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This blog reflects on soccer qua football all over the world. The blog has a specific investment in attractive, attacking football and, as such, focuses on Brazil, the most emphatic historical exponent of the beautiful game.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Inter Finalize Transfer of Juan From Brazil's Internacional

Inter Milan finalized the transfer of Brazilian centreback Juan from Internacional today. The 20 year old Juan was a member of Brazil’s U-20 team that won the South American Youth Championship in 2011. Juan can play as both a centreback and a fullback. He has been compared to Inter legend Lucio because of his style of defending.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

CBF Confirms Brazil Friendly Against Sweden in August 2012

The Confederation of Brazilian Football confirmed that Brazil will play Sweden in a friendly on August 15. The friendly will take place at the Rasunda Stadium in Stockholm at the venue of the final of the 1958 World Cup, in which Brazil defeated Sweden 5-2. The match will be the last game played at the Rasunda Stadium, which will be demolished soon after the friendly. Brazil won the World Cup final in 1958 thanks to two goals each by Vava and Pele and a goal by Mario Zagallo. The Brazil team of 1958 featured the likes of Nilson Santos, Garrincha and Didi alongside Pele, Vava and Zagallo.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Rivaldo Signs With Angolan Club Kabuscorp

Former Brazil international Alessandro Rivaldo has signed with the Angolan side Kabuscorp at the age of 39. Rivaldo moves to Kabuscorp after a one year stint at the Brazilian club Sao Paulo. By signing Rivaldo, Kabuscorp hopes to win the Angolan league championship after finishing second place last year. Speaking of the surprise move to an African club, Rivaldo noted: “I received offers from several countries, but I chose Angola because of the language and because I liked the project." Like Brazil, Portuguese is the predominant language in Angola.

Rivaldo was one of the great Brazilian players in a golden age of Brazilian football featuring Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Cafu and Carlos Dunga in the years between 1997 and 2002. In the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan, Rivaldo scored in five consecutive World Cup games against Turkey, China, Costa Rica, Belgium and England en route to Brazil's fifth World Cup title. Wearing the famed number 10 jersey, Rivaldo scored a memorable goal in the second round against Belgium from a pass delivered by Ronaldinho with the outside of his right foot. With his back to goal, Rivaldo chested down Ronaldinho’s pass, turned and sent a rocket of a left footed shot into the back of the net to give Brazil the vital lead in a close, tense match. In the quarterfinals against England, Rivaldo scored another crucial goal, again from a Ronaldinho pass, by giving Brazil the equalizer in first half injury time after Luis Felipe Scolari’s team conceded a goal scored by Michael Owen. At the 2002 World Cup, Rivaldo formed one of the 3 Rs in a three pronged attacking formation in the Brazilian national team alongside Ronaldo and Ronaldinho.

Rivaldo was FIFA World Player of the Year, European Footballer of the Year, and World Soccer Player of the Year in 1999. He helped Barcelona win La Liga in 1998 and 1998 and is widely considered one of the greatest strikers of all time. Rivaldo is known for his bow legged dribbling, his refusal to shoot from anything other than his left foot, his curling free kicks, long range shots and his unfailing accuracy from the penalty spot. Rivaldo plans to continue playing until the end of 2012.

Friday, January 13, 2012

CBF Announces Brazil Friendlies For 2012

The Confederation of Brazilian Football (CBF) today announced a list of friendlies for the Brazilian national football team for the first half of 2012. The friendlies are intended to prepare the Selecao for the London Olympic games from July 27 to August 12. Brazil have never won Olympic gold and hence are under tremendous pressure to win the gold medal in London this summer, particularly given that the Brazil under 20 team won the U-20 World Cup in August. Brazil’s under 20 team won the World Cup with a dramatic 3-2 victory over Portugal in the final thanks to an Oscar hat-trick. The Olympic team features players under 23 as well as an allowance for three overage players.

The sequence of Brazil’s 2012 friendlies is as follows:

Feb. 28: Brazil v. Bosnia and Herzegovina in Switzerland
May 26: Brazil v. Denmark in Hamburg, Germany
May 30 or May 31:
Brazil v. United States in Boston or Washington DC
June 3: Brazil v. Mexico in Dallas
June 9: Brazil v. Argentina in New Jersey

Mano Menezes will need to decide which over 23 year players he includes in the Olympic line-up. Ronaldinho, Kaka, Hulk and Dani Alves represent some of the clear favorites for a place in the Brazilian Olympic soccer squad as overage players.The Olympic team is likely to feature Neymar, Ganso, Lucas Moura, Oscar, Henrique, Casemiro, Danilo and Dudu.