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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Joe Biden to attend World Cup in Brazil

April 15, 2014

The Wall Street Journal, 4/14/2014

The White House announced that Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Brazil in June to attend the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The White House said Mr. Biden will attend a game of the U.S. national team, but didn’t provide more details. The U.S. is scheduled to play Ghana  on June 16, Portugal on June 22, and Germany on June 26 — considered one of the toughest groups in the competition. The top two teams from the group, Group G, advance to the round of 16.

In 2010, Mr. Biden was in South Africa for the World Cup. Ahead of the USA game against England,he predicted a USA upset. “[I]n the spirit of the Irish, I want to say that we’re going to beat England.” The game ended in a draw, which was a good result for the underdog American side — and inspired the New York Post headline, “USA Wins 1-1.

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Another World Cub construction death in Brazil

December 16, 2013

CNN, 12/15/2013

A construction worker in Brazil died early Saturday after falling off the roof of the World Cup stadium in the Amazonian city of Manaus.

Five workers have died on construction sites of World Cup stadiums under construction in Brazil, hosts of next year’s international soccer tournament.

The worker, identified as Marcleudo de Melo Ferreira, fell 35 meters from the roofing structure and was rushed to the hospital, where he died of his injuries.

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Brazil drums up business during Confederations Cup

June 13, 2013

Marco Sibaja -AP – 06/13/2013

Brazil hopes to generate $1 billion in export deals during the Confederations Cup, the warm-up tournament for the 2014 World Cup, the government said Wednesday.

The government’s Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency says it is using football as a way to bring foreign and local business representatives together during the two-week tournament that begins Saturday in Brasilia.

“We have top quality stadiums which, together with the high quality of Brazilian football and the country’s competitive and innovative companies, form a fantastic business platform,” Mauricio Borges, the agency’s president told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

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A year until the 2014 World Cup begins and Brazil’s unease is growing

June 12, 2013

Jonathan Watts – The Guardian, 06/11/2013

In the heart of Recife, a stadium pulsates with the cheers, chants and boos of more than 50,000 fans in belligerent, festive mood. Most are in their team colours, filling the ground with black, white and red, but a handful wear fancy dress: there’s an Elvis, Jesus, Superman, Centurion and Cobra (complete with giant plastic snake) adding to the carnival atmosphere already created by the batéria drummers and the pre-match barbecues and copious bottles of Skol.

The football is not bad either, with occasional touches of skill that would not be out of place at the highest level. Yet this is the home of Santa Cruz, a Serie C (third-division) Brazilian club from the north-east who claim the most devoted fans in the country, perhaps even the world. More often than not, this lowly team draw more fans than giants like Flamengo, Botafogo or Fluminense. For big derbies, attendances often outstrip those of Stamford Bridge or the Etihad.

But it is also in this heartland of Brazilian and world football that you can feel the greatest unease about the changes being wrought before next year’s World Cup finals. Violence, corruption, gentrification and the poor form of the national team have eroded confidence in Brazilian football, which is undergoing a painfully accelerated transition as a result of next year’s tournament. Attendances are down, violence is rampant, and the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) is fending off allegations of corruption, secrecy and mismanagement of the preparations for 2014.

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Caxirolas: The vuvuzelas of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

April 29, 2013

Zineb Abdessadok – Time, 04/29/2013

The sound of vuvuzelas blaring became an instrumental part of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. And now, the caxirola is going to be the noisemaker of choice for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

What is a caxirola, you ask? Well, it is a yellow and green percussion instrument that sounds like the traditional South American “rainstick” when shaken, according to The Independent.

Fortunately for those whose ears are still ringing, the designers “Brazilian musician Carlinhos Brown and the country’s ministry of sports” took into account the grumbles that made vuvuzelas kind of enervating, so they made this contraption “considerably less grating,” reported The Independent.

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Two football fans shot dead before 2014 World Cup test event at stadium in Brazil

April 15, 2013

Talez Azzoni – AP/Daily Mail, 04/15/2013

Two fans were shot to death on their way to a test event at a World Cup stadium in north-eastern Brazil on Sunday, just two months before the venue hosts matches in the Confederations Cup.

The fans were killed about three miles from the Arena Castelao in the city of Fortaleza, one of the six venues hosting matches in the Confederations Cup in June and one of the 12 getting ready for next year’s World Cup.

‘We lament what happened,’ said Tiago Paes, a local World Cup organising committee member who was at the test event in Fortaleza. ‘But there is work being done by the police and the army in many areas of security, so we are not concerned with that for the Confederations Cup.’

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