billsportsmaps.com

January 8, 2014

2014 FIFA World Cup teams: Brazil (CONMEBOL), prominent players in 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying (theoretical best XI for Brazil, with 8 other player-options listed).

Filed under: Brazil — admin @ 9:41 pm




Brazil national team. CONMEBOL (South America). Nickname: A Seleção (the Selection). Home jersey: yellow with green trim; blue pants.
-Brazil is in Group A (with Cameroon, Croatia, and Mexico), ‘2014 FIFA World Cup Group A‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
2014 FIFA World Cup qualifcation: 20th qualification out of 20 tries (Brazil automatically qualified for 2014 as host nation; nevertheless Brazil is the only country in the world to have played in every of the 20 FIFA World Cups) [the FIFA World Cup has been played every four years since 1934, with 1942 and 1946 not played due to World War II].
Previous World Cup appearance: 2010, Quarterfinals / 3-1-1.
Highest World Cup finish:
1958, Champions / 5-1-0.
1962: Champions / 5-1-0.
1970, Champions / 6-0-0.
1994, Champions / 5-2-0.
2002, Champions / 7-0-0.

Population of Brazil: 201.0 million. Capital: Brasilia, pop. 4.0 million. Largest city: São Paulo, pop. 19.8 million. {metro areas/2013 estimates}. ‘List of largest cities in Brazil‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
There are 12 host-cities for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The ten largest cities in Brazil all have been chosen as host-cities. Those cities, in order of population size are: São Paulo, São Paulo State. Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro State. Salvador, Bahia State. Brasília, Distrito Federal. Fortaleza, Ceará State. Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais State. Manaus, Amazonas State. Curitiba, Paraná State. Recife, Pernambuco State; Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul State. The final two host-cities are much smaller. They are the 20th-largest city in Brazil, Natal, in Rio Grande do Norte State in the hot and arid Northeast Region; and the 34th-largest city in Brazil, Cuiabá, in the south-west of the country in Mato Grosso State in the Pantanal region (a tropical wetlands). All 12 venue-locations are shown on the map below. Also, see2014 FIFA World Cup/Venues‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
-Brazil coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari. Luiz Felipe Scolari. Scolari was coach of Brazil when they last won the World Cup, in 2002. Other titles to his name are with both Cruzeiro and Palmeiras in the Brasileiro. Scolari’s second stint as coach of Brazil began on 28 November 2012.

From BBC.co.uk/football, from 18 March 2014, by Tim Vickery, ‘World Cup 2014: Why a fully-fit Fred holds the key for Brazil‘ (bbc.com/sport/football).
From Goal.com, from 9 May 2014, ‘Brazil reveal World Cup squad as Kaka, Robinho and Lucas Moura miss out‘ (goal.com).

    Below: Theoretical Best XI for Brazil (with 8 other player-options further below) updated to reflect final roster selection by Scolari -

brazil_2014-fifa-world-cup_squad_best-xi_alternate-options_f-scolari_may11-2014_d_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Map of Brazil on globe, by Addicted04 at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazil.
Map of Brazil with provinces by NordNordWest at ‘File:Brazil location map.svg‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Brazil home jersey badge, photo from kitsluxe.com.
Brazil home jersey, photo from shop.bigsoccer.com.
Coach,
Luiz Felipe Scolari, photo from sportsmole.co.uk.
Goalkeeper,
Júlio César (QPR), photo unattributed at thesixyardbox.com/exclusive-interview-julio-cesar.
Defenders,
Dani Alves (FC Barcelona), photo by David Ramos/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Thiago Silva (PSG), photo unattributed at footplus.tn
David Luiz (), photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Marcelo (Real Madrid), photo Pedro Armestre/AFP via lvironpigs.wordpress.com.
Midfielders,
Oscar (Chelsea), photo from football.ua via en.wikipedia.org.
Paulinho (Tottenham), photo from AFP via globoesporte.globo.com.
Luiz Gustavo (VfL Wolfsburg), photo from imago via bundesliga.com.
Forwards,
Hulk (Zenit), photo by Epsilon/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Fred (Fluminenese), photo by Daniel Zappe/Fotocom.net via folhape.com.br/blogdeprimeira.
Neymar (FC Barcelona), photo by David Ramos/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Other options for squad -
Willian LW/AM/RW (Chelsea), photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Jô FW (Atlético Mineiro), photo unattributed at bandsports.band.uol.com.br.
Dante CB (Bayern Munich), photo unattributed at forum.ea.com/uk.
Maxwell LB/LM/CM (PSG), photo unattributed at sofoot.com.
Maicon RW/RM (Roma). photo unattributed at repubblica.it/sport/calcio/serie-a/roma.
Hernanes (Inter), photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Bernard (Shakhtar Donetsk), photo by Divulgação via globoesporte.globo.com.
___
Thanks to the contributors at ‘2014 FIFA World Cup qualification‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to the contributors at ‘Brazil national football team‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to http://www.transfermarkt.com/en/, for player-position details.

May 17, 2013

Brazil: 2013 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A location map, with 2012 average attendances / Plus photos and short profiles of top scorers/assists leaders from the first through fourth place finishers in the 2012 Brasileirão (Fluminense {champions}, Atlético Mineiro, Grêmio, São Paulo FC).

Filed under: Brazil — admin @ 9:21 pm

brazil_campeonato_serie-a_2013_location-map_w-2012-attendance-data_post_d.gif
Brazil: 2013 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A location map, with 2012 average attendance


Campeonato Brasileiro Série A (commonly referred to as the Brasileirão) is the top flight of football in Brazil. The 2013 season begins on 25 May.
Brazilian Série A [Brasileirão] – fixtures, results, table (soccerway.com).

List of Brazilian football champions‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

Further below are illustrations featuring goals and assists leaders from the top 4 teams in 2012 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A. I am showing the top 4 because in Brazil, first place through 4th place qualify for the Copa Libertadores the following year. Also included are some photos of Grêmio’s new stadium in Porto Alegre, which opened in December 2012, and which has a seated capacity of around 60,000. And it is not a municipal stadium – Arena do Grêmio is owned by Grêmio. And unlike the vast majority of first-division (municipal) stadiums in Brazil, it doesn’t have a running track. Another good sign of stadia improvements in Brazil is the nice redevelopment at Estádio Independência, which is the 25,000-capacity municipal stadium that second-place finishers Atlético Mineiro share with another Belo Horizonte, Minais Gerais state-based club, the second division side América MG. Like Grêmio’s new stadium, the essentially brand-new Estádio Independência also dispenses with the superfluous running track and features nice steep-angled stands situated very close to the pitch {see this, ‘Estádio Independência‘ (stadiumguide.com/independencia)}. [Note - you can see a photo of one of the new stands at Estádio Independência further down in this post in the Atlético Mineiro section.]

The soul-less, poor-sight-line-plagued municipal-stadium-with-useless-running-track has been a bane on Brazilian football for decades, and it is, along with the threat of in-stadium violence and the threat of pre- and post-match violence, one of the contributing factors to the poor attendance in Brazilian football. There are several other factors depressing overall first division attendance in Brazil. The rebuilding of stadiums slated to host matches in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil has disrupted some clubs like Internacional (of Porto Alegre). And a couple big clubs – Fluminense and Flamengo – are currently forced to play elsewhere in Rio de Janeiro (at Engenhão in a 3-way-stadium-share with Botofogo) while their regular venue, Maracaná, is being refurbished for the 2014 World Cup. There are also factors like poor start times such as at 10 pm to accommodate televised broadcasts. There is also a certain amount of resentment among Brazilians in seeing virtually all their best players that are in the prime of their careers opting to play their pro football in Europe. The fact of the matter is that many millions of Brazilians follow first division fútbol in Brazil. They just don’t go to the matches, and only watch the Brasileirão on television.

Brazil is a nation with such a rich history of sporting accomplishment – Brazil has won 5 FIFA World Cup titles, the most of any nation. Brazil is a nation with a gigantic population (193 million {2012 estimate}). And Brazil is a nation with many large cities {see the following link, which shows 13 Brazilian cities with more than 2 million people in their metro-areas, and 22 cities with more than 1 million people in their metro-areas, ‘List of largest cities in BrazilLargest metropolitan areas‘ {en.wikipedia.org).

Yet despite all that, Brazil is a nation whose biggest football league is so poorly supported that over half the clubs – 14 clubs in fact last season – can’t even draw above 13,000 per game. And the per-game cumulative league average has plummeted in the last few seasons. The Campeonato Brasileiro Série A averaged 12,983 per game in 2012. That is really low.

By way of comparison, see the following chart [data of which originally appeared in the May, 2013 issue of World Soccer (page 25)], which shows that throughout the entire world, Brazil had only the 13th-highest league average attendance in 2011-12 {http://billsportsmaps.com/?p=22541
[note: the 21-per-game disparity in Brazil's league average is due to the fact that, in this post here, attendance is measured by paid tickets - numbers via http://globoesporte.globo.com/futebol/noticia/2012/12/corinthians-tem-melhor-media-de-publico-de-todas-divisoes-em-2012.html; while in the post I just linked to above, attendances were measured by total spectators (that is, spectators who paid for tickets plus media and spectators who got in for free}.

