• Thursday, December 18, 2014

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Freedom in the air

Confederations Cup

Brazilian President hails World Cup as a success

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said the World Cup has been a success but acknowledged the host country's football team needs reform after its humiliating elimination from the tournament. "We were able to do the Cup even though they said it would be chaos," Rousseff told foreign correspondents at the presidential residence Friday night. "They said it would be horrific." The build-up to the tournament was marked by delays in the construction of stadiums while many public infrastructure projects were scrapped. Last year,...

Desperate to make a mark

Desperate to make a mark

Brazil are desperate to make a powerful statement of intent in Thursday's World Cup opener against Croatia as they seek to relieve the suffocating pressure that has engulfed the team in the build-up to the tournament. Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has the luxury of being able to field the same team that destroyed world...

Scolari's food for thought

Brazil have plenty of reasons to be optimistic as they head into the opening game of their bid to finally win the World Cup on home soil. Technical co-cordinator Carlos Alberto Parreira has said that he is so confident Brazil can win the 'hexacampeonato', a sixth World Cup, because "we have the best defence in the world", marshalled by Paris Saint-Germain duo Thiago Silva and David Luiz. Their presence, along with full-backs Dani Alves and Marcelo, masks any doubts surrounding the...

Pele's worry for Neymar

Brazil star Neymar is under too much pressure to deliver the hosts with a sixth World Cup trophy, football legend Pele told the BBC. The 22-year-old Barcelona striker -- who has scored seven goals in Brazil's nine successive friendly wins leading into the finals -- is too young to be loaded with such expectations said Pele ahead of the hosts opening game with Croatia in Sao Paulo on Thursday. Pele's comments came despite his impressive performances for Brazil at last year's...

FIFA World Cup Brasil

Momentary scare for Neymar

Brazil briefly held its breath when Neymar went down clutching his right ankle in training on Monday, but the incident turned out to be nothing more than a momentary scare. The fact that the 22-year-old forward went down when none of his national team colleagues were near him suggested a potential problem, just three days ahead of Brazil's opening World Cup game against Croatia in Sao Paulo. However, the striker quickly got back up and finished the training game at the...

FIFA World Cup Brasil

Spain set for hostile Brazil

Spain are ready for a fiery reception in Brazil where they face an uphill struggle to defend their World Cup, coach Vicente del Bosque said in an interview published Monday. Del Bosque, 63, said Spain will be entering hostile territory in Brazil, where they lost 3-0 to the hosts in the final of last year's Confederations Cup. "In the Confederations Cup it is true that they whistled at us in the games," he told leading Spanish sports daily Marca in the...

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