<![CDATA[RSS Sambafoot]]>http://sambafoot.com/en(sambafoot.com)sambafoot.comsambafoot.comen-en<![CDATA[Roberto Firmino Misses Brazil Training Session]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/86927_roberto_firmino_misses_brazil_training_session.htmlRoberto Firmino sat out of Brazil’s training session in São Paulo on Monday. The Seleção trained at the Corinthians Arena, but the Liverpool man was not well enough to take part.

Firmino is suffering with a throat infection and was ordered to stay back at the hotel by manager Tite. Sport Recife’s Diego Souza took Firmino’s place in training.

Firmino started as a false 9 in Thursday’s 4-1 win over Uruguay and Diego would adopt the same role if Firmino was not considered fit for selection tonight. However, it is understood that the Liverpool man should be ok to start.

Tite conducted an open training session on Monday. Right-back Dani Alves is suspended, so his place will be taken by Fágner. The starting XI in training was otherwise unchanged from Thursday’s win in Montevideo.

Tite only allowed journalists to view the first 15 minutes of the session on this occasion. Last year he allowed them to see the tactical element of the session on the understanding that no details would be revealed. However, one publication reneged on the understanding, so Tite no longer allows journalists to see the full training.

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http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2017-03/home/Tue, 28 Mar 2017 09:48:59 +0000
<![CDATA[Brazil v Paraguay preview]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/86926_brazil_v_paraguay_preview.htmlBrazil welcome Paraguay to São Paulo on Tuesday night in scintillating form. They have won their last 7 CONMEBOL qualifiers and demolished a formidable Uruguay side 4-1 on Thursday evening- Albiceleste’s first defeat on home soil in seven years. Brazil are almost assured qualification for the 2018 World Cup, an expected home victory against Paraguay will put them on the brink of Russia 2018.

Brazil’s biggest enemy would be complacency at this stage. They have only conceded twice under Tite- an own goal against Colombia and a penalty against Uruguay. The Seleção, with Neymar in sparkling form, will be fully expected to despatch Paraguay. Tite will have to ensure that his players remain focused on the job at hand.

Confidence quickly morphs into overconfidence and there is a potential added distraction with the game being played at Arena Corinthians. It is something of a homecoming for Tite, who won two league titles, a Copa Libertadores and a Club World Cup with Timão. He will receive quite a welcome from the home support, as will a few of the players that formed the fulcrum of Tite’s Corinthians team.

Renato Augusto left for China last year, Paulinho moved to the Premier League shortly after Timão’s World Club Cup win in 2013 and now plies his trade in China. Centre half Marquinhos was a product of the Corinthians academy and with Dani Alves suspended, current Timão right-back Fágner is set to start. The game will certainly have a very Corinthians backdrop, with the supporters greeting players and a coach they have much affection for.

But Tite must ensure his players avoid the sideshow and concentrate on the task at hand. Brazil will be favourites to beat Paraguay, but their 2-1 win over Ecuador on Thursday night just about keeps their qualification hopes alive. A victory for the Paraguayans in São Paulo puts them squarely in the qualification equation. Especially as closest competitors for the 4th and 5th spots- Colombia and Ecuador- play one another earlier in the evening.

Paraguay really ought to have taken the three points in the reverse fixture, as a more muddled incarnation of this Seleção side toiled under Dunga. Paraguay led Brazil 2-0 with eight minutes left in Asuncion but buckled and conceded two late goals- including a stoppage time equaliser from Dani Alves. Brazil are a finely oiled machine under Tite, but the visitors will not roll over easily.

With Dani Alves suspended, Fágner will come in at right-back. Marcelo had a difficult night against Uruguay, but his greater attacking thrust will probably see him keep his place ahead of Filipe Luis. Otherwise, Roberto Firmino will continue in the false 9 position with Gabriel Jesus injured. Coutinho and Neymar will complete the attacking unit.

Paraguay will probably play a compact 4-5-1 unit, with Iturbe and Dominguez charged with leading the counter attack from the flanks. Brazil will push Fágner and Marcelo up quite high, so exploiting any space they leave will figure prominently in coach Chiqui Arce’s gameplan. The Parguayans will try to frustrate Brazil with a deep block and herd the front three into crowded central areas.

For Brazil it will be very much a case of “as you were”, with Renato Augusto proving to be the link man, allowing Paulinho to ghost forward into space and plugging any gaps Coutinho and Neymar might vacate as they look to become involved in play. Paulinho stole the headlines with a hat trick in Montevideo but the performance of Neymar illuminated the match. If he provides something similar on Tuesday, Paraguay will have a difficult job stopping Tite’s men.

Predicted line-up; 1.ALISSON, 22.FAGNER, 3.MIRANDA, 13.MARQUINHOS, 16.MARCELO; 5.CASEMIRO, 8.RENATO AUGUSTO, 15.PAULINHO, 11.P.COUTINHO, 10.NEYMAR, 21.FIRMINO.

Predicted score; Brazil 2 Paraguay 1.

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http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2017-03/home/Tue, 28 Mar 2017 09:29:08 +0000
<![CDATA[Cheating in Sports]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/86932_cheating_in_sports.htmlWorld sports bodies are fighting hard to contain cheating in sports. However this fight is becoming more and more difficult with each passing day. Gone are the days when athletes used to cheat in simple and unsophisticated ways. Now the cheating has gotten so technical it is difficult to even tell whether the actions of an athlete are still in line with regulations or not.