Currently, there are a number of national leagues that one would not consider to be able to out-draw the Brazilian top flight, but are doing just that. Specifically, the first division leagues in Mexico (Liga MX), in China (the Chinese Super League), in the United States/Canada (MLS), and in Japan (J.League) all outdraw the Brazilian top flight these days.

The following article mentions the attendance decline in Brazil. From independent.co.uk, from 25 October 2012, by James Young, 'Prices soaring and attendances plummeting: The great soap opera of Brazilian football'.

...

    Top 4 finishers in the 2012 Brasilerão (Fluminese {champions}, Atlético Mineiro, Grêmio, São Paulo FC).
    From Rio de Janeiro -
    Fluminense, 2012 champions of Brazil.

Below, top 3 scoring threats for Fluminense in 2012, Fred, Thiago Neves, and Wellington Nem - all of whom return to Fluminense for 2013.
The Minais Gerais state-born Frederico Chaves Guedes, aka Fred, has previously played for two Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais-based clubs - for second-division-club América MG (from 2002-04) and then for one of Belo Horizonte's big-two clubs, Cruzeiro (from 2004-05, where he scored 24 goals in 43 league appearances), and then for 4 seasons in France with Lyon (2005–09), where in 2006, '07, and '08 he contributed to the last 3 of Lyon's 7-straight titles. Fred scored 34 goals in 88 league appearances for Lyon. Fred requested to leave the club in December 2008. In early 2009, after refusing to return from Brazil, Fred was released from Lyon, and he signed a 5-year contract with Rio de Janeiro's Fluminense. Fred scored 12 goals in 20 league appearances in 2009 for Flu; then in an injury-hampered 2010, he made just 14 league appearances with 5 goals as Fluminense won the 2010 Brasileiro title led by midfield wizard Dario Conca (who now, strangely, plays in China). In 2011 Fred was healthy again and netted a stupefying 20 goals in 22 league appearances. In 2012, Fred was almost as prolific - he scored 20 goals in 28 league appearances as Fluminense cruised to their second title in 3 years. Fluminense began pulling away from the pack near the seasons' close late in October 2012, but then Flu stumbled to the finish line, losing 2 of their last 3 matches, ending up finishing 5 points ahead of second-place-finishers Atlético Mineiro.

The Curitiba, Paraná state-born attacking midfielder Thiago Neves has previously played in Brazil (getting his start with hometown/second-division-club Paraná, from 2005-07), then in Japan (with Vegalta Sendai in 2006), then briefly in Germany (6 games for Hamburger SV in 2008-09), and then in Saudi Arabia (with Riyadh's Al-Hilal FC for 2 seasons from 2009-11). It was with Al-Hilal that Neves returned home to Brazil via 2 different loan spells, first with Fluminense in 2009, then 2 years later in 2011 with Flamengo, where he scored a respectable 12 goals in 33 league appearances. In January 2012, for 16 million Brazilian reals ($7.9 million US dollars), Thiago Neves was transferred from Al-Hilal to Fluminense. Last season, with 5 goals and 6 assists in 29 league appearances for Flu, Neves made a solid contribution to Fluminense's 2012 Brasileirão title.

Wellington Nem (born Wellington Silva Sanches Aguiar in Rio de Janeiro) is a 21-year-old hometown product who plays as an attacking midfielder/winger for Fluminense. In 2011 he was loaned out to the Florianópolis, Santa Catarina state-based yo-yo club Figueirense, scoring 9 goals in 28 league games as a 19-year-old. Last season his 6 goals and 3 assists in 26 league games for Fluminense contributed to the club's successful title run. It remains to be seen whether Flu will seek to sell off Wellington Nem (like they did with Dario Conca 2 years ago).

On 8 May 2013, Fluminense clinched advancement to the final 8 in the 2013 Copa Libertadores by beating Ecuador's Emelec 4-1 aggregate. Fluminense are now well-positioned to win their first Copa Libertadores title this summer. 5 years ago, Fluminense made it to the 2008 Copa Libertadores Finals, but were upended in a shock result by LDU Quito. Now they aim to go all the way.
On 22 May, in Rio de Janeiro, Fluminense will face Olimpia of Paraguay in the first leg of the 2013 Copa Libertadores Quarterfinals.

fluminenese_wins-4th-title_fred_thiago-neves_wellington-nem_h.gif
Photo credits above -
aljazeera.com/sport.
Ricardo Cassiano via lancenet.com.br.
Vanderlei Almed/AFP via fifa.com.

...

From Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais state - Atlético Mineiro (aka Atlético MG), 2nd place in the 2012 Brasileirão.
Below, top 3 scoring threats for Atlético Mineiro in 2012, Ronaldinho, Bernard, and Jô - all of whom return for 2013.

Ronaldinho, the 33-year old Porto Alegre-born free kick specialist and playmaker, got his pro start with Grêmio from 1998-2001, before a 5 million Euros transfer to Paris Saint-Germain, where he played from 2001 to 2003. In 2003, a 32.5 million Euros transfer saw him move to FC Barcelona, where he basically became one of the planet’s best footballers circa 2003 to 2006 (winning the Ballon d’Or in 2003-04 and in 2005-06). Ronaldinho scored 70 goals in 145 league matches for the Catalan giants, but by 2008, a hard partying lifestyle and the onset of an on-field complacency saw him fall out of favor with the Barça management, and he was sent to Milan, where he remained from 2008 to 2011. Then Ronaldinho (wisely) decided to return home to Brazil as a 31-year-old, and signed with Flamengo, playing 2 seasons for the Rio de Jameiro giants in 2011 and '12, scoring 15 goals in 33 league matches. But in May, 2012, Ronaldinho sued Flamengo claiming lack of payment for four months and cancelled his contract with the club. Less than a week later he made a surprise signing with Belo Horizonte-based Atlético Mineiro (rather than signing with a Rio de Janeiro-based club or São Paulo-based club). Ronaldinho energized the Atlético MG squad, and led the club to a very credible second-place finish in 2012.

Atlético Mineiro led the league in scoring in the 2012 Brasileirão with 64 goals. Ronaldinho scored 9 and made 11 assists in 32 league appearances. Besides Ronaldinho, there were two other players who had stand-out offensive numbers for Atlético Mineiro in 2012. One was another ex-European star, (who made his name in Russia with CSKA Moscow from 2004-06 [with 30 goals in league 52 games there] before stints at Everton and Manchester City, among other places). Jo scored 10 goals and made 4 assists. Another was young hometown product Bernard, a 20-year-old playmaker with huge potential, who scored 11 goals and made 11 assists in 32 league appearances.

In early 2013, Atlético MG were bolstered by the addition of striker Diego Tardelli (who is back for his second spell with the club; Diego Tardelli’s Wikipedia page here). Now in early May 2013, the squad has clinched advancement to the final 8 in the 2013 Copa Libertadores. So Atlético Mineiro, at the #1 seed in the tournament now, have a solid shot at winning their first Copa Libertadores title. The main thing that Atlético Mineiro have going for them is that the squad, centered around Ronaldinho and full of players who can find the net with ease, is playing in a relaxed manner, and seem to be enjoying themselves immensely. They have scored 22 goals in 8 games in the tournament so far, with Jô scoring 6 (tournament leader), Diego Tardelli scoring 5, and Ronaldinho scoring 4 goals.

Here is a recent article on the subject by Jonathan Wilson from 16 April 2013, from Guardian.co.uk, ‘The Copa Libertadores and differing stories for Ronaldinho and Riquelme – As Juan Román Riquelme frowns his way across the continent, the contrast with Ronaldinho’s grin has never been greater‘ (guardian.co.uk/football).

On 22 May, in Tijuana, Mexico, Atlético Mineiro will face Mexican upstarts Tijuana (aka Xolos) in the first leg of the 2013 Copa Libertadores Quarterfinals.

atletico-mineiro_2012-2nd-place-finishers_ronaldinho_bernard_jo_new-estadio-independencia_e.gif
Photo credits above -
Bruno Cantini/Flickr do Atlético-MG via esporte.uol.com.br .
Bruno Cantini/Flickr do Atlético-MG via goal.com.
Unattributed at pes2014ps2.blogspot.com
Screenshot of http://espnfc.com/video/espnfc/video?id=1440687&cc=5901.

From Porto Alegre, Rio Grane do Sul state – Grêmio, 3rd place in the 2012 Brasileirão.
Below, top 2 scoring threats for Grêmio in 2012, Elano Blumer and Marcelo Martins Moreno.

Elano has previously played for Santos (twice), Shakhtar Donetsk, Manchester City, and Galatasaray. The 31-year-old Elano returns in 2013 for his second season at Grêmio (after a two-year stint at Santos which included his contributing to Santos’ 2011 Copa Libertadores title).

Marcelo Moreno, after signing a 5-year contract with Grêmio in 2012, starts 2013 on loan at Flamengo. A 25-year-old Bolivian international with 11 goals in 36 games for Boloivia, Marcelo Martins Moreno has previously played for Vitória, Cruzeiro, Shakhtar Donetsk, Werder Bremen (loan), and Wigan Athletic (loan).

