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World Cup Television Clichés 101: Germany are efficient, the Netherlands play “total football”, Spain are under-achievers and Brazil play to a samba rhythm. One by one, the long-held preconceptions of global football are starting to be turned on their heads. Germany’s defence looks capable of being tested by an attack with pace and flair. The…
Whether or not Group G was this World Cup’s Group of Death, it appears to have taken place in 1966, at Goodison Park, with Eusebio scoring every goal. The game Lineker and co. are expecting is taking place in some fantasy world far from the realities of the group table. No-one is saying Brazil v…
There is a lot of hyperbole spoken about the Brazilian football team. Probably more than is spoken about any club or national side on the planet. It’s almost a mythology. Admittedly, it’s a mythology based on a handful of the most gifted players that have ever lived (see, even I buy into it, to a…
It’s easy to disguise ignorance with mockery, and so it seems with this evening’s intriguing match between Brazil and North Korea. Before the match, ITV treats us to as many cliches about North Korea as they can fit into thirty minutes to cover up the fact that very few us know anything particularly significant about…
As the entrants lined up for the 1938 World Cup finals in France, storm clouds were building up the horizon, and the tournament itself wasn’t exempt from such global concerns. Three months prior to the start of it, German tanks had marched into Austria, annexing the country through the Anschlüss agreement. Within a couple of…
The 2010 FIFA World Cup kicks off in just two weeks today, which is so exciting the hair on my legs keeps on spontaneously erupting into flames. By this time next week – when your correspondent Dotmund (to use his Brazilian footballer nickname) completes his guide to the groups – all the final squads will be announced and we’ll be good to go. This is especially useful for him, as he’s just realised he’s not written the preview for Group H yet. Group G, however, is in the can. Let’s suckle at the teat of knowledge and learn about the fortunes of Brazil, North Korea, Ivory Coast and Portugal.
As the second favourites to win the 2010 World Cup after Spain, Brazil are used to the pressure that comes with the eyes of the world being upon them. No other country on earth’s identity is so closely associated with football, yet much of the mythology that surrounds the Brazilian national team stems their failure…