Archive for May, 2010

Terrorism in South Africa 2010 ?

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

A few days ago, the US Government issued a warning about terrorism acts during World Cup 2010 (see BBC and Telegraph).

NEFA is an organization  (the name stands for Nine Eleven Finding Answers Foundation) whose state goal is “to help prevent future tragedies in the U.S. and abroad by exposing those responsible for planning, funding, and executing terrorist activities, with a particular emphasis on Islamic militant organizations”.

According to some news sources (such as here, here and here), a director of NEFA declared that there is a high risk of a terrorist attack during the World Cup in South Africa.

I believe there is an 80 per cent chance of an attack, he said.

The former analyst for the Dutch Ministry of Defence, provided details o three training camps in Mozambique run by Somalis, Pakistanis, Indians and Bangladeshis.

Sandee had earlier told the US Congress that numerous references had been made in closed frequency radio broadcasts and telephone intercepts.

South Africa was quick to deny the threat.

“As far as we’re concerned there are no threats that we have identified which are linked to the World Cup,” spokesman Brian Dube told AFP.

“No country is immune to these things, that’s why we say we’ll continue to be vigilant. But really there isn’t any threat to the World Cup itself.”

The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) which is coordinating World Cup security, also dismissed the article, saying it was “riddled with inaccuracies” and that it mostly relied on unnamed sources.

Like South Africa, Brazil is a country which so far has never seen a terrorism attack; the Brazilian security agencies will have much to learn from Natjoints.

Prize for winning the World Cup

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

If Brazil wins the World Cup 2010, each Brazilian player will have a cash prize of R$ 1,000,000.00, which, by current rates, would be exchanged by a bit more than US$ 500,000 or a bit more than € 400,000.

Is that plenty or little?

Today, minimum wage in Brazil is R$ 550 per month. So, a worker in Brazil who gets minimum wage would have to work more than 150 years to get that much of money.  That makes R$ 1,000,000.00 look like a lot of money.

However, several players in Brazil are paid more than a million dollars per year; sponsors of the Brazil team pay millions and millions per year; FIFA pays about US$ 30 million to the country who wins the World Cup. After winning the European Champions League, each player of Inter Milan was paid € 300,000.  Thinking that way, US$ 500,000 or € 400,000 don’t look too impressive.

However, it is unlikely that any Brazilian player complain about that.

First, because several players seem to be thankful just for being in the team. There was a strong popular clamor for coach Dunga to leave out players like Josue, Felipe Melo and Elano and call up Ronaldinho, Ganso, Neymar instead.

Second, because all players know that they would be accused of being anti-patriotic or mercenaries. In the 1990 World Cup, all Brazilian players agreed that the prize proposed by CBF was too small, and posed for a photo with their hands covering the sponsor brand; it ended up that that team had one of the worst performances ever.

Brazil friendly matches: Zimbabwe and Tanzania

Monday, May 24th, 2010

The Brazilian Football Federation announced today that the Brazilian team will play two friendly matches before the World Cup.

Brazil will play against Zimbabwe on June 2nd and against Tanzania on June 7th; the venues were not informed yet.

Update, May 27th: CBF confirmed today that the match against Zimbabwe will be in the National Stadium of Zimbabwe, and the match against Tanzania will be in the capital of that country, Dar es Salaam.

Brazil won Zimbabwe by 3 x 0, goals by Michel Bastos, Robinho and Elano.

Brazil won Tanzania by 5 x 1, goals by Robinho, Kaka and Ramirez.

Zimbabwe and Tanzania are African countries, with very little tradition in football; both teams rank  worse than #100 in the FIFA ranking.

According to coach Dunga, there is not much more to improve in the team; the matches will be useful to change Brazil’s mode from training to playing. The last serious friendly match, which Dunga probably used to define the lineup of Brazil in South Africa, was against Ireland, last March.

Brazil is training in the Brazilian city of Curitiba. The team will fly to South Africa on May 26th. The first official match of Brazil in the World Cup 2010 will be on June 15th, against North Korea.

Note: besides not being useful to help in the preparation of the team, some say that the game against Zimbabwe could raise political problems, as that country is ruled by a dictator, Robert Mugabe. However, these friendly matches are arranged by CBF, the Brazilian Confederation, which is guided primarily by financial reasons (Brazil doesn’t set foot in an stadium for less than US$ 1 million).