Days when cheating involved Diego Maradona punching the ball into the net at the soccer world cup final are gone. Or cricket captains tempering with the balls to get them to behave differently. The use of latest technology to aid game officials in making in-game decisions has had great impacts in this area. However some of the top sports governing bodies are reluctant to use such technology. This is because they do not want to disrupt the flow of play too much. Which is a very valid point.

However the cheating has also gotten very sophisticated. As much as the regulatory authorities are using the latest tech to detect the cheating, the athletes are now also using even more sophisticated tech to cheat. Now sports people have access to highly specialized performance enhancing drugs. These designer drugs are becoming more and more difficult to detect. For us we are taking a break from sports betting and resorting to online casino gambling. Visit New Zealand gambling for more information about gambling laws.

Top athletes including the cycling legend Lance Armstrong have been caught cheating. This shows that the pressure that communities put on the athletes to perform is too much. There also is that human desire to excel beyond our own limits which is also pushing the sports people to cheat.

And the money, of course the money. There is now too much money in sports. Not even the dirty type of money typical of illegal betting syndicates. Yes, this too contributes to the filth that we now see sports but we are talking of the clean money. Sponsorship deals that are worth several millions of dollars. These give the sports administrators enough resource to be tempted to cheat. That kind of money is incentive enough to cheat. Where licensed operators will never cheat you out of your win.

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http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2017-03/home/info_1490704658.jpgTue, 28 Mar 2017 07:34:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Marquinhos Using Barca Defeat to Keep His Feet on the Ground for Brazil]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/86906_marquinhos_using_barca_defeat_to_keep_his_feet_on_the_ground_for_brazil.htmlBrazil defender Marquinhos is using his recent experience with Paris Saint Germain to keep his feet on the ground for Brazil. The PSG defender has become a guaranteed starter at centre half under Tite.

 

Brazil currently lead the CONMEBOL table by 7 points and look certain to qualify for the World Cup. However, Marquinhos was part of the PSG side that ceded a 4-0 first leg win over Barcelona in the Champions League to lose the second leg 6-1.

 

The 22-year old is using this experience to not take Brazil’s position for granted, “We came from a 4-0 win over Barcelona with a lot of good things around us. Then, we lost 6-1. Football is made up of these moments.

 

“I try to be very positive in my life, always taking a positive spin on things. It's hard to do this in a defeat like that, but it will help to keep my feet on the ground, knowing that football is made of these moments.”

 

Marquinhos says Brazil need to put the current admiration they are receiving to one side and concentrate on guaranteeing World Cup qualification, “We are on the right track, but the most important thing is to gain cohesion and confidence until we achieve qualification.

 

“Today, the moment we live in is causing us to see admiration and affection of all for our work. Let's take advantage of this phase of confidence to progress more and more.”

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http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2017-03/home/Mon, 27 Mar 2017 10:38:45 +0000
<![CDATA[Neymar "Fundamental" for Brazil, says Coutinho]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/86905_neymar__fundamental__for_brazil__says_coutinho.htmlBrazil attacker Philippe Coutinho has described his friend and international teammate Neymar as “fundamental” to Brazil’s success. Neymar put in a man of the match display on Thursday as the Seleção trounced Uruguay 4-1 in Montevideo.

 

Neymar and Coutinho have been friends since childhood and the Liverpool man has been linked with a move to Neymar’s club Barcelona, despite signing a new contract with no clauses in it back in January.

 

However, when it comes to international football, the two are very much on the same wavelength, “Look, Neymar is outstanding as we can all see," Coutinho said. "He is a player that decides key games, a guy that is fundamental on our team.

 

"We have been together for a long time, since we played together at youth level. Playing next to him is easy, he can change the game easily. We give the ball to him and he solves the problem!”

 

Brazil are currently 7 points clear at the top of the CONMEBOL table with a home game against Paraguay in São Paulo on Tuesday night, “Of course, it is really cool to see that everyone is with us," Coutinho said.

 

"Obviously everyone is following Tite's work -- he is doing a great job. So this just makes us more confident. As you saw in the stadium, there was a lot of positive energy. So it' is really good for us."

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http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2017-03/home/Mon, 27 Mar 2017 10:28:12 +0000
<![CDATA[Arena Corinthians Return "Will Not Be A Party" Insists Paulinho]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/86884_arena_corinthians_return__will_not_be_a_party__insists_paulinho.htmlBrazil hat trick hero Paulinho insists that Tuesday night’s qualifier against Paraguay “will not be a party.” The Seleção are now 7 points clear at the top of the CONMEBOL table and almost assured qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

 

Paulinho, who grabbed a hat trick against Uruguay in Montevideo on Thursday, says that Tuesday will be no party. He, Renato Augusto and Fagner are set to start at Arena Corinthians, where the three players forged their reputations under coach Tite.

 

But Paulinho insists victory is the most important thing, “It's not going to be a party. It will be another great game. Let's go for the victory.” However, his teammate Renato Augusto admits that it will be special to return to his old hunting ground in São Paulo.

 

“It's a place where I was very happy, it is my home. It will certainly be a special day. As we play together, things get easier. Against Uruguay, we were tactically perfect. It was the first time we went behind in a game (under Tite) and we were calm.”

 

Renato Augusto left Corinthians a year ago to play for Beijing Guoan. Paulinho is also in China now with Ghangzou Evergrande, having spent two unhappy seasons at Tottenham Hotspur. 

