Flamengo are without doubt a national institution. As I have argued before in this space, this dates from a superb piece of marketing in the 1930s, when the club signed the three leading black players of the day - especially centre forward Leonidas da Silva, the Romario of his era. The club was thus able to rebrand itself; instead of being an elite association from Rio, they acquired the popular touch and became a national institution. Rio de Janeiro was still the capital at the time, and the glamorous new medium of radio carried Flamengo’s matches all over the land. A tradition was established – given a huge boost by the magnificent Zico side of the late 70s and 80s.
The 2014 Brasileirão kicked off on Saturday, with Fluminense at home to newly-promoted Figueirense.
The Brazilian's season at Barcelona has been turbulent, but this experience should benefit his national team.
Where on earth is Nicolas Anelka? A week ago Atletico Mineiro president Alexandre Kalil announced on twitter than the veteran French striker was joining the club. But he has not turned up.
A disappointing performance from Brazilian teams in the Copa Libertadores group stage will be forgotten if Brazil takes home a fifth consecutive title.
This is a big week coming up; for the Brazilian teams in the Libertadores, for example. Gremio have already, and very impressively too, made sure of their slot in the knock out phase, and so have Atletico Mineiro – now re-enforced by Nicolas Anelka (more on that next week). Cruzeiro look to have saved themselves with last week’s win away to Universidad de Chile, but Atletico Paranaense, Flamengo and Botafogo are caught in a dogfight.
Many high profile European players move to a new continent for a final pay day, but more of them should choose Brazil.
Tim Vickery Column: The politics behind Brazil’s 1970 World Cup triumph and how it shaped Brazilian sports journalism
Thirty four years ago, as those stunning images were coming in from the Mexico World Cup, some on the political left in Brazil were anxiously hoping their team would lose.
Kaká's chances of being part of the 2014 Brazil squad look slim, but that he's even asking the question of Scolari is testament to his determination.
In recent times there have not been too many Brazilian sides as influential as the Santos team that won the 2002 domestic title.
Would Brazil be better off playing David Luiz as a centre back, or defensive midfielder?
Exclusive Interview: Rafinha talks Seleção, his World Cup hopes and how Bayern Munich are improving under Pep Guardiola
The 28-year-old full back wasn’t a first team regular at Bayern last season but has been given more opportunities since Pep Guardiola has become manager. Rafinha’s form earned himself a recent appearance in Luiz Felipe Scolari’s Brazil squad and after speaking exclusively to Sambafoot, Rafinha revealed that he dreams of winning more titles at Bayern and playing in the World Cup.
Tim Vickery Column- A look at what Brazilian clubs need to do to safely make the next round of the Copa Libertadores
The majority of Brazilian teams should escape Libertadores humiliation but why, with a huge financial advantage, is it even open for discussion?
There might be a gap in the Brazil squad for a fourth centre back, could Luisão be the man to fill it?
Exclusive Interview: Fernandinho talks about Manchester City, Brazil and and how he hits the ball so hard
The 28-year-old has wasted no time settling in to English football. In his first season at the Etihad Stadium, the former Shakhtar Donetsk man has made 19 appearances and scored three goals. His performances have earned praise and hie was rewarded by a call-up to the Brazil squad for the recent friendly against South Africa.
Brazil continue to craft talented players week in, week out with Grêmio producing two fine defenders recently but can they find another with important Copa Libertadores matches coming up and how will the latest conveyor belt of youngster cope with expectation.
Brazil's players are under huge pressure heading into the World Cup, and relieving some of this could be vital to any success.
Last June and July, it all fell into place for Luiz Felipe Scolari. Starting with those friendly matches against England and France, continuing though the Confederations Cup, not only did he win the fans over and claim a trophy, he also ended the period with a firm idea of his first team.