On 16 May, in Bogotá, Colombia, Grêmio were eliminated from the 2013 Copa Libertadores Round of 16 when they lost 0-1 to Santa Fe (2-2 aggregate/with away goals rule) to Santa Fe.
gremio_2012-3rd-place-finishers_elano_marcelo-moreno_k.gif
Photo credits above -
coracaogremista.com.br.
gazetaesportiva.net.

Arena do Grêmio, the new home of Grêmio. In Porto Alegre, Rio Grand do Sul.
grêmio_new-stadium_porto-alegre_c.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
gremio.net.
Exterior photo (night-time) of Arena do Grêmio from skyscrapercity.com uploaded by batedordemartelo.
Aerial photo of Arena do Grêmio from wp.clicrbs.com.br .
Interior photo of Arena do Grêmio from arenadogremio.blogspot.com.

Sào Paulo FC, 4th place in the 2012 Brasileirão.
Below, top 2 scoring threats for São Paulo in 2012, Luis Fabiano and Jádson, both of whom return for 2013.

Luís Fabiano got his start in 1999 at tiny, current first-division/Greater São Paulo-based-club Ponte Preta. Luís Fabiano followed that with a disappointing year-and-a-half at Rennes in Brittany, France. Luís Fabiano then made his mark at his next stint, 4 seasons with São Paulo, in 2001-04. There, he scored an astounding 61 goals in 87 league matches for the São Paulo. Then it was on to another frustrating spell at a European club, this time with Porto in northern Portugal in 2004-05. But Fabiano finally found a place on the European continent where his speed and scoring ability could mesh with the set-up already there – and that of course was at Sevilla in the south of Spain, where he spent 6 seasons, scoring 72 goals in 149 league matches. Fabiano headed in the winning goal in the 2006 UEFA Cup Final versus Middlesbrough. The next season, 2006-07, Luís Fabiano scored 24 goals for Sevilla, and was finally recalled to the Brazilian national team squad after 3 years of being left off the ‘seleção’. Sevilla won the UEFA Cup again that season (in 2007 over Espanyol). After 4 more seasons at Sevilla, in March 2011, Luís Fabiano decided to return to Brazil and to play again for São Paulo FC. São Paulo paid €7.6 million for Fabiano, who signed a four-year deal.

The 29-year-old Jádson had previously played for Atlético Paranaense, and for Shakhtar Donetsk in eastern Ukraine. With Shakhtar, Jádson scored the winning goal in extra time in a 2–1 victory to win the 2009 UEFA Cup Final versus Werder Bremen in Istanbul. Jádson was named Man of the match. The attacking midfielder scored 41 goals in 173 league matches with Shakhtar Donetsk. After seven years in Ukraine, Jádson returned to his native Brazil in 2012, helping São Paulo snatch the last available Copa Libertadores spot with their 4th place finish in the 2012 Brasileiro.

In early May, 2013, São Paulo FC were eliminated by Atlético Mineiro in the 2013 Copa Libertadores Round of 16.
sao-paulo-fc_luis-fabiano_jadson_f.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
ucho.info.
sousaopaulofc.com.br.

___
Thanks to globoesporte.globo.com/ – attendance figures from http://globoesporte.globo.com/futebol/noticia/2012/12/corinthians-tem-melhor-media-de-publico-de-todas-divisoes-em-2012.html.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org and pt.wikipedia.org, ‘Campeonato Brasileiro Série A‘.

Thanks to ESPN for stats, such as espnfc.com/team/squad/_/id/3445/season/2012/seasonType/21/league/bra.1/fluminense-fc?cc=5901.

May 16, 2012

Brazil: 2012 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A location map, with 2011 average attendances, and titles list / Plus a small chart of the reigning champions, SC Corinthians – crests and kits through the years (1910 to 2012) / Plus 2011 Corinthians scoring and assists leaders.

Filed under: Brazil — admin @ 8:04 pm

brazil_2012_serie-a-clubs_titles-list_post_2e.gif
2012 Brasileiro map and titles list


The 2012 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A is the 42nd season of Brazil’s Campeonato Brasileiro Série A. Reigning champions are São Paulo-based SC Corinthians Paulista. 2012 will be the ninth season that the 20-team Campeonato Brasileiro Série A is using the standard round-robin format of home-and-away-matches-versus-all-other-clubs (for a 38-game season), as well as a basic relegation format (with the bottom 4 finishers going down to Série B, while the top 4 finishers from Série B win promotion). The season starts on Saturday 19 May.

Campeonato Brasileiro Série A – Fixtures, Results, Table (soccerway.com).

But while the format of top flight Brazilian football has come in line with most of the professional football leagues throughout Europe and the rest of South America, their calendar has not. Starting their season in May really puts Brazilian clubs at a disadvantage. The reason Brazil’s national football league starts in mid-May is the continued existence of the outmoded state championships – an anachronism that is of a time when infrastructure and transportation in Brazil could not accommodate a nation-wide first division league, so the state championships were necessary, and served a role in Brazilian football. ‘Brazilian football state championships‘ (en.wikipedia.org). But since the early 1970s, there has been a national league, so state championships should have become redundant. Yet the poorly-attended and now pretty much pointless state championships persist. Why? Because of entrenched power interests in all of the 26 state football associations. If these now-irrelevant cup-format state championships were phased out, those old white guys in positions of power in every state football association in Brazil would lose their power, prestige and cushy jobs – they would lose their gravy train. And so, like parasites, the guys in power in the football associations in all the states in Brazil conspire to maintain the state championships. And so the state championships continue to take up a significant and pivotal portion of the calendar year (from January to mid-May), which thus sucks time and energy and media attention away from the important thing that all the millions of pro football fans in Brazil care about – the Brasileiro – and keeps Brazil out of the loop, literally. Due to the Brazilian league starting in May, as opposed to August, clubs’ transfer policies, budgets, and roster decisions are thrown out of whack. And Brazilian clubs still alive in the Copa Libertadores each year are also hampered by the domestic season’s opening in May, because they are forced to start the new season while concentrating on their Quarterfinals and Semifinals matches in the Copa Libertadores.

There are 4 Brazilian clubs still alive in the 2012 Copa Libertadores – Fluminense (who square off against Boca Juniors), Corinthians and Vasco da Gama (who face each other), and Cup-holders Santos (who play Vélez Sársfield).
2012 Copa Libertadores/ Quarterfinals‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

Brazilian Pro Football titles chart

The map page has a different layout from previous maps I’ve done for Brazilian football. On this one, the emphasis is on the titles won by clubs.

At the far left of the map page there is a location-map of the 20 clubs in 2012 Brazilian first division. The center and right-hand side of the map page is taken up by a chart which lists the national, state, Copa do Brasil, and Copa Libertadores titles of 24 clubs. The clubs are listed by 2011 average attendance (from home league matches in either Série A or Série B).

Also listed in the chart, near the center, are consecutive seasons in the Brazilian top flight by club. [Note: there are 5 clubs in Brazil that have spent all 42 seasons in the Brazilian first division - Cruzeiro, Flamengo, Internacional, Santos, and São Paulo.].

The 4 newly-promoted clubs for 2012 are listed at the bottom of the chart. Those 4 newly-promoted clubs are – Náutico, Ponte Preta, Portuguesa, and Sport Recife.

The first note I should make is that the chart has 24 clubs in it because it also includes the 4 clubs relegated out of Série A after last season – América (Minas Gerais), Atlético Paranaense, Avaí, and Ceará. You can tell which clubs are the relegated clubs by their lack of bold-face text in the far left column [2011], and by their lack of inclusion in the green column at the far right [2012].

National titles listed are – Campeonato Brasileiro Série A titles (from 1971 to 2011), plus Taça Brasil titles (1959-68), plus Torneio Roberto Gomes Pedrosa titles (1967–70) [see 3 paragraphs down].

On the chart, national titles are listed in the dark blue column at the center-right-hand side of the chart. Along the entire lower section of the map page are the crests of all clubs with national titles in Brazil, going from left to right in descending order.

I have included, among national titles won, the titles won from the generally accepted precursor to the modern Brazilian national championship competition, which was called the Taça Brasil. The Taça Brasil was founded in 1959 to enable Brazil to provide contenders for the newly-created Copa Libertadores, which had it’s inaugural season in 1960. Here is the Wikipedia page of Taça Brasil. The successor to the Taça Brasil was the Torneo Roberto Gomes Pedrosa (1967–70), which had originally been the Torneo Rio-São Paulo, for clubs only from Rio de Janeiro state and São Paulo state. In 1967, the tournament was opened to include clubs from Minas Gerais, Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul states, and later also from Pernambuco and Bahia states. In 1969 and 1970, the winner and the runners-up in the Torneio Roberto Gomes Pedrosa went to the Copa Liberadores. Palmeiras won it in 1969, and Fluminense won it in 1970. In 1971, the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A was established, and the inaugural season was won by Clube Atlético Mineiro, a Belo Horizonte-based club that has never won the title again. Palmeiras won the Brazilian title in the second and third seasons of the Brasileiro (in 1972 and 1973). Vasco da Gama won the title in 1974, and SC Internacional won the Brasileiro in 1975 and 1976. To round out the first decade in Brazil’s national league, São Paulo won the title for the first time n 1977, current-second-division club Guaraní won the title in 1978, SC International were champions again in 1979, and Flamengo won it for the first time in 1980. As far as the all-time titles leader in Brazil goes, it depends on how you define the title. If you count Taça Brasil titles and Torneo Roberto Gomes Pedrosa titles (1959-1970) along with Campeonato Brasileiro Série A titles (1971-present), both Santos and Palmeiras have won the most Brazilian titles, with 8 titles (Santos won it last in 2004, and Palmeiras won it last in 1994). If you only count Campeonato Brasileiro Série A titles (from 1971 to present), Flamengo and São Paulo are tied with the most titles, with 6 titles each (Flamengo won it last in 2009, and São Paulo won it last in 2008).

