Opponent in Finals Requests Chapecoense Be Awarded the Title

December 1, 2016

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“Atlético Nacional, the Colombian team that was to play Chapecoense of Brazil in the finals of the Copa Sudamericana soccer tournament this week, has asked the organization in charge of South American soccer to award the trophy to Chapecoense, which had nearly all of its players and coaches killed in a plane crash on Monday night. Nacional said in a statement on its website and its Twitter feed that it had requested that the South American confederation, Conmebol, cancel the two-leg finals and declare Chapecoense the champion of the tournament, South America’s second-most prestigious club competition.” NY Times

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From Budapest to São Paulo: How Bela Guttman influenced Brazil’s golden generation

November 26, 2016

“In the history of modern life, the years 1956-58 can certainly be considered important. Britain invaded Egypt over Suez Canal access, NASA was founded, the European Economic Community was created, and of course Heartbreak Hotel, the first single of Elvis Presley, was released. In purely football terms, however, those years mark some of the most influential circumstances of all time. 1956-58 denotes the specific point in footballing time when the tactical tricks of the great 1950s Hungarian team were transferred to the bottomless talent pool of Brazil thanks largely to the temperamental, globetrotting exploits of one masterful, mythical manager named Bela Guttman.” Football Pink


Brazil look to banish Belo Horizonte demons against struggling Argentina

November 11, 2016

“It has been 28 months, but finally Brazil will return to the site of their greatest trauma. Their World Cup qualifier against Argentina on Thursday will be their first game in Belo Horizonte since the 7-1 defeat to Germany in the World Cup semi-final. Nothing will ever erase that horror but a victory over Argentina would make the ghosts loom less menacingly over the Mineirão in future – particularly if it adds to the growing fear in Argentina that the country may not qualify for the next World Cup.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson


Idealist Tite the perfect man to lead Brazil

October 16, 2016

“A couple of weeks ago, new Brazil coach Tite was asked to make a choice – did he prefer the FIFA World Cup winning team of 1994, or their predecessors from twelve years earlier, the 1982 side that lost to Italy and failed to reach the semi finals? He went with the latter – part of the proof that, at last, the task of coaching Brazil has fallen to the right man.” The World Game – Tim Vickery


Do South American World Cup qualifiers put the Champions League to shame?

September 6, 2016

“Now that Copa América and the Euros are behind us, the focus turns to World Cup qualification. For South American teams – who kicked off their campaigns last October – the road to the biggest football tournament in the world has always been tough and since 1996, when the current round-robin format was originally introduced, competition has improved tremendously. Historical powerhouses such as Brazil and Argentina are no longer shoe-ins to qualify as teams such as Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, Paraguay and Ecuador, with star players of their own, are more than just also-rans.” Guardian


Brazil’s Olympic football gold is a step forward but decadent culture must be reformed Reconstructing Brazi

September 1, 2016

“Given the history, it is understandable Brazil were so delighted to win gold in the men’s football at the Olympics. Uruguay had won it (twice), Argentina had won it (twice), while they had lost three times in the final. “Finally, the champions of everything,” roared the newspaper Estado de Minas the morning after the final. It is a box that had needed ticking for a long time. The hope for Brazil is that winning the Olympics will restore self-esteem, that it has reminded them how to win after two miserable Copa Américas and a hugely disappointing home World Cup.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson


After lengthy USMNT layoff, expect Copa continuity as World Cup qualifying resumes

August 28, 2016

“If it feels like it’s been a while since we heard from the U.S. national team, that’s in part because it has been—Jurgen Klinsmann and Co. rarely go more than two months without a game or camp—and in part because so much has happened in the meantime. The American men aren’t often so far from the spotlight for this long. Since the whistle blew at the conclusion of the Copa América Centenario bronze medal game on June 25, Lionel Messi missed a penalty kick, retired, then unretired from international football. Cristiano Ronaldo coached Portugal to the European crown, and Neymar kept his composure while Hope Solo lost hers.” SI