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http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2017-03/home/Sat, 25 Mar 2017 11:28:48 +0000
<![CDATA[Marquinhos Hails "Special Coach" Tite]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/86883_marquinhos_hails__special_coach__tite.htmlParis Saint Germain defender Marquinhos has praised Brazil coach Tite as “a special coach” and says that his approach could easily prosper in Europe. Brazil have won all 7 of Tite’s games in charge and Marquinhos has become a regular alongside João Miranda in defence.

 

Tite and Marquinhos worked together at Corinthians a few years ago. Marquinhos told ESPN Brazil, “He is a very good person, a person who knows how to see the human side, besides the player who is there. He is a person who works with honesty.

 

“Tite is a special coach, he has a strong quality, a human side, he knows how to talk to you. Tite knows a lot about football. He knows how to manage it all. And he understands a lot about tactics and partnerships on the field.”

 

Brazil are 7 points clear at the top of the CONMEBOL table and almost certain to qualify for the 2018 World Cup now and Marquinhos admits that the credit is largely due to Tite, who has completely transformed the team’s fortunes.

 

“The credit is largely his. As they are also the players who are playing, there is always a division of merit. You win and lose as a team. But we have to know the importance of each. Tite is a coach of great quality. We trust him.”

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http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2017-03/home/Sat, 25 Mar 2017 11:13:24 +0000
<![CDATA[Uruguay v Brazil thoughts]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/86882_uruguay_v_brazil_thoughts.htmlIn my match preview, I outlined three questions that Tite had to answer ahead of the trip to Montevideo, where a formidable Uruguay side had not lost since 2010. The first asked how Brazil would cope with a little adversity. It’s been largely plain sailing under Tite, the Seleção had only conceded one goal during his tenure and had not trailed in any game.

With qualification looking certain, I speculated that Tite probably wouldn’t mind seeing how his team respond to going behind. After seven minutes, Marcelo tried an ill advised chest back to Alisson. Cavani’s instincts were keen and he nipped in, leaving Alisson with little option but to take him out. Cavani converted the spot kick and Brazil trailed after just 8 minutes. Now Tite would see what his team were made of.

They went from strength to strength. My second question revolved around the replacement for Gabriel Jesus. Roberto Firmino played as a false 9 in the 19 year old’s stead. Firmino himself had a quiet game, even if he played a pivotal part in the second goal. However, it was Neymar who took up the slack with an awe inspiring performance.

Uruguay struggled to live with his forays down the left hand side. The Barcelona man set the tone inside 5 minutes with a 60 yard dribble. He teed up Coutinho, whose cross across the 6 yard area was missed by Firmino. Under Dunga, Neymar often cut a frustrated figure. He tried to do too much too often. But Tite seems to have helped him strike a balance between being a match winner and a team player.

Paulinho’s fulminating 30 yard drive pulled Brazil level as the Seleção refused to buckle in the intense atmosphere. Another of my pre-match questions asked how to harness key players such as Renato Augusto and Paulinho, who have only just started their domestic season in China. Augusto was again a one man polyfilla, filling gaps left by the wandering Coutinho and Neymar. Paulinho scored a hat trick.

The performance was not perfect for Brazil. Firmino was quiet, Coutinho continued his indifferent form. The full-backs were guilty of some untidy moments. Dani Alves earned a booking that sees him miss Tuesday night’s qualifier against Paraguay. Marcelo was fortunate not to be sent off for a callous stamp and made a poor error for Uruguay’s goal.

But Miranda and Marquinhos developed their burgeoning partnership further with another solid display. There have been doubts raised over goalkeeper Alisson, yet he made notable saves. The closest Tite has come to earning public scorn during his reign emanated from the surprise inclusion of out of sorts Paulinho.

Paulinho and Renato Augusto were a staple of Tite’s World Club Cup winning Corinthians side and he has fallen back on the duo at international level. The decision to reprise Paulinho’s international career raised some eyebrows, but four goals in two games against Uruguay and Argentina is quelling those doubts.

Shortly after the final whistle, a tweet from a Brazil based journalist read, “If Tite had been appointed in 2014, maybe Brazil would still be a democracy.” Certainly the Seleção coach is earning that rarest of distinctions in this sprawling nation- an authority figure that people trust.

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http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2017-03/home/Fri, 24 Mar 2017 16:32:54 +0000
<![CDATA[Pato Would Welcome Diego Costa to Tianjin Quanjian]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/86865_pato_would_welcome_diego_costa_to_tianjin_quanjian.htmlTianjin Quanjian striker Alexandre Pato says he would welcome the chance to play with Diego Costa in the Chinese Super League. Pato made the move to China in January after abortive spells with Villarreal and Chelsea.

 

Costa has been linked with a move to China and agitated for a transfer in January after receiving an offer reported to be of around £500,000 a week. He has decided to stay until the end of the season, but admits he would still be open to moving to China.

 

Pato would certainly welcome his compatriot at Tianjin Quanjain, “[Diego Costa] is a great teammate and he could help us a lot," the 27-year-old said in an interview with MARCA. "Yet we [the players] don't know anything about it.

 

"What I do think is that I'm sure we'll sign a very important and top-level player this summer. I don't know [if it'll be Costa] as I just focus on playing. The ones in charge of these matters are [coach] Fabio Cannavaro and the president.

 

"We're a strong club with the economic capacity to sign good players and they will look for the kind of players who can help us to play in the Asian Champions League next season."

 

Pato paid tribute to coach Fabio Cannavaro, whom he said was influential in the decision to move east, “If it wasn't for Fabio [Cannavaro] I wouldn't be here. I was happy at Villarreal and could have stayed there, but he convinced me to change my mind about coming.”