Brazilian Doctor: no problems so far

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Most Brazilian players arrived today in Curitiba, where they will be training until May 26th, when they fly to South Africa (only three players are still to arrive: Julio Cesar, Maicon and Lucio, who will play the final of the Champions League tomorrow).

Curitiba (one of the host cities of the World Cup 2014) was chosen for this last stage of preparation in Brazil thanks to its climate, which is similar to Johannesburg’s, where Brazil will stay.

jose-luiz-runco-doctor-brazil-teamThese first days of the preparation, the busiest person of the Brazilian team (and the one most listened to) will be José Luiz Runco (photo), official doctor of the staff.

Two players have deserved more attention: Luis Fabiano and Kaká. Fabiano got injured two weeks ago, and was saved from playing with his team, Sevilla, last weekend. Kaká has been suffering from a pubis lesion which, even though he says to be healed, also kept him out of the last matches.

Doctor Runco, however, affirmed that, after preliminary observations, all Brazilian players are in good physical conditions.

In the past ten World Cups (since 1970), it was only in 1990 that at least one player wasn’t dismissed from the Brazilian team because of physical problems (see a list here).

In 1998, Romário had a lesion in the calf; despite all effort to heal it (Romário had been the star of the 1994 champion team, and all time was given to him), Romário was eventually dismissed (see Romário crying before the cameras), and Emerson was called to replace him. Ironically, in 2002, it was Emerson who got injured during a training in Korea, and Ricardinho was called to replace him. In 2006, it was Edmilson who got injured, and Mineiro was his substitute.

World Cup 2010: Brazil

Friday, May 21st, 2010
Buy the official Brazil Uniform
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Em português:
Uniforme do Brasil


Final list of Brazil players in the World Cup 2010:

Julio Cesar (Internazionale Milan)
Gomes (Tottenham)
Doni (Roma)

Maicon (Internazionale Milan)
Daniel Alves (Barcelona)
Gilberto (Cruzeiro)
Michel Bastos (Lyon)

Lucio (Internazionale Milan)
Juan (Roma)
Luisão (Benfica)
Thiago Silva (Milan)

Gilberto Silva (Panathinaikos)
Felipe Melo (Juventus)
Josué (Wolfsburg)
Kleberson (Flamengo)
Elano (Galatasaray)
Ramires (Benfica)
Kaká (Real Madrid)
Julio Baptista (Roma)

Luís Fabiano (Sevilla)
Robinho (Santos)
Nilmar (Villarreal)
Grafite (Wolfsburg)

World Cup 2010: Netherlands

Friday, May 21st, 2010
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Read also: Netherlands in the World Cup 2014.

Koninklijke Nederlandse Voetbalbond : Royal Netherlands Football Association.

Main players: Arjen Robben (main striker of Bayern Munich) and Joris Mathijsen.

FIFA ranking (April 2010): #3

The Dutch Team finished first in their Group of the European Qualifying 2010, with a flawless campaign of eight winnings in eight matches, against Norway, Scotland, Macedonia and Iceland.

Holland is seed of Group E and will play the first three matches against Denmark (June 14th), Japan (June 19th) and Cameroon (June 24th).

Holland players for World Cup 2010:

holland-badgeGoalkeepers: Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax), Sander Boschker (Twente), Michel Vorm (Utrecht)

Defense: Vurnon Anita (Ajax), Khalid Boulahrouz (Stuttgart/Germany), Edson Braafheid (Celtic/Scotland), Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Feyenoord), John Heitinga (Everton/England), Joris Mathijsen (Hamburg/Germany), Andre Ooijer (PSV), Ron Vlaar (Feyenoord), Gregory van der Wiel (Ajax)

Midfield: Ibrahim Afellay (PSV), Otman Bakkal (PSV), Mark van Bommel (Bayern Munich), Wout Brama (Twente), Orlando Engelaar (PSV), Nigel de Jong (Manchester City/England), David Mendes da Silva (AZ Alkmaar), Stijn Schaars (AZ Alkmaar), Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan/Italy), Rafael van der Vaart (Real Madrid/Spain), Demy de Zeeuw (Ajax)

Forward: Ryan Babel (Liverpool/England), Eljero Elia (Hamburgo/Germany), Klaas Jan Huntelaar (Milan/Italy), Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool/England), Jeremain Lens (AZ Alkmaar), Robin van Persie (Arsenal/England), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich)

Coach: Mark van Bommel (former Holland team player).