List of Brazilian football championships‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

    SC Corinthias – 2011 Brazilian champions

sc-corinthians_2011champions_e.gif
Photo credits above -
Liédson, (Rodrigo Coca/ Fotoarena) at veja.abril.com.br.
Danilo, meutimao.com.br.
Willian, globoesporte.globo.com.
Alex [Paranà], Fernando Dantas/Gazeta Press via gazetaesportiva.net.
Tite, Rodrigo Coca/Fotoarena via veja.abril.com.br; Tite smiling, terra.com.br/esportes/infograficos/santos-x-corinthians .
Banner for Socrates, Reuters via dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2069960/Socrates-dead-Corinthians-win-Brazilian-title-fans-paty-tribute

From Pitch Invasion.com, from April 9 2010, by Jeremy Rueter, ‘WHAT’S IN A NAME? – SPORT CLUB CORINTHIANS PAULISTA‘.

Sport Club Corinthians Paulista, established 1910, São Paulo, Brazil.

SC Corinthians Paulista were named after the London, England-based Corinthian Football Club, which existed from 1882 to 1939, then had a merger to form Corinthian-Casuals FC (1939 to present). The resolutely amateur Corinthian FC toured Brazil in 1910, and a group of laborers in São Paulo were then inspired to form a football club. As opposed to most other established football clubs then in Brazil, SC Corinthians were to be open to all, not just the elite class of Brazilian society. Corinthians won their first São Paulo State title (Campeonato Paulista title) in their fifth season, in 1914 (see photo on chart below). Corinthians have won the most Campeonato Paulista titles, with 26 (last in 2009). Corinthians have won 5 Brazilian titles, their first in 1990, and their fifth in 2011. Their most prominent nickname is Timão (which translates as the Ship’s wheel). SC Corinthians are São Paulo’s most-supported club and have vast support throughout Brazil – Corinthians are generally regarded as the second-biggest club in Brazil, second only in support to the Rio de Janeiro giants Flamengo {see this poll from 2004 {‘Flamengo and Corinthians [lead the] survey of leading supporters in the country‘ (esporte.uol.com.br)}, and see this poll from 2008 {Ranking of the fans (globoesporte.globo.com)}. In 2011, Corinthians had the highest average attendance in Brazil (from home league matches), at 29,951 per game. They play at the São Paulo municipal stadium Pacaembu (aka Municipal Prefecture Stadium Paulo Machado de Carvalho), which has a 37,000 capacity. Corinthians share the stadium with local rival Palmeiras. Sometimes, when large turn-outs are expected, Corinthians play at local rival FC São Paolo’s Estádio do Morumbi (capacity, 67,000). New Corinthians Stadium, a new municipal stadium to be built for FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil, is planned to become the new home of Corinthians after 2014. {See this article from the Corinthians’ official site, with photos of the construction of the New Corinthians Stadium}. In recent years, some supporters of Brazil’s Corinthians make the journey to London, England to visit and support the still-amateur Corinthian-Casuals FC at their ground. Corinthian-Casuals FC are an 8th Level club in the Isthmian League Division One South. Corinthian-Casuals finished in 13th place in 2011-12, averaging 115 per game at their 2,700-capacity St. George’s Field in Tolworth, south-west London.

Click on image below for a small chart of Corinthians crests and kits through the years (1910 to 2012).

sc-corinthians_crests_kits_1910-2011_segment_d.gif
Image credits above –
Illustrations of old Corinthians kits (1910, 1920, 1955-51) by Lucas gc at en.wikipedia.org, ‘File:Evolução Uniforme Corinthians.png’.
Photo of 1914 SC Corinthians team from pt.wikipedia.org page on ‘Sport Club Corinthians Paulista‘.
Illustrations of old Corinthians kits (1951-54, ) by Bcav22 at pt.wikipedia.org, ‘Anexo:Evolução dos uniformes do Sport Club Corinthians Paulista‘.
Some of th old crests from seeklogo.com/tag.html?q=football.
2010/2011 Corinthians jerseys from football-shirts.co.uk/fans/corinthians-home-away-shirts-2011.
2010-11 kits from ‘Uniforms of Sport Club Corinthians Paulista‘ (pt.wikipedia.org).
2012 kits from ‘Sport Club Corinthians Paulista‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
2012 kit badge from soccerjerseysprostore.com/home-20112012-corinthians.
Photo of 2012 Corinthians 3rd jersey from football-marketing.com.

Here is an article about Corinthians’ crests and kits through the years, from globoesporte.globo.com, from August 2010, by Carlos Augusto Ferrari and Diego Ribeiro, ‘Do bege ao roxo, Timão conserva história com seu manto alvinegro [translated, 'Beige to purple, Timon keeps history with your mantle alvinegro']‘

Thanks to these sites for attendance figures, Worldfootball.net (Série A figures), Soccerway.com (Série B figures).
Thanks to Demis.nl/Web Map Server, for the base map of South America.

February 5, 2012

2012 Copa Libertadores, Second Stage (32 teams) – featuring the Cup Holders, Santos FC of Brazil; and 2011 South American Footballer of the Year: Neymar.

Filed under: Brazil,Copa Libertadores — admin @ 11:12 pm

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2012 Copa Libertadores Second Stage map (32 teams/group stage)


After the First Stage has eliminated 6 of the 12 clubs involved in that preliminary round, the 2012 Copa Libertadores Second Stage now begins, with 32 teams in eight groups of four (playing the other teams in the group home and away, for a total of 6 games each). Group winners and 2nd place finishers in each group advance to the Round of 16. On the map page, at the upper right-hand corner, the 8 groups are listed, with each club’s national flag shown. Second Stage matches begin on 7 February, 2012, and will go on until 19 April, 2012 – group standings and fixtures and results can be seen at the following link – ‘2012 Copa Libertadores Second Stage‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

Here is Copa Libertadores – Standings, Fixtures, and Results (soccerway.com).

From Mirror Football.co.uk, from 4 February 2012, by Euan Marshall, ‘Can Neymar emulate Pele and help Santos retain the Copa Libertadores?’.

Port of Santos, Brazil…
santos_brazil_port_1.gif
Photo credit above – seastarpandi.com/ports.

….

Santos Futebol Clube. Estádio Urbano Caldeira [aka Vila Belmiro], in the Vila Belmiro neighborhood of Santos, São Pauloi State, Brazil.
Honors:
19 Campeonato Paulista titles (last in 2010 and 2011).
1 Copa do Brasil Title (2010).
8 Campeonato Série A Titles (last in 2004).
3 Copa Libertadores Titles (last in 2011).
santos-fc_estadio-urbano-caldeira_vila-belmiro_e.gif
Photo credits for above – Photo of Estádio Urbano Caldeira (aka Vila Belmiro) from lancenet.com.br. Aerial photo from santos.sp.gov.br.

2011 Copa Libertadores Finals, 1st Leg, Peñarol 0-0 Santos / 2nd Leg, Santos 2-1 Peñarol (Santos win 2-1 on aggregate).
santos-fc_2011-copa-libertadores_champions_neymar_elano_danilo_e.gif
Photo credits above – Rodolfo Buhrer/Getty Images Europe via goal.blog.nytimes.com. santosfc.com.b, via goal.com. Getty Images via uefa.com. whoateallthepies.tv. soccerphotosbase.com.

Neymar…
Neymar turned 20 years old on 5 February, 2012. Neymar was born Neymar da Silva Santos Junior, on 5 February, 1992, in the suburban city of Mogi das Cruzes, São Paulo State. Mogi das Cruges, with a population of around 341,000 (2010 figure}, is 40 km. (24 miles) east of the city of São Paulo and 40km. north of the city of Santos. Neymar is a Brazil International, and is often in the starting line-up these days, with 15 appearances and 8 goals [inclusive to Feb.2012]. A Santos FC youth team player from the age of 11, Neymar’s first-team debut for Santos FC was at the age of 17, in March 2009. In league games, Neymar has scored 40 goals in 85 appearances, all as a teenager. Neymar led Santos to the 2010 Copa do Brasil title. He led Santos to the 2011 Copa Libertadores title, scoring 6 goals in 13 games including the go-ahead goal in the 2nd leg of the final versus Peñarol (of Uruguay), in São Paulo on 22 July 2011 at Estádio do Pacembu. This was Santos FC’s third Copa Libertadores title and the club’s first since back-to-back Copa Libertadores titles in 1962 and 1963. It is expected that Neymar will soon sign with a European giant like FC Barcelona. It is also expected (by millions of Brazilians) that Neymar will figure prominently in the Brazil squad in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Neymar was voted South American Footballer of the Year (2011), by the newspaper El Pais, of Uruguay.