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http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2017-03/home/Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:50:29 +0000
<![CDATA[Fernandinho Happy to Be City's Mr. Versatile]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/86864_fernandinho_happy_to_be_city_s_mr__versatile.htmlManchester City midfielder Fernandinho says he is quite happy to operate in a variety of roles for the club. The Brazilian has spent most of his career as a defensive midfield player. But nder Pep Guardiola, he has also appeared all across the defensive line.

 

Upon his arrival at City, Guardiola said that Fernandinho “can play in ten positions” and he has made good on his promise to move Ferna around.  “I believe that’s important (to have players who can adapt to different positions).

 

“Sometimes we have weeks, like the one where we ended up without two wingers due to injury, and when you have players that are capable to play in those positions, that makes things easier for the manager.

 

“I knew about these qualities because when I was 15-years-old, I experienced playing in several positions and I always did quite well, I can adapt well in those functions,” Fernandinho added.

 

“For me it was not a surprise and I hope to always be available to help the best way I can, in different positions, if necessary.”

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http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2017-03/home/Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:47:03 +0000
<![CDATA['I've Proven Myself for Brazil' says Alisson]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/86857__i_ve_proven_myself_for_brazil__says_alisson.htmlAS Roma goalkeeper Alisson insists that he is worthy of the number 1 shirt for the Seleção, despite having played little club football for Roma this season. Alisson left Internacional for the Serie A club last summer, but has found himself second choice behind Wojciech Szczesny.

 

Many pundits believe Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves would be a better fit, but Tite has kept faith with Alisson and the Roma man insists he has done enough in his country’s colours to justify that trust.

 

“I've proven that even without playing [for my club], I can do a good job here with Brazil,” Alisson said. “It's difficult, but we have to play with the hand we are dealt. The expectation on all the players is always very high, and I will always work hard to meet those expectations.

 

“I feel 100%. Of course, I'm a bit tired after a long trip [from Italy], but nothing beats the joy of representing your country alongside so many players of such high quality.  I trained with [goalkeeping coach] Taffarel [on Tuesday in Sao Paulo], not as intensely as usual, because we were still two days away from the game.

 

“But I am 100% and I have been training hard in Italy to ensure I am always ready for join up with the Selecao.” Alisson had words of praise for Benfica goalkeeper Edison, who has been called up for the first time for the March qualifiers.

 

“He’s doing a great job. He’s young and has a lot of potential. He's in great form for his team, Benfica, who are top of the Portuguese league. I think Brazil are very well served with goalkeepers and we have options for many years to come.”

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http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2017-03/home/Wed, 22 Mar 2017 18:33:16 +0000
<![CDATA[Casemiro "Cannot Deny" Advantage of Playing Uruguay Without Suarez]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/86856_casemiro__cannot_deny__advantage_of_playing_uruguay_without_suarez.htmlBrazil midfielder Casemiro says he “cannot deny” that it is better for the Seleção to face a Uruguay team without the suspended Luis Suarez this Thursday night on Montevideo. The Barca man serves a one match ban and Casemiro admits that is of assistance to Brazil.

 

However, the Real Madrid ‘volante’ still thinks a draw would represent a good result for Brazil, who are 4 points clear of 2nd placed Uruguay at the top of the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying rankings. “We can't deny it, of course it's better playing Uruguay when they don’t have Suarez," he said.

 

“Suarez is a great player. You always think about winning the match, but we have to play for the points we need. I do not see the draw as being a bad result for us, but Brazil always play to win.”

 

The top 4 qualify automatically for the World Cup and Brazil are currently sitting pretty having won their last 6 qualifiers under Tite. Uruguay have won all 6 of their qualifiers in Montevideo to this point, however.

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http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2017-03/home/Wed, 22 Mar 2017 18:32:01 +0000
<![CDATA[Suarez Suspension Won't Alter Uruguay's Style, Insists Miranda]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/86840_suarez_suspension_won_t_alter_uruguay_s_style__insists_miranda.htmlBrazil defender João Miranda says that the absence of Luis Suarez will do little to dilute Uruguay’s style ahead of the World Cup qualifier between the teams in Montevideo on Thursday. The Inter defender is still expecting a tough game, even with the Barcelona man suspended.

 

“Uruguay has a big loss without Suárez, but their style of play does not change: they fight for every ball when they don’t have it. It's a tough style and we are prepared to face it.”

 

Miranda has been a mainstay of a Seleção side that has conceded just once in their last 6 qualifiers, but he insists this is the result of a concerted team effort- starting with Brazil’s star studded forward line.

 

“Our attackers are the first defenders, they lose the ball and try to press fast. It is an organized team, that does not give up while it does not have the ball, it tries to rest with the ball. It is mentally very strong and this helps a lot to organise the defence.

 

“Today we want to be sure that the Brazilian national team is playing at their level. This is our job, to make each player play to his level. We respect Uruguay, but we will go there searching for victory,” concluded the centre-back. 

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http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2017-03/home/Tue, 21 Mar 2017 18:56:01 +0000
<![CDATA[Paulinho Admits A Draw Would Be A Good Result in Uruguay]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/86839_paulinho_admits_a_draw_would_be_a_good_result_in_uruguay.htmlBrazil midfielder says a draw would not be a bad result for Brazil, in their World Cup qualifier against Uruguay in Montevideo on Thursday night. The Seleção sit top of the CONMEBOL rankings, 4 points ahead of 2nd placed Uruguay.

 

The top 4 qualify automatically for the World Cup, so Brazil are in good shape. Ex-Spurs midfielder Paulinho admits a draw would be a decent enough result for Brazil, but that they will go out to try and win the game.

