Tag: Brazil

Video Of The Week: Pele And Garrincha

The careers of possibly the two most famous and talented Brazilian players of all time diverged, yet couldn’t have been more different. This documentary traces the story of football’s first global superstar and a man that overcame everything to make the world gasp, before losing it all.           Follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter...

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Brazil Undone By Dutch Pragmatism

Never meet your heroes, they say. It is possible that a lot of people met theirs yesterday in the form of the 2010 version of the Brazilian national football team. A team that was widely-tipped to win the competition is out at the quarter-final stage for the second time in a row, and it seems unlikely that many people will actually miss them that much. On more or less any other day of the tournament – of any tournament – this would have been big, big news. Events in Port Elizabeth were overshadowed by what was to follow in the evening, but this doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth having a quick look at how they managed to get things wrong. They hadn’t been firing on all cylinders in their previous matches, but the assumption was that they had plenty more in the tank. They had showed their brilliance sporadically, but there were indicators that not all was not right in the Brazilian camp in their previous performances. The laboured win against a North Korea side that showed something of their true colours in conceding ten goals against Portugal and the Ivory Coast, a lifeless goalless draw against Portugal in their final match – the clues were there. Perhaps we were choosing to not see them. What we can say for certain is that they needed to raise their...

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World Cup 2010: Netherlands 2-1 Brazil

Into the quarter-finals then, and now it starts getting serious.This was the first clash between two teams with serious winning credentials – or at least, Brazil’s pedigree was beyond dispute. Maybe there were still some doubts about the Netherlands, coming into this game, for all their long unbeaten run and their hundred percent records both in qualifying and in the group phases. It still remained to be seen how they’d fare against top class opposititon. And to be honest, for all that they won this extraodinary match, I’m still not entirely sure. The game was turned on its head by a series of critical Brazilian errors in the second half, in a game they looked to have well in control, and they’ll go home wondering quite how it happened.

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World Cup 2010: Brazil 3-0 Chile

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 Netherlands are playing functional football. Spain could (and, with difficult matches yet to come) become only the second club to be simultaneously the European and World champions. And this year’s Brazil team are playing football that is several thousand miles removed from the great romantic teams of the past. Of all the above clichés, the final one seems the most difficult to come to terms with. The Brazil national football team has a strange effect on people. We suspect that their schedule is stage-managed by Nike and we are pretty sure that they don’t play enough matches in their home country, but we want to believe the story of the Brazilian football team so much that we hear a samba when it isn’t there. But there is a reason for this – romance doesn’t often win trophies. Some of the most fondly-remembered teams in the entire history of the World Cup finals, including the 1974 Netherlands team, the 1954 Hungary team and, of course, Brazil’s wonderful 1982 vintage, are teams that have managed, somehow,...

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