to the conclusion that the tournament was doing nothing to help the ordinary Brazilian – indeed, he felt that in some cases it was even making things worse, and he no longer wanted to be part of it.” World Soccer – Tim Vickery


The World Cup Soundtrack

June 8, 2014

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“The volume rattles the bones. The gyrations evoke scenes of lustful abandon. In some of funk’s most explicit forms, tracks sprinkled with the prerecorded sounds of machine-gun fire exalt the drug gangs still in control of some of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas. On certain nights, the bass from the amps resonates from the hillside slums into the bastions of the privileged classes, as if to remind them: Rio doesn’t belong just to you.” NY Times


Brazil’s politicians banking on World Cup victory to help soothe unrest

June 8, 2014

“Since 1994, World Cups and presidential elections have taken place in the same years, creating an unintended but poetic synchronicity between football and politics. In 1994 the Tetra [the fourth time Brazil won the World Cup] was followed by the election of the centrist Fernando Henrique Cardoso, a cosmopolitan former sociology professor, who served for eight years. In 2002 the Penta was followed by the election of the left-wing Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a former shoeshine boy and lathe operator, who also served two terms.” Guardian


Fabio Cannavaro: The street urchin who became a World Cup ‘legend’

June 8, 2014

“‘When you win the World Cup, you start to become a legend — for the people around the world, you are different.’ For Fabio Cannavaro, this legendary status was hard earned. At just 5 foot 9 inches tall, he wasn’t built to be the world’s greatest center back. And he certainly never expected to be named the world’s best player.” CNN