With just over 1,000 days until the Final in the Maracanã, CONMEBOL’s nine nations (excluding Brazil) begin their march towards the World Cup with the first round of qualifying matches taking place this week. With every side in action on Friday and again on Tuesday (even Brazil have friendly matches on those days) we have plenty of thrilling football to look forward to. Let’s take a look at Friday’s four qualifiers, and cast a quick glance over the 2014 hosts and their friendly in Costa Rica.
The Campeonato Brasileiro is renowned for being one of the most competitive leagues in world football. With Brazil’s recent economic boom allowing their top sides to pay astronomical wages for players, the league’s quality has never been better. When you combine this quality with the naturally competitive style of the league, you get one of the most exciting editions of the Brasileirão in a long time.
The league table has seen countless permutations since the start of the season, and even now in October with ten rounds left to play, we still have no idea who will end the season as champions. With an abundance of attacking talent up and down the league, we have seen some really thrilling matches, and it has got to the stage that this week’s five-goal thriller between Fluminense and Santos is almost a regular occurence. Continue reading Game of the Week: Fluminense 3×2 Santos
Good afternoon and welcome to the all-new Game of the Week feature on I Like Football Me. The premise is simple, I take a close look at a top-level match from the week passed and provide some of my own analysis. This time it is a game from the Campeonato Brasileiro but who knows, in future I may take a look at one in the Argentine Primera, or a midweek Copa Libertadores clash, or even a good old international match. Now, this may become a regular once a week feature, it may not, it depends on how it is received. So if you like it/don’t like it or if you have any suggestions, leave a comment at the bottom.
“Football is a game of two halves”
Countless football-enthusiastic pedants since 1980
It is one of the most excruciatingly overused football clichés available, but its relevance has never ringed truer than it did on Sunday afternoon at the Engenhão. A 2×2 draw between two exciting and energetic sides like Botafogo and São Paulo sounds like a real classic spectacle, end-to-end, and with the momentum to-ing and fro-ing constantly throughout the ninety minutes. In fact, what we got was two distinct forty-five-minute periods of startlingly one-sided football. Continue reading Game of the Week: Botafogo 2×2 São Paulo
So with last weekend’s unprecedented ‘dia dos clássicos’ in which we had no fewer than eight derby matches (nine if you count Ceará x Bahia), we have now reached the half-way point of the 2011 Campeonato Brasileiro season. With most clubs having played eachother once (Santos and Grêmio are still to play in a match that was postponed) the league standings have taken shape and we have a good idea who the championship contenders will be. Continue reading Brasileirão 2011: Let’s go round again
This Thursday, Brazil national team boss Mano Menezes announced his 24-man squad for the Seleção‘s friendly against Ghana in London on the 5th of September. There were considerable changes from the squad that lost to Germany recently, with some particularly popular inclusions.
Here are five quick talking points regarding this recent squad: Continue reading Mano opts for progressive Brazil squad for Ghana friendly
Santos and Corinthians faced off in the Vila Belmiro last night, and as this blog erroneously predicted, we were anticipating a fantastic game. In truth, what we got was the absolute opposite. With both sides missing some of their top players, we had a match that was almost completely bereft of attacking quality.
The home side were without their eminent talents Ganso and Neymar, and Corinthians had to cope with the absences of Liédson and winger Jorge Henrique. Santos coach Muricy Ramalho set up his side in rather naïve fashion, believing that with Elano as the main playmaker and Diogo attempting to emulate Neymar’s second striker role, they could supply the same creativity and threat. Their opponents however, realised that they had a weakened squad, and consciously played a more contained, defensive match. Continue reading Honours even in disappointing clássico
International glamour friendlies aside, tonight sees plenty of futebol action in South America. From the U-20 World Cup in Colombia to the Recopa, there are plenty of top-notch encounters to get stuck in to. Let’s start things off in Colombia, as the U-20 World Cup reaches a crucial stage.
Last night saw the first batch of last-16 matches taking place, with the two South American sides in action both progressing. Argentina defeated a tired looking Egypt side 2×1, all of the game’s goals coming from penalty kicks, and the hosts Colombia sneaked through after a tumultuous second half against Costa Rica. This evening, Brazil face Saudi Arabia in Barranquilla, and Ecuador attempt to upset France in Cartagena. Continue reading Tonight in South America
Brasil take on Germany on Wednesday evening in the first of a long stretch of pre-World Cup qualifiers. As you may or may not be aware of, as the hosts to the 2014 tournament Brasil already have their place reserved and thus do not need to go through the long and arduous South American qualifying system. That may sound like a positive thing, but in truth it may well turn out to be a bright yellow banana skin waiting to trip up the Seleção as they try to win the World Cup on home soil in 2014.
With no qualifying tournament to play, that means that the only competitive football remaining for Brasil between now and the tournament’s opening match will be in the 2013 Confederations Cup, and even that is rarely one hundred percent competitive. Their South American rivals start their qualifying campaign in October and each team has sixteen matches to play, such match experience that Mano Menezes craves for his Seleção. Continue reading Mano’s Brasil searching for their first ‘grande’ victory
Well hello there, welcome to the brand new and -hopefully- improved I like football me. I decided to move the site from Blogspot due to issues with formatting and I was really beginning to find the interface an absolute nuisance. So here we are, a shiny new domain name and hopefully the start of good things for this humble blog.
For those who were not readers of the old blog, what you can expect here at ILFM (that’s right, it’s ILFM now) is some insight into o jogo bonito, mainly stuff from here in South America. Brasileirão and Copa Libertadores are my specialties, but don’t be surprised to see some good ole argieball or any other CONMEBOL leagues here. Continue reading Welcome! Bem-vindo! Bienvenido!