<![CDATA[RSS Sambafoot]]>http://sambafoot.com/en(sambafoot.com)sambafoot.comsambafoot.comen-en<![CDATA[Sambafoot Sunday: Neymar's Barcelona? Neymar's Brazil]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59393_sambafoot_sunday__neymar_s_barcelona_neymar_s_brazil.htmlSambafoot Sunday by James Nalton. The beat goes on...

Neymar’s form at Barcelona is discussed, critiqued, and analysed week after week, game after game. The high profile nature of his transfer from Brazil to Catalonia, coupled with the recently revealed baggage surrounding the complexities of the deal, means his performances are constantly in the spotlight.

The player wouldn’t have expected anything less though. And the big move to Europe was something he’d bided his time for, was something he wanted, and was ultimately, something he needed.

A common line is that Neymar has been stifled at Barcelona, playing as part of a system which favours other players, rather than awarding him the freer role he had at Santos and retains to some extent when playing for Brazil.

If we rewind back to Neymar's final season at Santos, we saw a player who looked de-motivated, and was playing his club matches in cruise control. His free role had become detrimental, and you got the impression from his demeanour and performances on the pitch, that he felt he’d already sufficiently proved himself in Brazil, and need do nothing more.

That might have been the case, as there were rumours that the Barcelona move had been in the pipeline for some time, ever since the then European champions played Santos in the World Club Cup back in 2011.

Back to the present day, Barcelona’s 2013/14 season has been disappointing for several reasons, and not just because Neymar hasn’t hit the heights many expected.

Coach Tata Martino joined Barcelona amidst some enthusiastic claims that he was ideal for the club thanks to his tutelage under the much lauded and well respected Marcelo Bielsa.

Martino’s predecessor, Pep Guardiola, had also sought the advice of the experienced Argentine in his early days as a coach, and to many, Martino was the next logical step in Barcelona’s Bielsista post-graduate programme.

The reality, as is often the case in football, has been much different to the theory. Martino has failed to get the best from Lionel Messi, and his tinkering with Cesc Fabregas has given too much responsibility to a player who doesn’t yet look ready for it.

The club’s lack of centre-back cover since the injury to Gerard Pique, and the recent threat of a transfer ban, suggest that Neymar’s occasional poor performance should be the least of Barcelona’s worries.

Despite the troubles, Neymar’s experiences in Spain will still be beneficial to Brazil, and his recent injury might be even more welcome. Brazil’s number ten has learnt to be disciplined within a tactical system, and has been playing regularly in the Champions League against the standard of player he’s likely to come up against in the big games at the World Cup.

The recent injury will give him time to get his head together before this summer's tournament, and provide an opportunity to recharge mentally as well as physically, after what has been a hectic first season in Europe.

It’s true that Barcelona could alter their system to get the most from Neymar, but his productivity hasn’t been too shabby for them despite being shifted around from wing to wing to accommodate other players. Most at Barcelona, particularly his team-mates, recognise Neymar’s talent, and after this bedding in season in could become a more integral part of their system.

Although you can guarantee that, should Brazil fail to win the World Cup, Barcelona will receive a big slice of the apportioned blame.

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<![CDATA[Paris Saint-Germain defender Thiago Silva admits Chelsea defeat hurt]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59392_paris_saint-germain_defender_thiago_silva_admits_chelsea_defeat_hurt.htmlThiago Silva has admitted Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League quarter-final exit to Chelsea was a setback.

The Ligue 1 outfit agonisingly missed out on a place in the semi-finals, after Demba Ba netted an 87th minute winner to send Chelsea through on away goals.

"When you take a hit like we did against Chelsea, it makes you feel a bit lost,” said Silva, as reported by Ligue1.com. “But when you love winning like I do, you have to know how to come back, to look forward to the next game.”

Paris Saint-Germain responded to their Champions League disappointment by defeating Lyon 2-1 at the Stade de France on Saturday night to secure the Coupe de la Ligue, while they are also set to retain the Ligue 1 title.