 

“From the difficulty we know we will face, a draw would not be a bad result. But our thinking is to play well and, given the opportunity to win, even better. We are looking for a big moment, it is a moment of great confidence.

 

“We hope to get there, play a great game and go in search of victory. We know the quality of our opponent, but with our style of play, we have the quality to achieve victory.”

 

The Ghangzou Evergrande man says the team are aware of the hostile atmosphere they can expect in Montevideo, where Uruguay have won all 6 of their home qualifiers, “We will face a little or a lot of pressure, it depends on our behaviour, but we have been working on this.

 

“You have to have a good head, calm, concentration, especially at the beginning of the match, when they will push us even harder.”

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http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2017-03/home/Tue, 21 Mar 2017 18:41:43 +0000
<![CDATA[3 Problems for Tite To Address Ahead of Uruguay v Brazil]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/86813_3_problems_for_tite_to_address_ahead_of_uruguay_v_brazil.htmlBrazil play a crunch World Cup qualifier against Uruguay in Montevideo on Thursday evening. They arrive in fine fettle, having won all of their last 6 qualifiers, catapulting them to the top of the CONMEBOL standings. Uruguay are nestled just beneath them in second place, four points back on the Seleção.

 

The home side will have to fare without their talisman Luis Suarez, who is suspended. However, Tite still has a few headaches to negotiate for the tough trip over the border. Uruguay have won all 6 of their home games in the qualifying campaign and things have moved on for a few key members of the Brazil squad since they last played in November. Here are some of Tite’s biggest headscratchers ahead of the double header with Uruguay and Paraguay.

 

WHO WILL REPLACE GABRIEL JESUS?

Brazil have won all 6 of their games since Tite took over from the hapless Dunga in August. The introduction of 19 year old Gabriel Jesus to finally solve the Seleção’s number 9 woes has been a huge factor in their upturn. Jesus has 5 goals and 3 assists since making his competitive debut in Quito in September.

 

Jesus had made an electric start to life at Manchester City too, until a broken metatarsal ruled him out until the end of April. With that, Brazil’s striking problem re-presents itself for Tite for the first time in his reign. The Seleção do not have a dependable back up option. Tite essentially has two choices, neither of which is totally ideal.

 

He has called up Sport Recife’s Diego Souza, who is in fine form for his club. However, he is short of international pedigree, with only 3 international caps to his name at the age of 31. An away World Cup qualifier in Montevideo is a world away from the Campeanato Pernambucano, where he has been playing this last few weeks.

 

It is more likely that Tite will turn to Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino in the sort of false 9 role that he plays so effectively for Liverpool. There is an added bonus that he can utilise his understanding with Liverpool teammate Philippe Coutinho, who is likely to play a roving role from the right hand side. How Neymar and Firmino link up will determine how well the frontline will work. Jesus’ absence puts more of the goalscoring burden back onto Neymar.

 

PLAYERS’ FORM AND FITNESS

Another big issue for Tite is the condition of some of his players. Renato Augusto plays a key role in the midfield for Brazil. However, the Chinese Super League is in its opening weeks, so Renato is unlikely to be in peak condition. The same goes for his midfield partner Paulinho, whom Tite has recalled back into the fold.

 

There are already concerns over the less intense environment for the Seleção’s China based players, the fact that two key players are only just out of pre-season provides a concern for Tite. As does the form of Philippe Coutinho. The Liverpool man barged Chelsea winger Willian out of the starting XI, having made an outstanding impact as a roving right winger last year.

 

However, since recovering from an ankle injury which kept him out for much of December and a little of January, Coutinho’s domestic form has nosedived. He has been substituted early in his last two games for the Reds as he has struggled to find his early season rhythm.

 

With Douglas Costa again ruled out through injury, Tite has lost a significant wide option. Willian is not an automatic starter for Chelsea any longer and his “chalk on the boots” style of wide play is at odds with Tite’s fluid formation. He has always underwhelmed in this incarnation of the Seleção.

 

Tite has kept faith with Alisson in goal, but he finds himself short of match practice. He is firmly second choice at Roma behind Wojciech Szczesny and will come into this game a little cold. Alisson hasn’t always impressed as Brazil’s first choice as it is and Tite’s continued reluctance to select Diego Alves could come into sharp focus if Alisson shows any signs of ring rust.

 

WHAT IF BRAZIL GO BEHIND?

Brazil have ridden the crest of a wave since the U-23s won the Olympic gold in August. They have only conceded once under Tite’s stewardship- an own goal against Colombia in Manaus, which they quickly rectified with a winning goal. They have had to deal with very little in the way of adversity, which means it will hit them a little harder when it inevitably arrives.

 

Without their star striker and a few players short of sharpness, going a goal behind in Montevideo would provide the biggest test of the team’s character since Tite’s appointment. Given their commanding position in qualifying, the coach might even welcome the chance to see how his team handles a little problem solving.

 

It is not always going to be plain sailing for the Seleção and adversity is a great educator. It is certainly better for Tite and his team to confront that issue now than in a potentially more critical game. Even if they lose to Uruguay, they ought to finish this set of qualifiers in first place, with a home fixture against Paraguay on Wednesday.  

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http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2017-03/home/Mon, 20 Mar 2017 13:21:02 +0000
<![CDATA[Brazil Gearing Up For Most Difficult Game in Uruguay, Says Edu Gaspar]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/86811_brazil_gearing_up_for_most_difficult_game_in_uruguay__says_edu_gaspar.htmlBrazil Technical Director and former Arsenal midfielder Edu Gaspar says that the Seleção face possibly their toughest game in qualifying, as they take on Uruguay in Montevideo on Thursday evening.

