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The Brazil Series

Corinthian Spirit

corinthians jpg It was a 1910 tour to Brazil by English side Corinthian FC which inspired the creation of Sao Paulo giants Corinthians, by enthusiastic locals. 105 years later, the English outfit’s modern-day descendants Corinthian-Casuals returned to South America to commemorate that first game in front of 26,000 fans Continue reading →

Neymar, Portrait of the Artist

neymar art He’s the darling of the Brazilian national team and the poster-boy for a host nation desperately in need of a World Cup good news story. In Europe, they question if he deserves the hype after a difficult first year at Barcelona but his personality is at odds with the reputation that preceded him. As we saw in last year’s Confederations Cup, Neymar Jr could be about to light up the tournament and live up to the legend that it seems has already been created for him. Continue reading →

O Canarinho: The Most Iconic Shirt in History

10294412_10152501176183767_209850273929590421_n Known ‘O Canarinho’ The Little Canary, it is one of the most iconic images in sport. Yellow flashing with blue on bronzed skin, dancing, darting, with a ball moving like paint strokes. Zig-zags, turns, pass, pass pass. Brazil. The cradle of football. Movers. Masters. The jersey of the Selecao epitomises soccer and the World Cup, and when the tournament kicks off in Sao Paulo on June 12, millions will wear the beloved shirt in a nation besotted with the beautiful game. And yet, the garment wouldn’t exist – certainly not in its current form – without the devastation of Brazil’s loss in the 1950 World Cup final and the subsequent imagination of a 19-year-old from the city of Pelotas. Continue reading →

Ireland and the 1950 Brazil Rejection

worldcupposterbrazil-01 When Sepp Blatter ridiculed Ireland’s rather embarrassing request to be installed as the 33rd team at the World Cup in South Africa, it was in stark contrast to what had happened 60 years earlier. Ahead of the 1950 finals, also in Brazil, FIFA were faced with a mass exodus of nations with just 13 teams eventually pitching up by the Copacabana. Back then it was the world governing body pleading with Ireland to participate. Incredibly we refused, and wouldn’t appear at the finals for another four decades. Read why in the latest installment of The Brazil Series, a collection of articles inspired by the world’s greatest footballing cradle. Continue reading →

F#ck FIFA, Brazil’s Graffiti Messages

FuckFiFa3 We’re unlikely to see marches on the same scale as last year’s Confederations Cup though violent demonstrations have been increasing in Brazil in recent weeks. But a more peaceful form of protest is still as noticeable – and perhaps just as powerful – throughout the World Cup host nation brought about by Brazil’s graffiti artists. Continue reading →

Carnival Atmosphere’s Unlikely to Last

carnival In the next of our Brazil Series, amid continuing anger ahead of the World Cup, the contrast couldn’t be greater between Carnival, now underway, and the summer’s festival of football. Revellers on the streets brought Brazil to a stand-still at the weekend. A repeat in June could spell a nightmare for FIFA and the image the tournament hosts want to convey to the watching world. Continue reading →

Pelé, the Nickname, and Jimmy Magee

pele b+w He was born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, but is known throughout the world simply as Pelé. The origin of the nickname given to the man who just celebrated his 73rd birthday is far from certain, but, as ever, an Irish footballing myth gained legs over the years. With a movie on his life now shooting in Brazil, could the story make it to the big screen? Continue reading →

Maracana History Repeating Itself

Maracana brazil series crop It’s ironic that the reopening of Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium with Brazil vs England should be overshadowed by accusations that the venue isn’t ready. It’s merely a case of history repeating itself. In the second instalment of The Brazil Series, a collection of articles inspired by the world’s greatest footballing cradle, Póg Mo Goal looks at the storied past of the iconic ground that holds a special place in the heart of all Brazilians. Continue reading →

The Return of Ronaldinho

ronaldinho1 The day after he turned 21, all eyes at Wembley will be on Brazil’s latest superstar Neymar but the followers of the Selecao will also be hailing the return of another hero, the grinning teeth and smiling feet of the one they call Ronaldinho Gaúcho. Continue reading →