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<![CDATA[Milan assistant manager Mauro Tassotti: “We expect quality” from Robinho]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59391_milan_assistant_manager_mauro_tassotti_____we_expect_quality____from_robinho.htmlMilan assistant manager Mauro Tassotti has underlined the importance of Robinho.

The Brazil international returned to the starting line up to play 82 minutes in Saturday's 3-0 win against Livorno.

Tassotti admits Robinho is not the most tactically disciplined player, but notes his ability to be a match winner makes him a key part of the Rossoneri squad. 

“From Robinho we expect quality,” he told Milan Channel. “He might not be as organised in that [wide] role as others, but he can make the difference.”

Robinho has scored three goals in 22 appearances for Milan this season.

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<![CDATA[Tottenham Hotspur manager Tim Sherwood explains Sandro snub]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59390_tottenham_hotspur_manager_tim_sherwood_explains_sandro_snub.htmlTottenham Hotspur manager Tim Sherwood has explained why he overlooked Sandro for Saturday’s 3-1 win against Fulham.

The Brazilian midfielder, who was left out of the 18 man match day squad, confirmed on Twitter that he wasn’t injured and had simply been overlooked.

Speaking after the game, Sherwood confirmed Sandro’s statement and noted that his preference at the moment is to use Nacer Chadli and Paulinho in central midfield.

"I like Sandro's qualities, but in my eyes it wasn't right to put him in the squad - other people are ahead of him,” said Sherwood after the game, as reported by Sky Sports.

"I think Nacer Chadli's done well in there and I think Paulinho's done well in there.”

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<![CDATA[Tottenham Hotspur manager Tim Sherwood unmoved by Sandro tweet]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59389_tottenham_hotspur_manager_tim_sherwood_unmoved_by_sandro_tweet.htmlTottenham Hotspur manager Tim Sherwood has insisted he is not bothered by a tweet Sandro made regarding his non-selection for Saturday’s 3-1 win against Fulham.

The Brazil international confirmed via Twitter that he was not injured for the match and had simply been overlooked.

Speaking after the game, Sherwood was fairly dismissive of the incident and believes Sandro is entitled to tweet what he likes.

"I don't care about the tweet," he said, as reported by Sky Sports. ”I don't go on Twitter. He can tweet what he wants.

"At the end of the day you always get an honest opinion from me and he's right what he's tweeting - he's not telling any lies.

"He's not injured, and he's fit to play, but he's not selected because he's not up to it at the moment ahead of other people.

"I really don't have a problem with him. He's a good lad. I don't have any problem with anything he's got to say. He's not being disrespectful to me, I don't think.”

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<![CDATA[Australia head coach Ange Postecoglou looking to use World Cup to help promote the next generation]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59388_australia_head_coach_ange_postecoglou_looking_to_use_world_cup_to_help_promote_the_next_generation.htmlAustralia head coach Ange Postecoglou has admitted he will be looking to the future at this summer’s World Cup.

With stalwarts such as Luke Wilkshire, Lucas Neill and Tim Cahill approaching the latter stages of their international careers, there is a need to start bringing through a fresh generation.

For Postecoglou, who replaced Holger Osieck in October, the World Cup offers a chance to begin renewing his squad.

The tactician believes it will be more beneficial for him to use younger players, rather than more experienced options, who are either out of favour, or not playing at a high level with their respective clubs sides.

"The time has come for us to look to this World Cup and the next World Cup and try and build a new golden generation of footballers," Postecoglou said, as reported by FIFA.com

"We need to make some hard decisions. When you look at our experienced players, there aren't many of them who are playing at the highest level, if any. 

“It makes sense to me to start looking at building a new core in the team." 

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<![CDATA[Brazil World Cup anti-terror law divides opinion]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59381_brazil_world_cup_anti-terror_law_divides_opinion.htmlCongress is currently considering Bill 449, which would create a penalty of 15 to 30 years in prison for "causing or inciting widespread terror by threatening or trying to threaten the life, the physical integrity or the health or liberty of a person".

Although Brazil has had no major terrorist incident for many years, advocates say that the country must be prepared because of its growing international profile and is acting as host to foreign sports fans, teams and dignitaries.

Campaigners, however, fear that the legislation will be used to suppress anti-government protests.

