October 21, 2014
Fernando Duarte – The Guardian, 10/21/2014
The revelation that Barcelona paid over £20m more than they originally declared to tempt Neymar from the Brazilian seaside town of Santos to the more noble shores of Catalonia in May 2013 was noisy enough to bring down the then president Sandro Rosell and trigger an investigation into the finances of the striker’s father and main adviser, Neymar Sr.
It also shone a light on the complexity of the deal and the number of parties involved. In 2009, when Neymar Jr was aged 17 and was not even a regular in the first team, Santos already feared losing the boy’s services. To entice him to stay, the club put together a vastly improved contract negotiated by selling “chunks” of the player, accounting for 40% of his economic rights, to DIS, a fund belonging to a Brazilian supermarket mogul. By the time he was sold to Barcelona, Teisa, a group formed by some of the club’s directors, also owned a further 5% of the golden goose.
Neymar’s tale is emblematic of why Fifa’s decision to ban third-party ownership “within three or four years” will have a strong impact in Brazilian football. Without investors, Santos would have never been able to hold on to their biggest poster-boy when big clubs, Chelsea included, came knocking – even though the process also included the club pretty much relinquishing any participation in the player’s image rights.
September 23, 2014
FIFA has released an in-depth document detailing the dizzying array of facts and figures that combined to make up the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.
Want to know how often Goal Line Technology (GLT) was required? Or how many jobs were created? What about the fastest goal, or the number of HD cameras filming the event? For all these stats and many more, relating both to events on the field and behind the scenes, check out FIFA’s exclusive guide, a few tasters of which are provided below.
5,154,386 attended FIFA Fan Fests in Brazil during the World Cup, with Rio de Janeiro’s spectacular Copacabana site attracting 937,330 – the highest number in any individual city.
September 9, 2014
Mike Collett – Reuters, 09/08/2014
FIFA president Sepp Blatter always believed this year’s World Cup would not be affected by the civil disturbances that blighted the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil and he said he was delighted his prediction came true.
Blatter, 78, described the tournament on Monday as “great” and the “best World Cup” he had been involved in during an interview recorded for delegates at the Soccerex Global convention.
“It was, in my opinion, the best World Cup I have ever seen in the terms of quality of the football and the ambience it created in all the cities, in all the stadia .. Really it went under the skin,” he said.
August 28, 2014
Bill Faries – Bloomberg, 8/28/2014
American enthusiasm for soccer’s World Cup prompted Brazil to shift more of its advertising toward the U.S. ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the head of Brazil’s tourism agency Embratur said.
U.S. citizens represented just over 10 percent of the 1.04 million foreign visitors to Brazil during the month long tournament that ended July 13, Embratur President Vicente Neto said in an interview. That made the U.S. the second-biggest source of foreign fans after neighboring Argentina, whose team made it to the final against Germany.
“It exceeded all our expectations,” Neto said in Miami last week. “We’re expecting that to be the same with the Olympics, given the U.S. history and participation in the Games.”
July 21, 2014
Mimi Whitefield – Miami Herald, 7/19/2014
Brazil has barely said tchau to the World Cup, but it has no time for a breather. In two years, Rio de Janeiro will be throwing out a welcome mat to the world as host of the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Only three countries — the United States, the former West Germany and Mexico — have had such a short turnaround between hosting duties for the two biggest sports events on the planet. In the 1930s, however, both the United States and Germany hosted summer and winter Olympics in the same year.
Despite misgivings about everything from security to transportation to whether stadiums would be finished on time, Brazil managed to pull off a successful FIFA World Cup. That’s a positive omen for the Aug. 5-21, 2016 Olympics and Sept. 7-18 Paralympics.
July 17, 2014
Talia Marcopoto – CNN, 7/16/2014
Brazil’s national football team may have been smoked on the pitch by Germany, but now government officials are claiming a 2014 FIFA World Cup victory of another sort.
According to figures released this week by Brazil’s federal government, the World Cup was a triumph for the country’s transportation and tourism industries.
“We lost the trophy, but Brazil won the World Cup,” said Aloisio Mercadante, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff’s chief of staff, in a statement.
July 15, 2014
Kevin Baxter and Vincent Bevins – Los Angeles Times, 7/14/2014
As the last of the World Cup visitors headed for the airports Monday, Brazilians began to reclaim the pristine beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema while traffic in Sao Paulo returned to its regular weekday snarl and the seaside hotels in Salvador, Recife and Natal emptied.
After seven years of planning and 31 days of competition, the most expensive soccer tournament in history is over. And the dire predictions that street demonstrations, massive transportation breakdowns and construction delays would disrupt the event proved unfounded, with Brazil’s tournament ranking among the most successful in World Cup history.
“We’ve eliminated the doubts of all who didn’t believe in us,” President Dilma Rousseff told a gathering of foreign journalists.