 

Brazil top the CONMEBOL qualifiers at the moment, with Uruguay in 2nd place. A draw will probably be a good result for Brazil, but Edu knows that they will have to be prepared for an incredibly tough contest.

 

“We have a very important game, maybe the most difficult game we have to face. The Uruguayan players are in a great technical moment, playing in Montevideo is very difficult as well. We have this idea to make a good game, to win points and achieve qualification as soon as possible.”

 

Uruguay will be without Luis Suarez, which Edu concedes is a plus for the visitors, “We cannot deny the importance of the player, obviously Suárez is having a great time in Barcelona. H​e has had a good time for a long time!

 

“Uruguay has a strong side. They are very organized, they play very well at home, they have great substitutes, we already know, we have studied them a lot and the difficulty will be great.”

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http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2017-03/home/Mon, 20 Mar 2017 11:16:20 +0000
<![CDATA[Andreas Pereira's Manchester United Future Still Uncertain]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/86805_andreas_pereira_s_manchester_united_future_still_uncertain.htmlManchester United winger Andreas Pereira admits that his future with the club is still undecided. The Brazilian has spent the season on loan with La Liga side Grenada. He told Sport Witness that he is in regular contact with Jose Mourinho, but a decision won’t be taken on his future until the summer.

 

“I think it was very good for me to come here to be able to play regularly. Here I could do this and for me it was very important. The team is not in a good situation, but we’re working hard to get out of it.

 

“We’re always talking (Mourinho and Pereira),” he told the website. “He’s been following me and I’m happy for that. At the end of the loan, when I get back to Manchester, then we’ll see what happens.

 

“For now, I’m focused here and trying to help my team. It’s important to play, and after a season of course I would have more experience. Certainly I’ve learned how to defend better here.”

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http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2017-03/home/Sun, 19 Mar 2017 20:17:35 +0000
<![CDATA[Chelsea Can't Relax, Says David Luiz]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/86804_chelsea_can_t_relax__says_david_luiz.htmlChelsea defender David Luiz insists there is still some work for Chelsea to do to seal the Premier League title. The Blues have opened up a commanding ten point lead at the summit following a late win against Stoke City on Saturday.

 

But the Brazilian says that Chelsea cannot get ahead of themselves and start to relax. He told the official Chelsea website, “It was a typical Premier League game, we’re happy with the victory but it’s still a long way to win the title.

 

“Nobody makes it easy, always it is difficult to play here. They are a strong and physical team. We are happy with the game - it is always difficult but we played a good game, kept calm and had the opportunity to score the second goal. We had to believe. It was so difficult but it did so we are happy.”

 

Luiz is satisfied with his own form, having flourished in Antonio Conte’s back 3, “As a defender they don’t talk about the good things you do, they talk about the mistakes, so I am trying to play the best football I can to help my team.

 

“Sometimes you have to give them more security, defend to get a positive result. It’s important to understand my role in the team [but] it’s not just me, it’s Diego, Hazard, everybody. Everybody understands what they need to do.”

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http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2017-03/home/Sun, 19 Mar 2017 20:12:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Klopp admits Coutinho was below par against Burnley]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/86777_klopp_admits_coutinho_was_below_par_against_burnley.htmlLiverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has admitted that his star turn Philippe Coutinho was “not the best” against Burnley last Sunday. The Brazilian has struggled for form since returning from an ankle injury in January.

Last weekend, he was subbed on 59 minutes and replaced by youngster Jack Woodburn, with the scores tied at 1-1. Klopp admitted that it was not his best performance, “That’s life for an outstanding football player,” said Klopp.

“The influence of Phil on a game is huge, so if he’s not 100%, you miss something. He did really well against Arsenal. Burnley was not the best. His training week this week has been perfect. He looks well and confident. He’s in a really good way.”

Coutinho is still expected to start for Sunday’s top of the table clash against Manchester City at the Etihad. He will then join up with the Brazil squad for qualifiers against Uruguay in Montevideo and Paraguay in São Paulo.

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http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2017-03/home/Fri, 17 Mar 2017 16:38:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Coutinho and Firmino face race to be available for Merseyside derby]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/86776_coutinho_and_firmino_face_race_to_be_available_for_merseyside_derby.htmlLiverpool duo Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino face a race to be available for the Merseyside derby against Everton on 1st April. The pair have been selected to represent Brazil in next week’s World Cup qualifiers.

Brazil play at home to Paraguay in São Paulo, which will finish at around 3.30am and the match against Everton at Anfield takes place at 12.30pm on Saturday, 1st April. Back in November, Liverpool, Manchester City and PSG pooled money together to hire a private plane for their Brazil based players to return on time.

Meanwhile, Roberto Firmino is expected to be fit for Sunday’s top of the table clash with Manchester City, with Reds boss Jurgen Klopp confirming in today’s press conference, “He will train with the team today or tomorrow.”

Firmino missed Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Burnley last weekend with a muscular problem picked up in the 3-1 win against Arsenal.

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http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2017-03/home/Fri, 17 Mar 2017 15:04:19 +0000
<![CDATA[Chelsea Ready to Cash in on Costa ]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/86765_chelsea_ready_to_cash_in_on_costa_.htmlThe Sun newspaper is reporting that Chelsea are ready to offload striker Diego Costa this summer and will use his sale to fund a move for Romelu Lukaku and Alvaro Morata.