Lawyers, politicians, NGOs and protest organisers warn that the current wording of a bill submitted to the Brazilian National Congress is dangerously vague and could allow security forces unprecedented powers to arrest demonstrators.

"This already happens without without this law. It's clear this is just one more plan of this system. It's all a façade. The truth is they don't want any protests," a Black Bloc member responded from the group's Facebook account.

"We're not going to accept rules from these corrupt people and they certainly know that."

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<![CDATA[Barcelona coach Tata Martino doesn’t expect Neymar to play again this season]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59382_barcelona_coach_tata_martino_doesn___t_expect_neymar_to_play_again_this_season.htmlThe Argentine has dismissed talk of Neymar appearing in Barcelona’s final game of the season, as the Brazilian star looks to recover fully from a foot injury that is likely to keep him sidelined for four weeks.

The game against Atlético Madrid at the Camp Nou on 18 May is likely to be crucial but, nevertheless, Tata Martino is pessimistic in relation to Neymar’s involvement.

“To be honest it’s very difficult to imagine that he will have the chance to play. He will take about four weeks to recover from the injury he has, and that would take us right up to the final game.”

“I’m not optimistic that he will play again for Barcelona this season,” said the 51-year-old. 

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<![CDATA[Barcelona star Neymar reassures fans that he will be fit for World Cup]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59380_barcelona_star_neymar_reassures_fans_that_he_will_be_fit_for_world_cup.htmlBrazilian star Neymar says he will be fit enough to play in the World Cup in June despite a foot injury that could force him to miss the rest of the club season.

The 22-year-old Barcelona striker injured his left foot during Wednesday’s 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid in Spain's Copa del Rey final.

With less than two months to go, many feared that the injury might impact on the star’s presence at the World Cup when he is expected to lead Brazil’s attempt to win a sixth World Cup title.

"I always had a bit of fear" the injury would force me to "stay out of the World Cup", Neymar told Globo TV on Friday.

"Within the next three weeks I'll be back and I hope to play Barcelona's last game."

"It's horrible to be out, without training, without playing, and to see your comrades playing and training."

After talking with Barcelona, the medical department of Brazil's national team have said that Neymar will stay in shape by exercising with weights and in the pool whilst he recovers from the setback.

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<![CDATA[Paulinho on target for Spurs]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59379_paulinho_on_target_for_spurs.htmlThe Brazilian midfielder scored the first goal of the game as Tottenham eased past Fulham at White Hart Lane to keep their Champions League dream alive with a convincing 3-1 win.

Goals from Paulinho, Harry Kane and Younes Kaboul helped Spurs claim a crucial three points as they open up a six-point gap over Manchester United.

The 25-year-old bundled the ball over the line from a Christian Eriksen free-kick to get the goals underway in north London.

It was the former Corinthians man’s eighth goal in 35 appearances for Spurs.

Despite an equaliser from Steve Sidwell, goals from youngster Harry Kane and Younes Kaboul sealed the win and condemned Fulham to another defeat.

The win sees Spurs move just three points behind Everton, and four behind fierce rivals Arsenal and a Champions League spot.

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<![CDATA[Court order halts game between Portuguesa and Joinville]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59378_court_order_halts_game_between_portuguesa_and_joinville.htmlThe second division match was abandoned after just 16 minutes when a court official turned up with a ruling stating that Portuguesa must play in the top division.

Portuguesa were relegated last season after being deducted four points for fielding an ineligible player, something which saw Fluminense, one of Rio de Janeiro’s biggest cubs, reinstated to the top flight.

The club filed a lawsuit challenging the ruling.

Portuguesa told the match officials of the latest court ruling. Despite being instructed to keep playing, the Portuguesa players left the pitch with the game at 0-0.

The referee waited for 30 minutes before calling the game off.

Joinville president Nereu Martinelli told local media: "This is not our problem. Now it's up to the federation to solve this."

The game was one of those in the first round of this season’s fixtures and it now remains unclear how the opening fixtures will be affected.

