Copa Libertadores: Last eight dominated by big two nations

WE ALREADY know there will be one Brazilian team in the final of this year’s Copa Libertadores, thanks to two all-Brazil quarter-finals providing an all-Brazil semi-final. There is no danger of a repeat of last season’s domestic squabble but there are a number of big guns left in the competition, including the 2018 finalists, River Plate and Boca Juniors. The last eight includes four heavyweights … Continue reading Copa Libertadores: Last eight dominated by big two nations

Brazilian clubs have to improve financial performance

THERE will be one Brazilian club in the final of the Libertadores Cup this year with four teams in the last eight all meeting each other and the winners of those ties meeting in the semi-final. After a relatively lean spell during which Brazil won just one in five (2017), the South American champions may get their hands on the impressive Libertadores trophy once more. … Continue reading Brazilian clubs have to improve financial performance

WWC has cast the Copa América into the shadows

IF YOU want evidence that the Women’s football has come of age, then look no further than the way it has overshadowed a string of other major sporting events that are currently in progress: the Copa América, the African Cup of Nations and the Cricket World Cup. The media are besotted with the FIFA Women’s World Cup, suddenly all sorts of “celebrities” are claiming lifelong … Continue reading WWC has cast the Copa América into the shadows

Club of the Month: Athletico Paranaense – like a Hurricane

THE 2019 Brazilian Série A season has just got underway and one of the dark horses for the title is the club known as Athletico-PR, the team from Curitiba in the state of Paraná. Athletico-PR was founded in 1924 through a merger of two existing clubs. Curitiba is a city of two million people and has a subtropical highland climate. The city is notable for … Continue reading Club of the Month: Athletico Paranaense – like a Hurricane

The damage being done to Argentina’s football

THE Libertadores Cup final second leg may (or may not) be played in Madrid, giving the game an unprecedented level of profile, and not just because of the adverse headlines that the twice-aborted clash between Boca Juniors and River Plate has attracted. Madrid is not a terrible choice, it is certainly better than any Middle-Eastern or US location – games played in the desert do … Continue reading The damage being done to Argentina’s football

Brazilian clubs to the fore again

TWO Brazilian and two Argentinian clubs will contest the semi-finals of the Copa Libertadores at the end of October 2018. Grêmio, the holders, and Palmeiras will face-off against the Buenos Aires duo, River Plate and Boca Juniors. Two enticing ties are in prospect, but the last four line-up is arguably one of the strongest of recent years. Brazilian clubs have won five of the last … Continue reading Brazilian clubs to the fore again

GOTP Notepad: Across the confederations – Champions Leagues

IT IS easy to forget that Europe does not have a monopoly on Champions league competitions. Here’s the latest situation in the other confederations. Libertadores Cup The last 16 starts on August 8 and finishes towards the end of that month. There are six teams from Argentina, six from Brazil, two from Paraguay and one apiece from Chile and Colombia. Holders Grêmio of Brazil are … Continue reading GOTP Notepad: Across the confederations – Champions Leagues

Soccer City: Montevideo – a football heritage site longing for success

IT IS the largest city of the world’s most successful and sometimes overlooked national football team. No, it is not Berlin, Madrid or Brasilia, but Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo. Uruguay is the smallest country to have won the World Cup, it has a population of just over three million and Montevideo accounts for around half of them. According to the Mercer report on the quality of … Continue reading Soccer City: Montevideo – a football heritage site longing for success

Club of the Month: Toronto FC

THE 2018 Major League Soccer season gets underway on March 3 and the reigning champions Toronto are widely tipped to challenge for the title once more. They will face stiff competition from ambitious Atlanta United, who have been very aggressive in the transfer market signing promising South American talent, as well as Seattle Sounders and New York City FC. Toronto clinched the MLS Cup by … Continue reading Club of the Month: Toronto FC

US absence will impact Russia 2018

IT SAYS a lot about the growing status of the US in the football world that the country’s exit from Russia 2018 is making headlines. There is a touch of irony about it, for with relations between the US and Russia taking on a distinct Cold War look these days, not everyone will be unhappy there will be no representation from the United States. It’s … Continue reading US absence will impact Russia 2018

The gulf between South America and Europe, created by football’s global warming

WE ALL look to Brazil as being one of the ancestral homes of football. When World Cups come around, the TV broadcasters cannot wait to get that mythical “Brazilian samba” onto their screens, however overused that view is. Furthermore, the happy, smiling faces of Brazilian fans represent one of the iconic images of the competition. Stereotyping Brazil and its football continues to be something that … Continue reading The gulf between South America and Europe, created by football’s global warming

A joint North American World Cup is inevitable – but crazy

THE extension of the World Cup to 48 teams has, effectively, killed off the single host structure for future World Cups, certainly in Europe. With the exception of Germany, no individual nation in the old world can realistically hope to stage the competition – it is just too damn big. But we think there’s more to it than that. After all, we’ve all read about … Continue reading A joint North American World Cup is inevitable – but crazy