Brazil soccer field harnesses player-power

September 11, 2014

The Associated Press - CBS News, 09/11/2014

Kids streaking back and forth on a soccer field in scorching tropical heat promises to produce something more than buckets of sweat.

Billed as Brazil’s first player-powered soccer pitch, a field inaugurated Wednesday in a Rio de Janeiro slum harnesses the kinetic energy of players’ movements to provide nighttime illumination. Soccer legend Pele was on hand for the pomp-filled event in the Morro da Mineira slum, which saw a local youth team put the system to the test.

Under the project, sponsored by Royal Dutch Shell, around 200 energy-capturing tiles developed by British startup Pavegen were installed the width and breadth of the field and covered by a layer of AstroTurf. Working in conjunction with solar panels also installed around the field, the player-powered tiles feed electricity to a system of floodlights overhead.

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Blatter praises Brazil for great World Cup

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.

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Brazil begins recovery from World Cup debacle

September 4, 2014

Craig Davis – Sun Sentinel, 09/03/2014

Just say the score, nothing more. 7-1.

It’s enough to send a chill through the bruised psyche of Brazil all over again. It has been speculated that repercussions of the national team’s stunning loss to Germany by that incomprehensible score in the recent World Cup on home soil could even cost Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff the upcoming election and send the economy into a tailspin.

That’s why Friday’s friendly between Brazil and Colombia at Sun Life Stadium is much more than a typical international exhibition. It is the first chance for Brazil to begin the healing process.

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U.S. World Cup Love Prompts Brazil to Shift Olympic Ads

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.”

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How the World Cup in Brazil changed football

July 7, 2014

Jason Burt – The Telegraph, 7/5/2014

It is sad to say but England, again, are behind the curve. And not just with the appointment of Roy Hodgson but with his predecessor Fabio Capello. The conservative approach has gone out of the window. Now coaches are bolder, often younger, and certainly more energised. It is no coincidence that England (Hodgson), Russia (Capello) and Spain (Vicente del Bosque) all bombed in Brazil.

The idea that being a national team coach is for a manager in the twilight of his career and one who is about man-management rather than working the players on the training ground is now redundant. It is not necessarily an age thing but it is about the mindset.

The myth that coaches do not have to enough time to work with the players on tactics has also been exposed by the likes of Chile’s Jorge Sampaoli and Mexico’s Miguel Herrera, USA’s Jürgen Klinsmann and, closer to home, Germany’s Joachim Löw. Still it is clear that Löw has worked with the players, has developed tactical plans and goes at the job as if he were running a club. England, on the other hand, have Club England in name but not in approach.

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Brazil links setbacks to greater respect from foes

June 20, 2014

Tales Azzoni – USA Today, 6/20/2014

Goalkeeper Julio Cesar thinks Brazil’s initial World Cup difficulties are a consequence of the team’s convincing victory at last year’s Confederations Cup.

The win in the warm-up tournament for the World Cup marked Brazil’s reawakening after a series of disappointing results, but it also made the five-time world champions a bigger target.

“Because of how we won the Confederations Cup, teams started paying more attention to us,” Cesar said. “Teams are respecting Brazil now, everybody comes playing on defense because they are more aware of what we can do.”

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For Brazil, 0-0 draw could be a great omen

June 18, 2014

Brian Winter – Reuters, 6/18/2014

Brazil fans, fear not – if history is any guide, Tuesday’s frustrating scoreless draw against Mexico may be the best thing that could have happened to the host team.

In 1958, just as in 2014, Brazil opened the World Cup with a solid win but then turned in a flat 0-0 performance in their second group stage game, against England.

Looking to shake things up, the Brazilian coach turned to two previously unused substitutes: one a wide-eyed 17-year-old forward named Edson Arantes do Nascimento who almost failed a psychological exam administered to the team that year.

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