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<![CDATA[Previous experiences will be key in title race insists Chelsea’s Willian]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59374_previous_experiences_will_be_key_in_title_race_insists_chelsea___s_willian.htmlWillian is hoping his previous experiences in Ukraine can help his current side Chelsea in their title battle with Liverpool and Manchester City.

Chelsea have their destiny in their own hands as they know if they win their last four matches, although one of those is away at Anfield against Liverpool.

Willian believes the Premier League is a lot stronger than the Ukraine league but hopes the Blues come out on top.

He told the Chelsea official website: “Here the league is stronger and more competitive compared with the one in Ukraine.

“There are more teams coming up to the finish line trying to win the title and I'm enjoying that. I just hope that when it comes to the end of the season Chelsea are on top.”

Chelsea play Sunderland today but the Brazilian will not be taking them for granted, despite them sitting in the bottom three.

Sunderland achieved a fantastic away draw against Blues title rivals City on Wednesday so Willian expacts a battle, he said: “It's going to be hard.

“Sunderland are in a relegation battle so they will fight for everything. They're going to come to Stamford Bridge hoping to take at least a point home just like they did when they went to City.

“They're not going to make it easy and it's up to us to do the best we can and make sure we get the three points.”

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<![CDATA[Former Red Luis García praises Liverpool’s Brazilian Philippe Coutinho]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59373_former_red_luis_garcia_praises_liverpool___s_brazilian_philippe_coutinho.htmlLuis García has praised Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho and admitted he does see many similarities between himself and the Brazilian.

García, a former Red, also wore the number ten shirt during his time at Anfield but he believes it isn’t just their stature which makes them alike.

The retired Spaniard told Sky Sports: “There's a few differences, too, but yeah, I think so. A lot of people are just looking at the No.10 on his shirt and how tall we are!

"But there's some things we both like to do, such as his dribbling skills.

"He scored a brilliant goal (against Man City). I think he's been very good. People were maybe having doubts, because of the kind of player he is, but he's got the confidence of the manager now.”

García went on to explain how playing regularly has improved the young Brazilian and admitted what more can you ask from him now that he is gradually adding more goals to his game.

He added: "Playing more regularly means he can show the type of player he is, and he's still only 21.

"He has a lot of quality, and knows how to keep the ball, look for the space and to give the accurate pass. Also he's scoring goals, so what more can you expect from a player like that?"

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<![CDATA[Spurs midfielder Sandro left out of squad despite declaring himself fit]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59372_spurs_midfielder_sandro_left_out_of_squad_despite_declaring_himself_fit.htmlTottenham Hotspur midfielder Sandro declared himself fit for the Lilywhites London derby against Fulham at White Hart Lane this afternoon but controversially has been completely left out of the squad by boss Tim Sherwood.

This morning fan favourite Sandro tweeted: “Good morning Guys, just to let you know that I’m not injured ! Hope that we can win the game today.”

That tweet sparked rumours and celebration, with many fans believing he would therefore be in the squad, however, current manager Sherwood has decided to leave the Brazilian out of the squad.

It was only last month the defensive midfielder backed Sherwood after his outburst following the Chelsea thrashing but it appears the man in charge doesn’t trust Sandro anymore.

It seems likely now, that Sandro’s tweet was probably after finding out he wasn’t in the squad and will only leave Tottenham fans even more frustrated with the current boss.

Although the former Internacional player hasn’t been in the best of form this season, his personality and leadership is viewed by many as something lacking in the current Tottenham team.

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<![CDATA[João Miranda insists Atlético Madrid will suffer in all their cup finals]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59365_joao_miranda_insists_atletico_madrid_will_suffer_in_all_their_cup_finals.htmlJoão Miranda has called for Atlético Madrid to continue their rich reign of form and end the season successfully following their 2-0 with over Elche on Friday night.

Diego Costa and Miranda were among the goals to keep Diego Simeone’s side in poll position to win the La Liga title, and the Brazilian defender stated that Atlético will suffer in games when they have to as long as they come out on top.

Miranda spoke with Canal Plus after the game and said: “This was an important win. The team was good and we must carry on like this.

“We’ve got four finals left now and the team knows how to suffer, when we have to suffer. Now though, we must rest and think about the game against Chelsea.”

