Eric Ehrmann – Huffington Post, 5/12/2015
In São Paulo recently, gunmen raided the fan club of popular first division soccer team Corinthians called Pavilion 9 during a party, forced eight members to the floor and murdered them in cold blood.
The mob-style rubout killed more people than the infamous St. Valentines Day Massacre orchestrated by Chicago gangster Al Capone.
But in Brazil, where riots and killings are part of the urban landscape, people shrug it off and the victims become part of the body count in the growing conflict between haves and have-nots.
Tony Manfred – Business Insider, 3/20/2015
FIFA released its 2014 financial report, and it shows how the organization profited off the World Cup that cost Brazil billions. The 2014 World Cup generated $4.8 billion in revenue for FIFA compared to $2.2 billion in expenses. Over the four-year cycle, the event turned a $2.6 billion profit.
FIFA made $2.4 billion in TV rights fees, $1.6 billion in sponsorships, and $527 million in ticket sales.
Much of FIFA’s World Cup spending went to participating teams and confederations ($476 million) and TV production costs ($370 million). FIFA contributed $453 million to the local organizing committee between 2011 and 2014, and gave Brazil a $100 million “legacy” payment after the tournament.
Ben Lyttleton – Goal, 3/5/2015
There are six players in the Rich List Top 20 who are under 30, but only one under 26. That man is Neymar, 23, who comes in third with an estimated net worth of 135 million euros ($149 million). That huge figure is not just a reflection of his football talent – although Brazilians see him as the best player in the world already, his confirmation of that status might be a few years away – but rather a perfect storm of contributing factors to create the optimal earning template.
Timing is the most important element of the ‘Neymarketing’ success story. His talent developed and blossomed at a period in Brazil’s history when its economy was on the up, increasing by four percent a year between 2002 and 2010. That allowed him to stay at Santos, his club in Brazil, for longer than other Brazilians normally would before moving to Europe. Neymar’s commercial pull encouraged sponsors to pay his Santos salary, and he only moved in 2013 because it was felt he needed a season facing European opposition to prepare for the challenge of the 2014 World Cup on home soil.
That was the other significant factor of timing for Neymar: the World Cup. Every company wanted to be part of the biggest competition in the world, and it so happened that the home side’s best player and star turn was an advertisers’ dream. Even if the economy was not as strong as it had been, Brazil is a country of over 200 million people and they all need toothpaste, a bank, deodorant or car batteries (he was the face of all those products).
Tony Manfred – Business Insider, 1/23/2015
Brazil spent $3.6 billion building and renovating 12 venues for the 2014 World Cup. Despite needing only eight venues to meet FIFA regulations, the country decided to build additional stadiums from scratch in far-flung cities that didn’t need 40,000-seat soccer arenas.
Predictably, those stadiums have not justified the cost in the six months since the tournament ended.The $230 million Arena Pantanal, in Cuiaba, has been closed for emergency repairs less than a year after it opened. Officials say the region’s seasonal rains led to roof leaks and the air-conditioning broke.
According to the Associated Press, the city has only two local teams that draw between 500 and 1,000 fans a game. The stadium holds 42,000 people.
Andrew Downie – Reuters, 12/4/2014
The 12 stadiums used in this year’s soccer World Cup cost 50 percent more than planned and only six of the 35 promised public transportation projects were finished on time, according to an as yet unpublished report from Brazil’s Federal Accounts Court.
Twelve arenas were remodeled or built from scratch at a cost of 8.44 billion reais ($3.26 billion), the court said in its most thorough report on World Cup spending since the tournament ended in July. The original estimate in 2010 was 5.6 billion.
The most expensive was the redevelopment of the National Stadium in Brasilia, which cost 1.44 billion reais, nearly twice its original estimate and three times the cost of some of the arenas that were completely rebuilt.
Ewan MacKenna – The New York Times, 11/29/2014
BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil — Their telltale faces represented the two sides of Brazil.
One belonged to a pale and pretty woman with blond hair, the sort that popped up frequently on big screens during the World Cup. In the aftermath of Brazil’s 7-1 semifinal humiliation against Germany in July here, you came across her after she made her way from the Mineirão stadium to the high-rolling neighborhood of Savassi, where she sobbed as if she had just been rejected by her lover.
The other face belonged to a dark-skinned man and had been sculptured by hardship. Haggard, with leathery skin and bristly hair, he sat in a dive bar in the grim city center having watched Brazil’s loss on a small television. People like him had been priced out of tournament tickets, so you asked what he made of that result. He shrugged, sipped his beer and evasively said that at least the club scene would soon be returning. That was the soccer he felt a part of.
Robbie Blakeley – Bleacher Report, 11/04/2014
In all walks of life there are turning points. Moments that force you to stop, contemplate what has gone and fundamentally shape the future. On a personal level that kind of event may be marriage, parenthood, achieving a career goal. An occasion that marks the “then” and “now” of an epic journey.
For Brazil and their incredibly successful national side, one such moment came on July 8, 2014. On that fateful evening, the five-time world champions suffered the most humiliating result in their history, a 7-1 mauling at the hands of Germany in the World Cup semi-final.
It was the most one-sided semi-final result in the tournament’s history. And to rub salt into an already gaping wound, Brazil’s quest to rid themselves of the 1950 ghosts and be crowned world champions on their own soil had been wiped out in less than half an hour of the contest.