From ESPN Soccernet, from 4 January 2012, by Sam Kelly, ‘South America’s new king‘.

neymar_brazil_santos-fc_s.gif
Photo credits for above – Jamie McDonald/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Youtube.com video uploaded by 666FinalGoal1. Official Neymar site/Multimídia.

Highlight videos,

youtube.com, ‘Santos – Peñarol 2-1 Final Copa Libertadores 2011‘ [5:46 video, with full highlights of 2nd Leg of 2011 Copa Libertadores final, Santos 2-1 Peñarol, w/ goals at 0:10 of video, Neymar goal in 47th minute (Santos 1-0 Peñarol)); at 1:50 of video, Danilo goal in the 69th minute (Santos 2-0 Peãrol); at 3:15 of video, Santos own goal (Santos 2-1 Peñarol); at 5:29 of video the now-traditional-post-match-fight breaks out between Santos and Peñarol players.] (video uploaded by mRgab90).

youtube.com, ‘Neymar Amazing Goal – Santos FC Vs Flamengo 4 x 5 – 27/07/2011 Santos 4-5‘ [note, nutmeg at top of penalty circle shown again at 0:45 of video] (1:27 video uploaded by InsaneDubstepUK).

youtube.com, ‘Neymar – Goals & Skills 2011/2012‘ (4:06 video uploaded by EzzeKriz).
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Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2012 Copa Libertadores‘.
Thanks to this site – enbsports.blogspot.com for 2011 Copa Libertadores player statistics.

May 18, 2011

Brazil: 2011 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A.

Filed under: Brazil — admin @ 10:54 pm

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Brasilerão 2011


The 2011 Brasileiro season starts on the weekend of Saturday 21 May and Sunday 22 May, 2011. Brazil – 2011 Serie A, fixtures, results, table (Soccerway.com).

Reigning champions are Rio de Janeiro’s Fluminense, who went from relegation-threatened to title winners in the space of just 12 months. The player most instrumental in Fluminense winning the championship was diminutive Argentinian midfielder Dario Conca, who netted 9 times in league matches, and had a league-leading 18 assists. From Pitaco do Gringo’s Brazilian football site, from December 6, 2010, by Jon Cotteril, ‘Fluminense crowned Brasileiro champions 2010‘.

dario-conca_fluminense_.gif
Photo from oglobo.globo.com.

Clubs promoted from Série B to Série A for 2011 are: Coritiba [from Curitiba], Figueirense [from Florianópolis], Bahia [from Salvador], and América [from Belo Horizonte].

The only Brazilian club still alive in the 2011 Copa Libertadores is Santos (who qualified as winners of the 2010 Copa do Brasil). Four Brazilian clubs bowed out of the Copa Libertadores on the same evening (of 4th May) {see this article by Tim Vickery at his blog at bbc.co.uk, ‘Copa exits may prompt Brazil tactics re-think‘.} Santos won their 1st Leg in the 2011 Copa Libertadores Quarterfinals 1-0 away to Once Caldas of Colombia. In the 2nd Leg, Santos advanced to the Semifinals with a 1-1 draw, late on Wednesday the 18th, in Santos São Paulo state. Neymar scored Santos’ goal. In the Semifinals, Santos will play the winner of the Jaguares de Chiapas v. Cerro Porteño tie {2011 Copa Libertadores Knockoput Stages Bracket (en.wikipedia.org}.

From In Bed With Maradonna site, by Jack Lang, ‘The IBWM Guide to the 2011 Campeonato Brasileiro‘.

Below…The three top-drawing clubs in 2010 Brasileiro – Corinthians, Ceará, and Fluminense…
Sport Club Corinthians Paulista, est. 1910. 4 Campeonato Série A titles (2005). Highest attendance in Brazil in 2010: 27,542 per game…
sc-corinthians_e.gif
Photo credits – Maatheeoos at Loucporticorinthians.com. Skyscrapercity.com/thread, here, via JucaMartins.com.

Ceará Sport Club [Fortaleza], est. 1914. 2nd highest attendance in Brazil in 2010: 23,514 per game…
ceara-sc_e.gif
Photo credits – Claudiocruzlima.blogspot.com. dariofontanelle at panoramio.com [via Soccerway.com].

Fluminense Football Club [Rio de Janeiro], est. 1902. 2 Campeonato Série A titles (2010). 3rd highest attendance in Brazil in 2010: 21,646 per game…
fluminense-fc_fans-at-engenhao_.gif
Photo credits – Sidneyrezende.com. Futbolita.com/Fluminense.

On the far right of the map are average attendance figures from last season. Corinthians led the 2010 Campeonato Série A in attendance, with 27,542 per game. Second best was the just-promoted northeast club Ceará, from Fortaleza, Ceará state, who drew 23,514 per game, an impressive figure for a club that has no major trophies. That 20,000+ figure for Ceará was not a just-promoted-fluke, because the club drew 21,200 per game in 2009, in the second division. The third-highest-drawing team for 2010 were champions Fluminense, who, along with Flamengo, were forced to play most of their home matches across the city of Rio de Janeiro, at Botofogo’s Engenhão (Botofogo rents from this municipal stadium from the city), because of the massive renovation and upgrade project currently being undertaken at Maracanã, in order for that giant venue to be suitable for hosting 2014 FIFA Wotld Cup matches. Speaking of Flamengo, they had a massive attendance drop because of the aforementioned difficulties for their fan base in getting cross-town to Engenhão, plus they were terrible last season, and were actually in threat of relegation for a while (they finished in 14th place). Flamengo’s gates dropped about -20,000 per game, from 40,036 per game in 2009, to just 19,965 per game in 2010. Another club that had been at or near the top of the attendance rankings in the last couple of seasons, Atlético Mineiro [Belo Horizonte], also saw their gates drop off significantly – down around -25,000 per game (from 38,761 per game in 2009, to 13,515 per game in 2010), and they also did poorly, finishing in 13th place after a 7th place finish in 2009.

Corinthians, boasting the highest attendance, had a good regular season, finishing third. But thanks to Internacional’s 2010 Copa Libertadores championship (and thus Inter’s automatic qualification for the 2011 Copa Libetadores Second Stage), Corinthians were pushed down to the 2011 Copa Libertadores First Stage (which is essentially a preliminary round before the group stage). And there, Corinthians flamed out, failing to score a single goal versus unheralded Deportes Tolima of Colombia. As this is Cruzeiro’s Centenary year, it was a pretty bad turn of events, and the predictable response from certain fan elements resulted in vandalism at the club’s training ground. Also, it was Ronaldo’s swan song, as he has now retired.

Speaking of Brazilian greats who have returned from Europe back home to Brazil to finish out their careers, Ronadinho has joined Flamengo. The 31-year old Porto Alegre-born free kick specialist and playmaker got his pro start with Grêmio from 1998-2001, before a 5 million Euros transfer to Paris Saint-Germain, where he played from 2001 to 2003. In 2003, a 32.5 million Euros transfer saw him move to FC Barcelona, where he basically became one of the planet’s best footballers circa 2003 to 2006 (winning the Ballon d’Or in 2003-04 and in 2005-06). Ronaldinho scored 70 goals in 145 league matches for Barça, but by 2008, a hard partying lifestyle and the onset of an on-field complacency saw him fall out of favor with the Barça management, and he was sent to AC Milan, where he remained from 2008 to 2011. Fans of Flamengo hope Ronaldinho still has enough left in him to propel the most-supported club in Brazil back to the top of the attendance ranks, and back to the top of the table.

Another Brazilian great in the twilight of his career will be returning to Brazil in August – Juninho (Pernambucano), aged 36, the free kick wizard who helped guide Lyon to 7 straight Ligue 1 titles in France (from 2001-02 to 2007-08). Juninho has left the Qatari club Al Garafa to return to the Rio de Janeiro club where he first made his name…Vasco da Gama. From SI.com, by Tim Vickery, from 4 May 2011, ‘Vasco da Gama legend Juninho returns to Brazil for nominal wages‘.

It has really become trend for a certain category of Brazilian footballer to return to play again in Brazil, and that is the player who, while a veteran, is not by any means in the swan-song stage of his career – more in the 29-to-33-years-old range. Examples of this can be seen with the 30-year old Luis Fabiano (who has left Sevilla in Spain for São Paulo FC), the 33-year old Deco (who left Chelsea for Fluminense last August), and the 29-year old Elano (who left Galatasaray in Turkey for Santos FC). The strong economy of Brazil in recent years is part of the reason for this type of influx. Just being back within the welcoming embrace of the Brazilian culture is another reason. And playing in the Copa Libertadores is another (and in late March Deco scored the winning goal for Fluminense, in a crucial Copa Libertadores match versus Club América). Here is an article from the Caught Offside site, by Tom Webber, from 24 March, 2011, ‘Why Are So Many Brazilian Players Moving Back To Brazil‘.