Miranda’s goal came from an accurate corner kick but he went on to reveal it wasn’t just an unplanned goal, it was a move they have worked on studiously in training.

Inside Spanish Football quoted the defender, he added: “It’s a move we’ve trained for, one we’ve worked on a lot. We have good takers and plenty of quality players at set-pieces.”

The Brazilians goal and solid performance will no doubt have impressed national team manager Luiz Felipe Scolari and with rumours circulating that the Atlético defender could be in line for a call up, he’ll hope to end the season successfully.

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<![CDATA[Barcelona’s Neymar reveals he has suffered from swelling for quite some time]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59364_barcelona___s_neymar_reveals_he_has_suffered_from_swelling_for_quite_some_time.htmlNeymar has been discussing his injury which seems likely to rule him out of the rest of Barcelona’s season, although he is targeting their final match, but interestingly the Brazilian revealed that he has suffered with swelling for “some time”.

The 22-year-old has been poor of late and come in for heavy criticism, however, his admission that he has suffered from swelling on his fourth metatarsal for a while is surprising.

Neymar was speaking to Globo TV, with Inside Spanish Football quoting the Barcelona attack, he said: “I knew I’d be out for a while, but always with any scary, I’ve the first to stay out, I don’t like it at all.

“Later, obviously, I thought about the World Cup.  But I’ll be here for three weeks working on my return and I’m hoping I can play in Barcelona’s final match.

“I had already had swelling for some time. I could the maximum until that play.  It bothered me a lot and after the match I had a hard time walking.”

The former Santos man went on to reveal his dislike for spending time off the field injured and also his desire to play in the World Cup, something which seems certain despite this injury.

“It’s horrible being left on the sidelines, without training, without playing,” Neymar said.

“You see your teammates playing and training and you can’t do a damn thing about it. 

“Not doing anything is the worst situation in the world for a player…especially with this huger I always have, and even more so for the World Cup.  And my desire to play in the World Cup never falters.”

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<![CDATA[Miranda and Costa score as Atletico edge closer to La Liga championship]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59359_miranda_and_costa_score_as_atletico_edge_closer_to_la_liga_championship.htmlAtletico Madrid moved a step closer to securing a first La Liga crown since 1996 with a routine 2-0 home victoy against Elche on friday evening, both goals coming from Brazilian players.

Selecao hopeful Miranda Atletico eased nerves with an opener after 72 minutes against the strugglers and serial goalscorer Diego Costa wrapped up the three points with a penalty in the dying minutes of the game.

The result sees the capital club moves the six and seven points clear of title rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona with only four games remaining, both rivals have a game in hand as well.

And any lingering doubts about Brazil-born Costa's fitness ahead of the crucial Champions League Semi Final with Chelsea seem to have abated after he completed 90 minutes for the second match in a row.

Filipe Luis, also in contention to make Brazil's World Cup squad, played the whole game, while midfielder Diego came off the bench to play half an hour.

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<![CDATA[Brazil under-21 ease to Palmeiras friendly win]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59358_brazil_under-21_ease_to_palmeiras_friendly_win.htmlBrazil's under-21 side beat a shadow Palmeiras XI  3-0 earlier today in a warm up match for the upcoming prestigious Toulon tournament in France.

The invitation competition, which will run next month, is seen as a solid barometer of international teams' younger squads and has played host to some of the game's biggest stars in the past.

In previous years, the likes of Thierry Henry, Alan Shearer and Javier Mascherano have graced Touon, which is entering its 42nd year.

The Palmeiras fixture for Brazil's young guns saw them ease to victory courtesy of goals from Ademilson, Thalles and Alisson.

Brazil will play in Group A of the tournament, alongside the hosts, Colombia, Chile and China.

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<![CDATA[Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho relaxed about World Cup call]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59355_manchester_city_midfielder_fernandinho_relaxed_about_world_cup_call.htmlThe Brazilian midfielder has stressed that his focus is currently on helping Manchester City win the Premier League title.

Despite only making six appearances for the Seleção, and only one under current boss Luiz Felipe Scolari, Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho is considered by many to be guaranteed a place in this year’s World Cup squad.

