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Brazilian club Botafogo have been struggling without the presence of Clarence Seedorf, who announced his retirement and decided to become the manager of AC Milan a few months ago, in this campaign. In the previous season, they came close to winning the title under the stewardship of the Dutchman, who was one of the prestigious players in Brazilian football. The club go into the next match against Unión Española looking to get three points that would put them top of the Copa Libertadores table. Ahead of this match, midfielder Jorge Wagner has spoken about the need to get a win from this encounter.

Botafogo have been very poor in this campaign, as they have managed to just two wins in the last five matches of the competition. In contrast, their opponents in the next match – Unión Española – have been unbeaten in the last four matches. Hence, they are the favourites to get a win despite this match being away from home. This would be a disastrous result for Botafogo, as it could potentially make them slip to second place in the table. Even though they have a comfortable advantage over Independiente from Ecuador, Botafogo will want to get the top spot of the group nonetheless.

“We are used to playing in the stadium and are very strong there. The teams that come to play us know this. It’s time that show what we’re really about, with a game of quick passing, lots of pressure and tight marking. We won’t give the opposition any space,” said Wagner ahead of the match. The home support will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome, as Wagner has called for the fans to make the Maracanã a fortress. The final group match of the tournament for the club will be against San Lorenzo.


Former Brazilian footballer, Rivelino has stated that the role of the number 10 has been decreasing consistently written Brazilian football that it is no longer considered as a big thing. This shirt number is regarded as one of the most iconic in the world after having been won by legends like Pele, Zico, and Rivaldo. Nowadays, the role of the striker, who plays just behind the defensive line, has diminished to such an extent that it is no longer a craze according to the 68-year-old. His comments suggest that the modern football has evolved in such a way that the entire team is responsible for scoring a goal.

Previously, it was the number 10 who was assigned the job of scoring and creating goals. Rivaldo recently stated that the No.10 was the most important player in a team since he was the brains. Rivaldo won the World Player of the Year award in 1999 for his exploits with the Brazilian national team and Barcelona. Neymar is currently wearing the No.10 shirt and he has done exceedingly well in recent years to prove that he is worthy of such accolade. The Barcelona striker recently scored two goals in the 5-0 win over South Africa, which once again reasserted their position as the favourites for the World Cup 2014.

“The importance of the No. 10 shirt has unfortunately ended. Today the holding midfielders open the game up more than the No. 10. What used to be the function of the No. 10 doesn’t exist in Brazilian football anymore. It was luck. I was just 17 in 1958 and the numbers were drawn. I got No. 10 and that’s how it all started. The priority today isn’t creating but marking,” said Rivelino, who played for Corinthians and Fluminense as the number 10 during his playing days.


Brazil will be taking on in a friendly match against South Africa in March, which is seen as the final opportunity for any players looking to get into the national team squad ahead of the World Cup 2014.

This is the final friendly match for the nation before they take part in the competition. Since they have been doing extremely well in the last 12 months, it has been rumoured that Luiz Felipe Scolari will be taking an unchanged team to this friendly match. However, he has surprised everyone by naming Manchester city midfielder Fernandinho into the squad. Read more »


New Santos sensation Stefano Yuri has revealed that the advice he got from Leandro Damião helped him do well in his appearance against Linense. Santos were looking to continue the good run of form, which has seen them win the last three matches.

However, there was a danger of their match against Linense ending in a draw after the home team managed to equalise within two minutes of Santos taking the lead through Thiago Ribeiro. The away team tried everything in order to get three points without success. Read more »


Alexandre Pato was regarded as a player set for a bright future and it seemed the way when he made his debut for AC Milan aged just 18 years. He went on to create numerous records for the national team including featuring in the first team as a teenager, while also scoring as one of the youngest to do so. However, his career has suffered extensively in the last few years due to the injuries. This is even led to Pato returning to Brazilian football with Corinthians. He was brought back to Brazilian football for around £ 12 million, which is a huge investment.

Even after his return, he has not been able to find his best form. The assumption was that his return to Brazilian football will help him improve his physical fitness, which has been his major problem. However, it has not been the case because Pato has suffered injuries here at Corinthians. Amongst this, he has also been linked with a return to European football with Valencia showing interest in his services. Former Internacional youth team coach Osmar Loss says that the 24-year-old just needs to stay fit this season and the world will see the best of him from next season onwards.

Pato has scored nine in 30 matches for Corinthians this campaign.

“His performance was well below what he is capable of, but even so he is back on an upward curve. I think this season was a lot better than his last two or three in Europe because he went through the whole year without an injury. I strongly believe he can get back to his best next season if he decides to stay at the club,” said the former youth team coach, who oversaw the development of Pato as a youngster at Internacional.


Fluminense have been suffering from poor form this season despite being the champions. As a result, they have been finding themselves closer to the relegation zone than near the top of the table. The club, though, managed to pull clear of the drop zone after a stunning 2-1 win over São Paulo on Sunday. After coming into the match with relegation fears, Fluminense started the match in the worst possible fashion after conceding a goal in the 18th minute to Welliton. However, they managed to get back into the match after an equaliser from Jean seven minutes later.

Both teams were then unable to find the goal that would give them three points. São Paulo did not have much need for the points since they were in the middle of the table with not much to play for in the remainder of the season. They had almost 10 point difference between them and the final Copa Libertadores qualifying spot. Fluminense were in desperate need of three points and they got this through a last-minute header from defender Gum. He scored from a 90th minute corner to give the home team three points, which sent the home fans into jubilant mood.

”This was a special victory. We are still in a difficult situation, but things are starting to improve, things are returning back to normal, we are winning again,” said the winning goal scorer Gum after the match. ”Dorival is making all the difference. He boosted the team’s morale,” Fluminense midfielder Vagner said about the appointment of Dorival Jr. He was brought in to replace Vanderlei Luxemburgo, who has managed Real Madrid and Brazil in the past, two matches ago.

Meanwhile, the likes of Vasco da Gama failed to get away from the relegation zone after managing only a draw during the weekend.


The manager of the Brazilian football team, Luiz Felipe Scolari, has denied the fact that there won’t be any new face in the final squad of Brazil for the World Cup.

In the 23-member squad that Scolari has just announced for a couple of friendly fixtures next month, there aren’t too many new faces. Yes, a couple of players have been called up i.e. Bernard from Shakhtar Donetsk and Lucas Leiva from Liverpool, but, barring these two, almost all the guys in the squad are regulars.

But, Scolari believes that there is still a lot of time left before the World Cup. The situations can change till then and anybody can get opportunity in the World Cup.

Talking to the reporters yesterday, the Brazil manager said, “The decision hasn’t been taken yet regarding the final squad. We will do that at the start of next year. Before that, we want to give chances to some players and see how they go.”

“There are a few players to watch out for. Lucas Leiva is one of them. He is an exciting player in the midfield and I am looking forward to see him play in the upcoming couple of games.”

Meanwhile, the Brazilian superstar Neymar has shown some great form for his new club Barcelona off late. When asked about that, Scolari said, “He is maturing and that’s a great sign for Brazilian football. There is no doubt about his immense potential. I just hope he keeps going like this.”

Neymar has so far featured for Barcelona in 9 games and has found the back of the net a couple of times. Apart from that, he has also set up 5 goals for his team.

Neymar had signed for Barcelona in May this year after leaving Santos.