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Thanks to Demis.nl, for the base map of Brazil, Demis Web Map Sever.
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2011 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A‘.
Thanks to BolanoArea,com, for attendance figures, here.
Thanks to Soccerway.com, for Brazilian Série B (2nd division) attendances, here.
Thanks to Jack Lang, for his great preview of the 2011 Brasieiro. Here is one of Jack’s two blogs, Snap. Kaká and Pop!.
Thanks to Jon Cotteril, at Pitaco do Gringo site, for info, and for featuring my 2010 Brasileiro map on his site last year – http://pitacodogringo.wordpress.com/ .

February 8, 2011

2011 Copa Libertadores, Second Stage – 32 clubs, including Cup Holder SC Internacional and 2011 South American Footballer of the Year: Andrés d’Alessandro.

Filed under: Argentina,Brazil,Copa Libertadores — admin @ 8:30 am

copa-libertadores2011_second-stage_post_.gif
2011 Copa Libertadores Second Stage


The 6 losing clubs from the First Stage are gone, among them Corinthians, which makes them the first Brazilian club to be eliminated in the First Stage (this is the seventh year that a preliminary-round/first stage has existed). Corinthians, whose squad included the fading Ronaldo, failed to score in either leg against Deportes Tolima, a club making their fifth appearance in the tournament and with just one Colombian title to their name (in 2003-II). Corinthians lost 2-0 in Ibagué, Colombia on 2nd February – video highlights of Deportes Tolima 2-0 Corinthians, here (LUFCloaded.com}.

For the Second Stage, the 32 clubs have been split into 8 groups of 4.
Matches for the 2nd stage begin on 9 February. Clubs play the other 3 clubs in their group home and away (6 matches). Each club’s matches are scheduled every 2-3 weeks until 20th April. Clubs that finish in first and second place in the 8 groups advance to the Round of 16.
Groups for Second Stage of 2011 Copa Libertadores, with tables, fixtures, results (Soccerway.com).
2011 Copa Libertadores Second Stage‘, at en.wikipedia.org.

It wouldn’t be a proper international football competition without a ‘group of death’, and in the 2011Copa Libertadores Second Stage, that would be Group 3, which is comprised of… Argentinos Juniors (Argentina’s 2010 Clausura champions), Nacional (the Uruguayan giants who are 3-time Copa Libertadores champs, and were Quarterfinalists in the 2009 Copa Libertadores), Fluminense (the 2010 Brazilian champions, who were 2008 Copa Libertadores finalists), and Club América (the massively-supported Mexican giants, who truth be told, have not won a thing in the last 6 seasons). The first two matches in this group are on 9 February, with Fluminense v. Argentinos Juniors at Engenhão in Rio de Janeiro; and on 15 February, with América v. Nacional at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.
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    2010 Copa Libertadores champion – SC Internacional, and Andrés D’Alessandro – 2010 South American Footballer of the Year

Andrés D’Alessandro emerged as the chief catalyst for Internacional’s successful 2010 Copa Libertadores campaign. The attacking left-footed midfielder, who was born in Buenos Aires in 1981, began his career with River Plate, where he scored 31 goals in 80 games from 1998-2003, including this one v. Gimnasia La Plata at River Plate’s El Monumental {Youtube, video by Riverplatecom, here}. D’Alessandro earned his first international cap with Argentina in 2002, and he was a part of the Argentina team’s winning of the gold medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens (scoring 1 goal in 6 games). Before that, though, his pro career saw him off to Europe with a then-club-record transfer of 9 million Euros – to Germany’s Wolfsburg. After two and a half seasons there, D’Alessandro went on loan in January 2006 to then-bottom-of-the-table Premier League club Portsmouth, where he played a crucial role in helping Portsmouth avoid relegation that year. He scored 4 goals in 13 games for Pompey, and his dead-ball skills, dibbling prowess, and playmaking abilities led to several other goals, and contributed to the South Coast side’s general improvement in form. From Daily Mail.co.uk, from 11 Jan., 2011, by Emma Reynolds, ‘The Friday Five: Loan stars who hit the heights in the Premier League‘.
Fom Youtube, video by passionargentina, goal by Andrés D’Alessandro, Charlton v. Portsmouth, 2006.

However, then-Portsmouth-manager Harry Redknapp was unable to secure a full-time deal, with D’Alessandro opting to realize his long-held desire to play in La Liga. So the Argentine moved on to the Spanish Cup-specialist club Real Zaragoza in 2006-07. It did not work out well there, as D’Alessandro clashed with management, despite putting up solid numbers for a midfielder, with 15 goals in 36 games. So he returned back home to Argentina in 2008 to be reunited with his former River Plate manager Ramón Diaz at San Lorenzo. He was part of San Lorenzo’s strong run in the 2008 Copa Libertadores, where the club made it to the Quarterfinals. However, as per the extreme fluidity of managerial shifts in South America, Diaz left soon after, to join Mexican giants Club América, and soon after that, D’Alessandro also sought greener pastures…to Sport Club Internacional, from Brazil’s southernmost metropolis of Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul state.

In 2009, with D’Alessandro controlling the midfield, Internacional just missed out on winning the Brazilian title, finishing in 2nd place, 2 points behind Flamengo. But the important thing was that Inter, after three years out, qualified for the following year’s Copa Libertadores. At that point in time, SC Internacional had only made it to South America’s most prestigious competition 7 times, but when they were there, the Colorados (the Reds) had made the most of it, winning the 2006 Copa Libertadores title by beating fellow Brazilian club São Paulo on 4-1 aggregate. Furthermore, in 3 of the other 6 times Internacional had qualified for the Copa Libertadores, the club had made it either to the Semifinals (in 1977 and 1989), or to the Finals (in 1980, when they lost to Nacional of Uruguay by 1-0 aggregate).

The 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa forced the 2010 Copa Libertadores to be interrupted during the month of June, with resumption, at the Semifinal stage, in late July. In the interim, SC Internacional had sacked coach Jorge Fossati because of poor results in the Brazilian league. Internacional had started the 2010 Campeonato Serie A season in May with 4 straight losses, and a day after the fourth loss, Fossati was gone. So the 2010 Copa Libertadores reconvened with one of the 4 remaining teams having a new man at the helm. Internacional’s new manager was the extremely well-traveled 54 year old Rio Grande do Sul native Celso Roth. Besides stints as Indonesia and Qatar national coach, Roth had managed Internacional on three separate occasions (1993-1994, 1996-1998, and 2002); local rivals Grêmio three times; as well as 2 stints at Vasco da Gama; two stints at Atlético Miniero; and stints at Vitória; Sport Recife; Palmeiras; Santos; Goiás; Flamengo; and Botofogo. Notably absent from the nomadic Celso Roth’s CV, however, was a major title. That was about to change.

Internacional, to be honest, had never looked dominant in the latter stages of their 2010 Copa Libertadores title run, relying on the away-goals rule to advance in the Round of 16 (advancing by 3-3 aggregate over Argentina’s Banfield); in the Quarterfinals (advancing by 2-2 aggregate over Argentina’s Estudiantes – who were the Cup Holder); and in the Semifinals (advancing by 2-2 aggregate over São Paulo). In fact, Internacional just barely made it out of the Group Stage, only clinching advancement in the final group match, in Ecuador, versus 2008 Copa Libertadores champions LDU Quito. Besides D’Alessandro, there were several players who were instrumental in Internacional’s Copa libertadores title run… one was Anderzinho (who was player of the week in week 12, largely via the following goal, from the aforementioned match in Ecuador…here (at 0:15 of the Youtube video by CristalPteLiberta13).
Other crucial players for Inter were striker Alecsandro (in spite of being injured for the 2nd Leg in the Finals); left wingback Kléber; super-sub/MF Giuliano; Porto Alegre-born central midfielder Tinga (who had returned in 2010 for his second stint with the club); and Rio Grande do Sul-born captain and central defender Bolívar.
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Photo credits -
SwitchImageProject.com. Goal.com. Internacionaluk.blogspot.com. Alexandre Lops at Internacional.com. losblanquilos.com. Sambafoot.com. Globoesportes.Globo.com.

    2010 Copa Libertadores Finals

11 August, 2010, 2010 Copa Libertadores Final, 1st Leg at Estadio Omnilife, in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Internacional played with surprising assurance in the 1st leg of the Finals at Chivas’ new space-age-design/artificial-turf-laden 49,000-capacity Estadio Omnilife in Guadalajara before a crowd of 30,870. In the first half, Inter contolled the bulk of possession and hit the woodwork twice, but let Chivas take the lead against the run of play at 45′+2′, allowing in a looping header by Adolfa Bautista. But Guadalajara would not really threaten again in the match. Internacional lost Alecsandro to injury in the second half, but the Colorados scored the equalizer in the 72nd minute, with Kléber crossing to set up a Guilano header. Inter’s aerial domination continued – in the 76th minute center-backs Indio and Bolívar combined, with Indio heading over to set up a stooped header by Bolívar.