The 28-year-old, however, has revealed that his is not currently thinking about any such call-up.

“My head is relaxed, because I need to think about the last few games in the Premier League as these are important to me and to everyone at the club.”

“Of course, as soon as the Premier League finishes I’ll start thinking about the World Cup. I had a chance against South Africa and I gave my best. It’s not worth losing a night’s sleep over but I hope my name will be on the list.”

Already adapted to English football, Fernandinho has been trying to enjoy his time off to get to know the city of Manchester.

“Manchester isn’t a touristic city, it’s industrial,” he said. “There are not a lot of things to do. I try to take my children to play in parks and we go to shopping centres and to restaurants. We have to enjoy our time together as the calendar is packed.”

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<![CDATA[Renato Augusto fit enough for Corinthians squad]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59354_renato_augusto_fit_enough_for_corinthians_squad.htmlRenato Augusto is expected to be fit enough to be named in Corinthians' squad for their opening Brasileiro league fixture this weekend against Atletico Mineiro in Uberlandia.

The 26 year-old former Flamengo attacking midfielder, who joined the club in 2013, took a full part in training according to reports in the Brazilan media and head coach Mario Menezes said: "He responded well to training. I always say that the most important part is to convince the head of the player."

If fit enought to start the game, Renato could feature alongside fellow creative force and new signing Jadson, behind the strike duo of Romarinho and Malcom.

Augusto has played three times for Brazil since making his debut in 2011 but will not be in consideration for Luiz Felipe Scolari's World Cup plans this year.

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<![CDATA[Atlético Madrid striker Diego Costa says that he is totally ready for this weekend’s game against Elche]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59353_atletico_madrid_striker_diego_costa_says_that_he_is_totally_ready_for_this_weekend___s_game_against_elche.htmlThe Brazilian-born forward suffered an injury against Getafe but has assured reporters that it was only a scare and that he is ready for this Saturday’s clash at the Vicente Calderon stadium.

“I’m good. The truth is that it was just a scare and, thanks to God, it was nothing serious,” he said in an interview with Atlético Madrid’s official site.

“I’m desperate to get back playing.”

Atlético have 82 points, three more than second-placed Real Madrid.

“It’s a decisive moment and we know we have to do everything we can to win. We are focussed and have conviction. We’re going to give it our all,” completed the 25-year-old.

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<![CDATA[New Botafogo signing Emerson Sheik calls on fans to support the team in 2014]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59352_new_botafogo_signing_emerson_sheik_calls_on_fans_to_support_the_team_in_2014.htmlNew Botafogo signing Emerson Sheik has thanked the club's fans for welcoming to his new team and urged the to get behind the Rio de Janeiro outfit as the new Brasileiro season kicks off this weekend coming.

The Qatar international, who has represented Brazil at youth level, finally completed his protracted move in the past week and told TV Stove that he is ready to play.

"We will work very hard, and the crowd's support is key. I ask you that you please attand and support us this season."

Emerson had previously been at Corinthians, where he played from 2011 to 2014. During the 35 year-old's time at the club, he won a national league title, a Copa Libertadores and a Club World Cup, as well as last year's Paulista state championship.

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<![CDATA[Atlético Madrid defender João Miranda could still make the Seleção]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59351_atletico_madrid_defender_joao_miranda_could_still_make_the_selecao.htmlThe form of the Brazilian centre-back has caught the eye of football fans around the world as Atlético Madrid, who are top of the table with four games to play, challenge for the La Liga title.

João Miranda is being touted as a perfect player for his country's 23-man World Cup squad.

Marca have reported that the media actually asked Luiz Felipe Scolari about the possibility of calling up Miranda and the Brazil boss left the door firmly open for the 29-year-old.

The Atleti centre-back last played for Brazil back on 6th February 2013 in a friendly against England at Wembley.