 

The Brazilian agitated to leave the club for China in January, before manager Antonio Conte persuaded him to stay until the end of the season at least. It is believed that the club are resigned to losing him in the summer.

 

Earlier in the season, Costa admitted that a failure to settle in London almost resulted in a move back to his former club Atletico Madrid last summer. The Sun reports that Real Madrid will move for Costa, with Alvaro Morata moving in the opposite direction.

 

Meanwhile, ex-Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku is refusing to sign a new deal at Everton, putting Europe’s big clubs on alert. Lukaku is seen as the direct, physical replacement needed for Costa to lead the line for the Blues. 

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http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2017-03/home/Thu, 16 Mar 2017 20:41:02 +0000
<![CDATA[Ronaldinho- "Neymar is on the same level as Ronaldo and Messi"]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/86762_ronaldinho-__neymar_is_on_the_same_level_as_ronaldo_and_messi_.htmlBarcelona and Brazil legend Ronaldinho Gaucho thinks that Neymar has reached the same level as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Speaking at a promotional event in Dubai, Ronaldinho suggested it was a matter of time before Neymar won the Ballon D’or.

 

Ronaldo and Mesis have split the award between them since 2008, but following his heroics in the Champions League against Paris Saint Germain, the 36 year old believes that his friend is well placed for the next award.

 

“Neymar is a great friend and today he is the greatest idol in Brazil. He is already on the same level as Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi and we really hope that one day he can get the Ballon D’or, pursuing his success. But he is already among the best and it is only a matter of time,” said the two time Ballon D’or winner.

 

However, he refused to be drawn on comparisons between the Barca team he played in, that won the Champions League in 2006, and the current incarnation, “I never liked comparisons, we were a great team with great players and people and today's team also has a great team with great players and individuals.”

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http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2017-03/home/Thu, 16 Mar 2017 20:02:26 +0000
<![CDATA[Roberto Firmino Returns to Training Ahead of City Clash]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/86751_roberto_firmino_returns_to_training_ahead_of_city_clash.htmlLiverpool have been boosted by Roberto Firmino’s return to training. The Brazilian missed Sunday’s 2-1 win over Burnley with a slight muscular problem obtained in the previous weekend’s 3-1 victory against Arsenal, in which he opened the scoring.

 

Firmino watched on from the sidelines as his teammates laboured to a narrow win over Burnley, who are still yet to win away from home this season. He was replaced by Divock Origi in the starting line-up.

 

Firmino has played as a false 9 in a fluid front 3 with compatriot Philippe Coutinho and Senegalese wide man Sadio Mane to great effect this season. His return to light training today was a boost ahead of this weekend’s clash with Manchester City.

 

Whether he will be fit enough to start the game remains to be seen, but with Coutinho out of form and Daniel Sturridge again missing through injury, Firmino’s presence in the starting XI is more desired than ever. He has 10 goals so far this campaign. 

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http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2017-03/home/Wed, 15 Mar 2017 19:27:46 +0000
<![CDATA[Fabinho Says Monaco Will Stick To Adventurous Style Against City]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/86750_fabinho_says_monaco_will_stick_to_adventurous_style_against_city.htmlA.S Monaco full-back Fabinho insists that the French side will not quell their attacking style for the second leg of their Champions League tie against Manchester City this week. Monaco trail 5-3 from the first leg, after an absorbing tie in Manchester.

 

Monaco three times allowed a lead to slip in that match, but the Brazilian told Globo Esporte that they will be just as enterprising in France on Wednesday, “This is our style of play, it brought us to this phase of the competition and put us top of the French Championship.

 

“So it's a bit difficult to change that style. Of course we have to improve, and this is what we are going to try to do, especially the defensive mistakes we made, some silly mistakes, as they were very preventable goals. Let's look at what happened and improve enough for it not to happen again.”

 

Fabinho says his team will not necessarily take inspiration from Barcelona’s immense comeback against Paris Saint Germain last week, “This game was atypical. I did not expect that PSG would be eliminated, but it happened. This shows once again that in football everything is possible.

 

“Our difference is smaller, we need to win by two goals, but that does not take the level of difficulty. It will be very difficult against Manchester City- they are a great team. I do not think much about this Barça game.

 

“You can take some examples, yes, but we have a different way of playing compared to Barcelona. We do not have MSN (Messi, Suarez, Neymar), but we rely on our strength, with our players. I think it's possible to reverse the tie and we'll do everything to make that happen.”

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http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2017-03/home/Wed, 15 Mar 2017 19:21:05 +0000
<![CDATA[Neymar Can Surpass Pele's Record, Says Cafu]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/86729_neymar_can_surpass_pele_s_record__says_cafu.htmlBrazil legend Cafu says that Neymar could surpass Pele as the country’s greatest ever goalscorer. The legendary right-back, who captained the Seleção to World Cup victory in 2002, suggests that the Barcelona man could overtake Pele’s achievements and be recognised as the most prolific scorer for Brazil.

 

The ex-Roma and Milan man thinks Neymar has enough time to achieve the milestone, with Neymar currently on 50. Pele’s record is 77, All records exist only to be beaten. Of course, Neymar has got it in him,” Cafu told FIFA.com.

 

"He's young and has time on his side. If he continues playing as he is now, then there is every possibility he will [overtake Pele].” However, Cafu is less sure that the Barca striker can surpass Cafu’s record of 142 caps for his country.

 

“I think this is understandable because no one has played for Brazil over such a long period of time as me - 16 years! It is purely down to strength of will, my devotion to football and the effort I put in during all this time.”