18 August, 2010, Copa Libertadores Final, 2nd Leg at Estadio José Pinheiro Borda [aka Beira-Roo], Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Before a capacity crowd of 56,000.
2nd Leg video highlights…{Youtube, 4:16 video by argentinofutbol13, here, (with times for goals noted below)…
(0:50 seconds into video}…Guadalajara take early command, and score first again, in the 43rd minute, on a fine play, with Bravo heading over a come back to Marco Fabian, who leaped up and backwards to swivel a sideways bicycle kick into the net. 2-2 aggregate.
(1:12 into the video}…In the 61st minute Internacional took back the aggregate lead with Kléber curling a pin-point cross from the left flank into the box, to allow FW Sobis to tap it in. 3-2 aggregate for Internacional.
(2:02 into the video)…In the 65th minute, Celso Roth again makes Guiliano a second-half substitution, and in the 73rd minute, he puts in young striker Dimão, who scores in the 86th minute, taking advantage of a poor pass by Fabian, with Dimão picking off the ball up at the half-line unmarked and open for a goal mouth sprint, shooting the ball past the Chivas ‘keeper Michel. 4-2 aggreagte for Internacional.
(2:40 into the video)…Omar Arellano of Chivas is given a straight red card in the 87th minute for a two-footed tackle on D’Alessandro.
(2:56 into the video)…One minute later (88′), Guiliano scores. He collects the ball above the center arc, then beats two Chivas defenders simultaneously with a stop-dribble/flick move that skids the ball into the box, where he then beats Michel and a another Chivas defender to the ball. 5-2 aggregate for Internacional.
(3:30 into the video)…In the 90th minute, Chivas get s one back, with Omar Bravo scoring on the rebound from Bautista’s woodwork-hitting free kick. 5-3 aggregate for Internacional, and that’s how it stood.
(3:44 into the video)…For the second straight Copa Libertadores Final, a fight breaks out after the ref’s final whistle, with Chivas Guadalajara showing some poor sportsmanship, picking fights with the celebrating Inter squadl.

From Reuters,’Brazil’s Internacional win Libertadores Cup‘.

Andrés D’Alessandro, 2010 South American Footballer of the Year, chosen byEl País, Uruguay…
From ESPN Soccernet.com, by Sam Kelly, January 9, 2011, ‘Internacional superstar‘.
Youtube video, by dshogo, ‘Andrés D’Alessandro – S.C. Internacional [PARTE 2]‘ (7:15).
Below, photo illustration of Andrés D ‘Alessandro’s career, 1998-2010…
andres_dalessandro_river-plate_wolfsburg_portsmouth_zaragoza-san-lorenzo_d.gif
andres_dalessandro_sc-internacional_2010_copa-libertadores_c.gif
Photo credits – Sigamosriver.blogspot.com. Gsp.ro. Alan Walter/Daily Mail.co.uk [article: 11 Jan., 2011, by Emma Reynolds, ‘The Friday five: Loan stars who hit the heights in the Premier League‘. losblanquillos.com. Dalessandro10.com/Galerias. TheOffside.com’Libertadores. Silvia Izquierdo at MSN.Foxsports.com, here.
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Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘Copa Libertadores‘. ‘SC Internacional‘.
Thanks to Tim Vickery, for his article ‘Inter take Cup back to Brazil’, from the September, 2010 issue of World Soccer. WorldSoccer.com.
Tim Vickery’s Blog at BBC/football.
Thanks to CONMEBOL for this pdf of 2010 Copa Libertadoes attendances.
Thanks to the official site of SC Internacional, Internacional.com.br

June 17, 2010

2010 FIFA World Cup: Brazil, 23-man roster.

Filed under: Brazil,FIFA World Cup, 2010 — admin @ 3:43 pm

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Brazil 2010 World Cup squad.


The map shows the birthplaces of the 23-man Brazil team competing in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. At the lower left of the map page are photos of likely starters and key subs (18 player photos). Because of the Brazilian custom of giving players nicknames (which often bear little or no resemblance to their given names), I have listed the player’s full given name on the far left, with the common currency nickname in darker letters.

Brazil is a federation comprised of 26 States and one Federal District. Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world, both in geographical terms and by population. Brazil’s population is around 193 million {see this, ‘List of countries by population’ (en.wikipedia.org)}. Here is a list of largest cities in Brazil, {‘List of largset cities in Brazil‘}.

Seven States, and the Federal District, produced players in Brazil’s 2010 World Cup squad…
7 players were born in São Paulo State.
6 players were born in Rio de Janeiro State.
2 players were born in Minas Gerais State.
2 players were born in Brasilia, in the Federal District.
2 players were born in Minas Gerais State.
2 players were born in Paraná State.
1 player was born in Bahia State.
1 player was born in Pernambuco State.

20 of the 23 players in the squad play professionally in Europe (which, in football terms, includes Turkey). The other 3 play in Brazil…FW Robinho, who is actually still owned by an English club, Manchester City, but is on loan back to his original club, Santos FC (who are from the port city of Santos, which is about 54 km. (33 mi.) south of São Paulo); MF Kléberson, who plays for the most-supported Brazilian club, reigning champions Flamengo, of Rio de Janeiro; and DF Gilberto, who plays for Cruzeiro of Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais.

Here is the breakdown of the 20 foreign-based players on the Brazil team…
8 players play in Italy, in Serie A.
4 players play in Spain, in La Liga.
2 players play in Germany, in Budesliga-1.
2 players play in Portugal, in Liga Sagres.
1 player plays in England, in the Premier League.
1 player plays in France, in Ligue Un.
1 player plays in Turkey, in Süper Lig.
1 player plays in Greece, in Super League.
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Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, Brazil national football team.
Thanks to UK Soccer Shop.co.uk, for the photos of the Brazil jerseys.

May 7, 2010

Brazil, Campeonato Série A: 2010 season, with average attendances from 2009.

Filed under: Brazil — admin @ 4:52 am

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At the upper right on the map page is a list of 2009 atendances of all the clubs in Brazil’s 2010 Campeonato Série A season.
Reigning champions are Flamengo, the giant club from Rio de Janeiro, who had last won the title in 1992. The final match of the season at the Maracana drew 80,000, to see a 2-1 win over Gremio. São Paulo had an uncharacteristic stumble in the run-up, losing away to both Goiás and Botofogo in the weeks leading up to the finish. That massive gate pushed Flamengo to the top of the average attendance list once more.
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Of the four promoted clubs from Série B, only one has both a large following and significant titles, and that is Rio’s Vasco da Gama, who have regularly drawn in the mid to high 20,000s. Vasco have won 4 Campeonato Série A titles (last in 2000), and the club won the 1998 Copa Libertadores title. Vasco da Gama bounce straight back to the Brazilian top flight after one season in the second tier.

The other promoted club with silverware is Guarani, from Campinas, São Paulo state, which is 83 kilometers (49 miles) north of the city of São Paulo. Guarani are named after the indigenous tribes that came from what is now Paraguay and southern Brazil. Guarani won the Brazilian title in 1978. They averaged around 6,800 last year in the second tier, and historically have averaged around 8,500 per game when in the first division [for attendance figures, see this... {historical attendances in Brazil}.]

The other two promoted clubs have won no national titles, and in fact have both never qualified for the Copa Libertadores…Atlético Goianiense, from Goiânia; and Ceará, from the impoverished north, in the city of Fortaleza, which is the fifth-largest city in Brazil, with a population of around 2.5 million {2009 figure}. Ceará drew very well in their promotion campaign, averaging around 21,000 per game. Atlético Goianiense drew just 4,700 per game last year, and are the second-biggest club in a city that does not tend to show support for it’s football clubs, with the relatively in-form Goiás (8th place in 2008, 9th place in 2009) only drawing about 10,200 per game over the last two seasons. Goiânia is the 13-largest city in Brazil, with a population of around 2.2 million {2008}, so the combined average gate of the two biggest clubs, about 16,000, is pretty low.
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All 5 Brazilian clubs who qualified for the 2010 Copa Libertadores remained alive in the competition through to the Round of 16.
In the Round of 16, Cruzeiro, Flamengo, Internacional, and São Paulo have advanced to the Quarterfinals.
Fixtures and results, here… Copa Libertadores fixtures and results (ESPN Soccernet).
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Thanks to Albion Road (Football Clubs guide), for info help Football Club guide, Brazil.

Thanks to Babylon- translation @ a click, translation.babylon.com.

Thanks to Bolana Area.com, for attendance figures 2009 Campeonato Série A attendance figures [under 'Média De Público'], and 2009 Campeonato Série B attendance figures [under 'Média De Público Por Clube'].

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org Campeonato Brasileiro Série A.

Thanks to Jon Cotteril, at TV Globo and at his blog, for pointing me in the direction of Brazilian Serie A and B attendance figures. Also thanks to Jon for linking up to this map on his recent post, Pitaco Gringo’s guide to the 2010 Campeonato Brasileiro.
“Pitaco do Gringo” (Gringo’s Opinion).

TV Globo, TV Globe Esportes.

November 13, 2009

Brazil, Campeonato Série A: attendance map for 2009 season, up to 12th November (17-18 home matches per club).

Filed under: Attendance Maps & Charts,Brazil — admin @ 7:16 am

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From Pitaco do Gringo’s Brazilian football blog,  ‘São Paulo are the new leaders in the Brasileiro’,  from 8 November,  by Jon Cotteril {click here}. 