Scolari did not call him up for last year's Confederations Cup but his first-rate performances for Atleti see him well placed for an international call-up for this summer's World Cup. 

http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2014-04/home/info_1397837887.jpgFri, 18 Apr 2014 15:16:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Internacional all set for new look Beira Rio to host first league game ]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59350_internacional_all_set_for_new_look_beira_rio_to_host_first_league_game_.htmlThe new Brazilian league season gets underway this weekend in earnest, with a flood of fixtures coming before a sustained break during the World Cup, and one team in particular will be striving to put on a show on the first round of fixtures.

Internacional's recently revamped Beira-Rio stadium in Porto Alegre, which now holds 56,000 spectators, is set to host the first match of this magnitude when they host Vitoria.

The game kicks off on Saturday at 1830 (GMT) in the venue which now boats huge TV screens- for fans to debate contentious decisions or merely watch replays of Inter goals.

A 15th-place finish in last year's championship is hoped to be a minor setback for Inter, who have won the Copa Libertadores in the past five years.

Their team for Sunday is expected to include the attacking triumvirate of Andres D'Alessandro, Rafael Moura and Alan Patrick.

http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2014-04/home/info_1397837642.jpgFri, 18 Apr 2014 15:13:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Barcelona stars Neymar and Dani Alves racially abused during Wednesday’s Copa del Rey final]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59349_barcelona_stars_neymar_and_dani_alves_racially_abused_during_wednesday___s_copa_del_rey_final.htmlReal Madrid’s epic Copa del Rey final win over Barcelona was marred by racist abuse from both sets of supporters aimed at Neymar, Dani Alves and Pepe.

As the Brazilian pair found themselves closer to the end populated by Real Madrid supporters, monkey chants intensified. Barcelona fans also abused Portuguese defender Pepe.

The abuse suffered by Neymar, Alves and Pepe did not make the referees reports whilst one commentator on Spanish radio dismissed the incidents as 'four or five idiots giving everyone else a bad name'.

Real Madrid won the game at the Mestalla 2-1 thanks to Gareth Bale's superb late winner. 

http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2014-04/home/info_1397837536.jpgFri, 18 Apr 2014 15:09:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Tottenham winger Andros Townsend hoping to impact in Brazil]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59348_tottenham_winger_andros_townsend_hoping_to_impact_in_brazil.htmlThe young winger has vowed to rediscover his sparkling form from earlier this season as competition for places in England's World Cup squad intensifies.

Andros Townsend produced inspired performances in qualifying victories over Montenegro and Poland in October, his first two matches on the international stage.

Since then his season was stunted by a hamstring injury in December but the 22-year-old is eager to make up for his time on the sidelines and return to form for Tottenham in a bid to catch the attention of England manager Roy Hodgson, who will reveal his provisional 23-man squad on May 10.

"I want what happened to me at the qualifiers to be the start of something," he told the London Evening Standard.

"Nobody wants to be a one-hit wonder. It's all about longevity and I want more opportunities to play for England, especially at the World Cup."

"It would mean the world to me to go to Brazil. Every boy in the country dreams of playing at a World Cup and I'm no different."

Townsend faces stiff competition from Liverpool's Raheem Sterling and Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain when it comes to making Hodgson's squad and the Tottenham man has a lot of admiration for his rivals.

"I have a lot of respect and admiration for them," he said. "We're good friends and have talked about the World Cup a bit. I'm pleased that they're doing well. Raheem has been on fire for Liverpool and Ox has been playing well for Arsenal."

http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2014-04/home/info_1397837028.jpgFri, 18 Apr 2014 15:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Campeonato Brasileiro starts this weekend]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59347_campeonato_brasileiro_starts_this_weekend.htmlBrazil’s best clubs will battle it out this weekend as the Brasileirão sees it first round of this season’s matches take place across the country.

Whilst some state championships have finished, others are drawing to a close as Brazil’s cluttered football calendar sees the national championship begin early to allow for a break for the World Cup in less than two months’ time.

The first games of this year’s Campeonato Brasileiro will see Fluminense take on Figueirense and Internacional take on Vitória on Saturday afternoon.

Other fixtures to look out for this weekend will include Botafogo’s visit to São Paulo on Sunday, as well as Atlético-MG against Corinthians at the Estádio Municipal João Havelange and Santos against newly promoted Sport Recife, both on Sunday.