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http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2017-03/home/Tue, 14 Mar 2017 11:42:32 +0000
<![CDATA[Sky Pundit Jamie Redknapp Worried Over Coutinho Form]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/86721_sky_pundit_jamie_redknapp_worried_over_coutinho_form.htmlSky Sports pundit and ex Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp has expressed concern over the current form of Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian was substituted in the 59th minute of the Reds’ 2-1 win over Burnley on Sunday for youngster Ben Woodburn.

 

Coutinho completed no take ons and registered no shots and no key passes before being removed on 59 minutes, with the scores level. Since returning from injury in the New Year, Coutinho has struggled to reproduce his early season form.

 

Writing in his Daily Mail column, Redknapp, who represented Liverpool from 1991-2002, said, “The one worry for me is Philippe Coutinho at the moment. The man was on fire earlier in the season, he was the difference.

 

“But some of the magic has gone and he needs to try and get that back. That’s the manager’s job this week. Especially at Man City where he’s had a lot of success in the last two or three seasons. That’s a bit of a worry for me because he makes such a difference. When he plays well, so do Liverpool.”

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http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2017-03/home/Mon, 13 Mar 2017 18:42:41 +0000
<![CDATA[Boa Esporte Face Sponsor Exodus After Hiring Goalkeeper Bruno]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/86720_boa_esporte_face_sponsor_exodus_after_hiring_goalkeeper_bruno.htmlMinas Gerais club Boa Esporte is facing the cancellation of key sponsorships after they signed 32 year old goalkeeper Bruno. Bruno has spent the last 6 and a half years in jail after being found guilty of the murder of his ex-girlfriend.

 

Bruno obtained habeas corpus by an injunction and was released from prison last month, whereupon Serie B side Boa Esporte signed the ex Atlético Mineiro and Flamengo goalkeeper on a two year contract.

 

However, several of the club’s key sponsors have voiced concerns over the signing. The Góis e Silva Group, the club’s main sponsor, will meet with club directors on Monday to discuss whether their patronage of the club continues.

 

Commercial partner Cardiocenter has already requested the removal of its logo from Boa Esporte’s website. The company wrote on their facebook page, “Cardiocenter does not agree with the hiring of players that do not represent our ideals.

 

“We oppose this because we consider that players have to be examples for children and for all of those in love with soccer. We already requested that our logo be removed from the site of Boa Esporte.”

 

The Góis e Silva Group said in a statement, “Our meeting aims to require the club's board to review its decision to hire Goalkeeper Bruno. If our application is declined, unfortunately we will consider cancelling our sponsorship of Boa Esporte.”

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http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2017-03/home/Mon, 13 Mar 2017 18:38:13 +0000
<![CDATA[Brazil Confirm Germany Friendly]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/86690_brazil_confirm_germany_friendly.htmlThe CBF have confirmed that Brazil will play a friendly against Germany in Berlin in March 2018. It will be the first time that the teams have met since the infamous World Cup semi-final in 2014, when Germany dismantled Brazil 7-1 in Belo Horizonte.

 

The friendly will form part of Brazil’s warm-up for the Russia 2018 World Cup with qualification looking very likely. With friendlies against Argentina and Australia confirmed in Melbourne in June, the match will prove to be a precious opportunity for Tite’s men to face stiff European opposition.

 

The match will take place in the Olympiastadion on Tuesday, 27th March. Brazil’s U-23s defeated Germany on penalties in the 2016 Olympic games final. The last time the sides met in a friendly in 2011, Germany prevailed 3-2 in Stuttgart despite goals from Robinho and Neymar. 

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http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2017-03/home/Sat, 11 Mar 2017 08:57:48 +0000
<![CDATA[Firmino Doubtful for Burnley Match]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/86689_firmino_doubtful_for_burnley_match.htmlJurgen Klopp will check on the fitness of Roberto Firmino before determining whether he can start Sunday’s match against Burnley at Anfield. The Brazilian has been suffering with a knock picked up in the 3-1 victory over Arsenal last weekend.

 

Firmino opened the scoring in that match, but Klopp revealed that Firmino has not been able to train since, casting doubts over his participation at Anfield on Sunday, “Unfortunately, Roberto Firmino has struggled a little bit.

 

“He felt something after the game and until now this week, he couldn’t train. We need to wait a little bit more and then we will see.” Firmino has 10 goals so far this season and has flourished in a front three with Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mané. 

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http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2017-03/home/Sat, 11 Mar 2017 08:56:28 +0000
<![CDATA[New Contract 'Important' Says Coutinho]]>http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/86688_new_contract__important__says_coutinho.htmlPhilippe Coutinho says that his new contract with Liverpool is very important, amidst rumours linking the player with Barcelona. The Brazilian put pen to paper on a new five year deal in January, quashing links with the Catalan club.

 

In an interview with ESPN Brazil, Coutinho said that he wasn’t thinking of his next move and focusing on the season with Liverpool, “That’s one thing that I leave to my representative. He takes care of these things.

 

“Since we are in the middle of the league, we are focused on doing well in winning the title. We started talking about the contract in the middle of this season. So we’re focused on the season, not thinking about other places. So having the opportunity to stay here for more time is important.”

 

Coutinho is great friends with compatriot Neymar and he congratulated his friend on the team’s stirring comeback against Paris Saint Germain in the Champions League, “I just said congratulations [to Neymar]. His match was incredible, as always. Not just him, the Barcelona team. What they did there was incredible. They really made history.”

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http://www.sambafoot.com/datas/pictures/informations/2017-03/home/Sat, 11 Mar 2017 08:51:25 +0000