Campeonato Série A table {click here (SoccerStats.com)}. 

Although Palmeiras regained the lead Wednesday night,  with a come-from-behind 2-2 draw with Sport Club do Recife,  São Paulo FC look well positioned to grab their fourth consecutive Brazilian title.  There are 4 four rounds to go,  and all of São Paulo’s matches are against clubs lower than 9th place.  Current form table leaders Flamengo (6-1-1 in last 8 matches) are in hot pursuit,  though.  The Rio de Janeiro giants have been propelled by former FC Internazionale striker Adriano,  who is joint leader of goals scored (tied at 18 goals with Martins Diego of Atlético Mineiro).  Flamengo are only 2 points off the pace.  Surprise-of-the-season Atlético Mineiro are three points off the pace,  and really packing in the crowds in Belo Horizonte’s Mineirão,  drawing a league-high 40,000 per game at the municipal stadium they share with local rivals Cruzeiro..  Factor in surging Cruzeiro,  who are 5 points back (6-1-1 in last 8 matches),  and SC Internacional,  who are 6 points back,  and you have a great race for the 4 remaining Copa Libertadores spots.  [Passage to the preeminent South American tournament goes to the Copa do Brasil winner (Corinthians,  this season),  and the top 4 places in the Campeonato Série A. ]

The RambleBlog at The Football Ramble.com: ‘Campeonato Brasileiro heading for exciting finale’ {click here}.

Southamericanfootball.co.uk/ Brazil page {click here}.

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Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org {click here}.   Thanks to the CBF site,  for attendance figures {click here,  and go to ‘Estatísticas da competicão’ [7th line in column on right],  then see ‘Bloco 2-Público por clubes mandantes’}.

Thanks to Alexander Magno Barreto Berwanger,  for sending me the 1971-2008 accumulated average attendances in Brazil {click here}.

July 7, 2009

Campeonato Brasileiro Série A: Map and Chart, with Cities represented; and attendances for July 2009 (from average attendance figures from 4 to 5 home games played per team).

Filed under: Attendance Maps & Charts,Brazil — admin @ 4:16 pm

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As part of my ongoing effort to get a better handle on the domestic futebol scene in Brazil,  I have made this map and chart,  which looks at the make-up of the current Brazillian Campeonato Série A,  on a city-by-city basis,  with current attendance figures. 

On the map and chart,  I have shown each club’s current average attendance in graphic form,  on the far right,  via proportionally sized crests.  Below that is the list of average attendances.  On the left is a breakdown of each city that has a club in the top flight in 2009…the cities are listed from north to south.  I have put a photo which is of the city’s skyline or otherwise representative of the city.   Within each cities’ section,  I have listed the club or clubs that hail from the city,  with a thumbnail profile of each club (ie,  date of origin,  major titles,  and current average gate,  plus 2008 average gates). 

In the middle of the map,  at the bottom,  is a list of the cities with 2009 Campeonato Série A representation,  with their populations.  The numbers to the left of each city on the list are their population-size rank.  The populations are for the Municipio ,  or administrative district,  of the city,  not the metropolitan area.   In case you’re curious about the largest cities in Brazil that lack a top flight club in 2009…the 4th largest city in Brazil is the capital,  Brasilia;  the 5th largest city is Fortaleza (which is north-west of Recife);  the 8th largest city is Manaus,  which is deep in the interior,  on the Amazon River (which is visible on the map,  up in the north of Brazil).   To see their locations, see this map (cia.gov site).   Here is the list from Wikipedia that I used  {click here  (List of Largest cities in Brazil)}. 

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On 30th June,  São Paulo’s Corinthians defeated Porto Alegre’s Internacional in the final of the Copa do Brasil.  Corinthians are in the process of restoring their place at the top of the Brazilian futebol scene, by A). returning to the top flight for 2009;  B). signing former two-time European Footballer of the Year Ronaldo,  and thus grabbing lots of media attention;  C). winning the Paulista state championship earlier this year,  and now D). gaining a much-coveted qualification for the 2010 Copa Libertadores,  by winning Brazil’s national cup.  The only thing is,  for Corinthians’ league matches,  the crowds have not shown up…the club can’t even draw 12,000 spectators these days for their Campeonato Série A games. 

This fact flies in the face of the assertion that Corinthians are the second-most supported club in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro’s Flamengo are considered the best-supported club in Brazil,  and drew league-leading 40,694 per game last season).    [I covered the topic of the best-supported clubs in Brazil in my first post about the Campeonato Série A,  here.]    But there is another factor at work:  Corinthians cup run has drawn fans to those matches at the expense of domestic matches.  For the first leg of the Copa do Brasil final,  Corinthians drew 37,438 (which is almost 26,000 more than their league matches have drawn).  Last season in Série B,  Corinthians drew 23,786 per game in their promotion campaign.  Maybe Corinthians raised ticket prices upon gaining promotion (I tried to find out about that,  but I had no luck).

Meanwhile,  the highest average crowds right now can be found at the surprise of the season,  Atlético Mineiro,  who are from Belo Horizonte,  where they tend to be overshadowed by two-time Copa Libertadores champions Cruzeiro.  Atlético Mineiro drew 16,312 per last year,  but this year they were drawing almost 12,000 more per game.  Then Sunday,  the club drew 48,651 to the Mineirão,  the municipal stadium they share with Cruzeiro.  They were only able to get a 1-1 result to basement-dwelling Botofogo,  though,  and lost their first place position to Internacional,  who beat Náutico 0-2,  on 2 goals by Manchester United target Nilmar.  Internacional seem poised to win the title this season.

The explanation for why Atlético Miniero’s local rivals Cruzeiro have seen a 43% dip in their turnstile count is that many fans have opted to attend Cruzeiro’s Copa Libertadores matches rather than their domestic matches so far this season.  And the poor economy has no doubt contributed to this.  Cruzeiro drew 56,898 and 52,906 for Copa Libertadores matches in May and June,  but a recent league match versus Florianopolis minnows Avaí only drew 3,435 pagantes ,  or paying customers (more on this later).  

The same factor is at work with respect to Porto Alegre’s Grêmio,  whose gate figures this season are around 13,000 lower than their last season’s average gate of 31,725.  Grêmio drew 36,725 and 40,452 for their home Copa Libertadores matches in June and July .  Grêmio’s attendances were second highest in the league in 2008;  Cruzeiro’s turnstile count last season was 24,235,  the 3rd highest. 

On 2nd July,  Cruzeiro eliminated Grêmio from the Copa Libertadores,  and will face Argentina’s Estudiantes de La Plata in the two-legged final,  which is to be played on 8th July in La Plata, Argentina,  and 15th July in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

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Two last points on the attendance figures.  First off,  they are not as accurate as western European football attendance figures.  It is widely believed that many clubs under-report the figures for tax reasons.  Also,  there are divergent sets of figures,  because some outlets report only paying customers,  and some report all attendees,  including those who got in free,  plus the media.  The figures I am using are from the Confederação Brasileira de Futebol site {click here,  and go to the 7th selection listed on the far right: ‘Estatísticas Da Competição’,  then see ‘Bloco 2′).  These figures fall into the second category (total paying and non-paying attendees).  The figures that I originally was using came from the WorldFootball.net site (it’s on my blogroll),  and show only paying attendees. 

The second thing is that in general,  the figures will change as the average attendances of Cruzeiro and Grêmio (and probably Corinthians) rebound;  and will likely increase with respect to the whole league,  as crucial derbies and their corresponding swells in attendances get added to the tallies.  So I will update this map later in the season.  One thing I noticed is that last season,  all the clubs that were relegated were at the bottom of the attendance list (with the exception of Goías).  And this season,  a similar trend can be seen in the fact that the 6th-lowest drawing club is Botofogo,  who are at the bottom of the standings,  while the other lowest-drawing clubs are 2 of the 4 just-promoted clubs (plus the over-achieving Goías,  and Santos,  who are at mid-table).  The club that is contradicting this whole trend is the painfully low-supported newcomers Barueri (to hear how you pronounce the club’s name, click here). This club was established only 20 years ago,  and is from the outskirts of São Paulo.   Barueri can barely draw 3,000 per game,  yet they sit fourth in the table,  with convincing 4-2 wins over both Belo Horizonte clubs this season.  The thing is,  Barueri drew 9,024 in Série B last season…again,  I suspect the club hiked ticket prices. 

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For updates on the Campeonato Serie A,  I have added a nice site to my blogroll…it’s under ‘Brazil: Gringo’s Opinion’ {click here},  and it is the blog of Jon Cotterill,  who is a football commentator for TV Globo in São Paulo.  I also have linked up his 2009 Campeonato Série A preview,  and I have also added a link to his TV network’s site,  which has good highlights of the Brazilian top flight.  But you can see highlights right from his posts.  My new routine this summer is to check out the results and highlights Monday nights.  It’s a good way to stave off European football withdrawal. 

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at Wikipedia {click here (set at Campeonato Brasileiro Série A 2009).  And special thanks to Jon Cotterill,  who was nice enough to show me where to find the attendance figures that I used. 

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