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<![CDATA[France head coach Deschamps playing down World Cup chances]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59346_france_head_coach_deschamps_playing_down_world_cup_chances.htmlDidier Deschamps, the France manager, has played down the chances of his country getting into the very latter stages of this year's World Cup as he doesn't believe they possess the quality of other nations. 

He did however, mention that on any given day, Les Bleus have the arsenal with which to cause even the best international teams problems.

Speaking on goal.com, the ex-Juventus and Chelsea midfielder said: "If you said that France were going to be world champions, it would be a lie. The reality is that we are not in the top eight sides in the world."

"But that does not mean we cannot beat a team that is stronger than us. It has been proven against Ukraine (in the World Cup play-off), we are capable of producing a great performance."

Under Decshamps' tutelage, France appear to have shed the previous image of constant in-camp bickering, and are seen as many pundits' dark horses for the tournament.

They will compete in Group E this summer, alongside Switzerland, Honduras and Ecuador.

http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2014-04/home/info_1397836073.jpgFri, 18 Apr 2014 14:47:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Napoli loanee Bruno Uvini patient but also eager to impress when given Santos debut]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59343_napoli_loanee_bruno_uvini_patient_but_also_eager_to_impress_when_given_santos_debut.htmlSantos defender Bruno Uvini has accept the decision of coach Oswaldo de Oliveira not to play him so far because he understands the quality of the current team.

The 22-year-old joined Peixe from Napoli on loan last month but has yet to feature, although hasn’t had too many opportunities, but he believes when the time is right he will get his sequence of games.

The former Tottenham Hotspur youth spoke to Lancenet about the Brasileirão season which kicks off this weekend.

Uvini said: “The player is expected to come and help the team in games but I have to respect the choices of Oswaldo. This team took Santos to the final of the State Championship and that is no small thing, it has merit.

“It will be a close race (the Brasileirão) because Santos have young and quality players who are maturing early.

“I’m coming to help and be available for Oswaldo. I’m eager to play. I came back here to have a sequence of games but this is all in due course, when it is my time I’ll be ready.”

Uvini talked about his understanding of tactics, something enhanced during his time in Italy, and also his number 44.

The young defender admitted he picked the number but it just came to mind, it was not based on any previous feeling.

“Can the number bring me luck? It is the first time I use this but it does not have a particular reason,” Uvini revealed.

“It just came to my mind when choosing so it might get lucky and be my number.

“In Italy I learned a lot about tactical discipline and Oswaldo works with this here. It can be a recipe for success because it works a lot in Italy and it can be as important as the beautiful play or individual quality of Brazilian football.”

http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2014-04/home/info_1397824646.jpgFri, 18 Apr 2014 11:36:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Ronaldinho believes Atlético Mineiro can achieve success in Brasileirão this season]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/59342_ronaldinho_believes_atletico_mineiro_can_achieve_success_in_brasileirao_this_season.htmlRonaldinho has targeted winning the Brasileirão with Atlético Mineiro this season but he does admit his form is a concern.

The legendary Brazilian has started 2014 in poorly and even ended the previous campaign badly by earning a red card in the FIFA Club World Championship.

Ronaldinho has insisted, though, that he is training hard and now wants to get a run of games to recapute his magic of previous seasons.

The former Barcelona man told Lancenet: “Well I’m training and I’m motivated, I have no greater motivation.

“Sunday (versus Corinthians) will be an important game, one of the great teams that will fight up there, so it’s a great game.”

As alluded to, Atlético Mineiro face Corinthians this weekend in the opening of this year’s tournament.

If Galo are to achieve success however, something Ronaldinho is targeting, then the great man will need to be at his best and he believes with time that will come.

“I’ll have to play as much as possible,” said Ronaldinho. “I lack rhythm, I’ve played very little this season so I want to play and have a run of games but it is up to the manager.

“Since I came here the challenge for me and the club was that we hadn’t won the Copa Libertadores but now we have won, the Brasileirão is what we will fight to win.”

http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2014-04/home/info_1397823036.jpgFri, 18 Apr 2014 11:09:00 +0000