Flamengo and the act of the unlikely

THE UNLOVED FIFA Club World Cup now has its cast intact and in all probability, it will culminate in a final involving Liverpool and Flamengo. With a minute or two remaining of the Copa Libertadores final in Lima, you would not have put a single Sol on the Brazilians winning what had been a relatively underwhelming game. River Plate, the holders, were leading by their … Continue reading Flamengo and the act of the unlikely

Despite the losses and plateaued crowds, MLS is big business

TORONTO and Seattle Sounders go head-to-head in the 2019 Major League Soccer (MLS) final, the third time in four seasons the two clubs have played each other in the season’s finale. MLS is growing in popularity and media prominence. Although attendances at games seem to have plateaued and are still relatively modest in some cities, there is no lack of investment in the game. Furthermore, … Continue reading Despite the losses and plateaued crowds, MLS is big business

Soccer City: Caracas – amid the chaos

VENEZUELA is one of South America’s least successful football nations, but most importantly and of greater concern, it is currently one of the world’s most troubled places. Once an oil-rich country with one quarter of the world’s proven oil reserves, a period of reckless financial and political policy-making has left Venezuela in absolute chaos, an example of social breakdown and a reminder of what can … Continue reading Soccer City: Caracas – amid the chaos

Could the Copa Libertadores go global?

WHEN CONMEBOL agreed to move the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final, South America’s equivalent of the UEFA Champions League, to Madrid, they not only solved an immediate logistical problem, they also have opened a door that could prove difficult to close. By taking the final, a high-octane fixture between Buenos Aires’ rivals, River Plate and Boca Juniors, to one of the capitals of … Continue reading Could the Copa Libertadores go global?

Brazil’s Flamengo dancing to success

THE COPA LIBERTADORES has reached the last four stage and there’s some real continental heavyweights in there: Boca Junior, River Plate, Flamengo and Grêmio. The semi-finals include two domestic clashes which will guarantee an Argentina v Brazil final, the 15thtime the region’s two biggest football nations have met to decide the destination of the trophy. The all-Brazil semi-final is between Flamengo and 2017 winners Grêmio. … Continue reading Brazil’s Flamengo dancing to success

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