World Cup 2010: Portugal

Friday, May 21st, 2010
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Federação Portuguesa de Futebol : Portugal Football Federation.

Main players: Cristiano Ronaldo (FIFA Player of the Year 2008).

FIFA ranking (April 2010): #4

Portugal finished second after the first round the European Qualifying. In their (very tough) group, Portugal finished behind Denmark and ahead of Sweden, Hungary, Albania and Malta; in the play off, Portugal won the two matches against Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Portugal is in Group G of the World Cup 2010, and will play the first three matches against Ivory Coast (June 15th), North Korea (June 21st) and Brazil (June 25th).

Portugal team for the World Cup 2010:

portugal-badgeGoalkeepers: Eduardo (Braga), Daniel Fernandes (Iraklis/Greece), Beto (Porto).

Defense: Miguel (Valencia/Spain), Paulo Ferreira (Chelsea/England), Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea/England), Bruno Alves (Porto), Rolando (Porto), Ricardo Costa (Lille/France), Duda (Malaga/Spain), Fabio Coentrao (Benfica).

Midfield: Pedro Mendes (Sporting), Pepe (Real Madrid/Spain), Ze Castro (Deportivo/Spain), Tiago (Atletico Madrid/Spain), Deco (Chelsea/England), Raul Meireles (Porto), Miguel Veloso (Sporting).

Forward: Simão Sabrosa (Atletico Madrid/Spain), Danny (Zenit St Petersburg/Russia), Liedson (Sporting), Hugo Almeida (Werder Bremen/Germany), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Spain), Nani (Manchester United/England).

Coach: Carlos Queiróz.

World Cup 2010: Italy

Friday, May 21st, 2010
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Federazione Italiana Gioco Calcio : Italian Federation of Football.

Main players: Fabio Cannavaro (FIFA Player of the Year 2006), Gianluigi Buffon, Gennaro Gattuso. All three players were champions of the World Cup 2006, which indicates that Italy has an aging team; it looks like the Champion of a World Cup tends to keep most players to the next Cup, something which happened to France in 2002 and Brazil in 2006. The only country which managed to win two consecutive Cups, keeping the same team basis (with older players), was Brazil, winner of 1958 and 1962.

FIFA ranking (April  2010): #5

Italy finished first of their group in the European Qualifying for the World Cup 2010, ahead of Ireland, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Montenegro and Georgia.

Italy is in Group F of the World Cup 2010, and will play the first three matches against Paraguay (June 14th), New Zealand (June 20th) and Slovakia (June 24th).

Italy players for World Cup 2010:

italy-badgeGoalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Morgan De Sanctis (Napoli), Federico Marchetti (Cagliari), Salvatore Sirigu (Palermo).

Defense: Salvatore Bocchetti (Genoa), Leonardo Bonucci (Bari), Fabio Cannavaro (Juventus), Mattia Cassani (Palermo), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Domenico Criscito (Genoa), Fabio Grosso (Juventus), Christian Maggio (Napoli), Gianluca Zambrotta (Milan).

Midfield: Mauro Camoranesi (Juventus), Antonio Candreva (Juventus), Andrea Cossu (Cagliari), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Gennaro Gattuso (Milan), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina), Angelo Palombo (Sampdoria), Simone Pepe (Udinese), Andrea Pirlo (Milan).

Forward: Marco Borriello (Milan), Antonio Di Natale (Udinese), Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina), Vincenzo Iaquinta (Juventus), Giampaolo Pazzini (Sampdoria), Fabio Quagliarella (Napoli), Giuseppe Rossi (Villarreal).

Coach: Marcelo Lippi; these words of his: best players don’t always make up the best team could very well have been said by Brazilian coach Dunga.

World Cup 2010: France

Thursday, May 20th, 2010
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FFF: Fédération Française de Football.

Main players: Thierry Henry (who scored the goal which put Brazil out of the World Cup 2006) and Franck Ribery (main responsible for taking Bayern Munich to the final of the Euro Champions League 2010).

FIFA ranking (April 2010): #8

France finished second in the first round of the European Qualifying, second to Serbia. France then had to go to a play-off against Ireland; France won the first match and was loosing the second one, until Henry scored an irregular goal and France qualified.

France will be in Group A of the World Cup 2010, and will play the first three matches against Uruguay (June 11th), Mexico (June  17th) and South Africa (June 22nd). France was not considered a seed for the drawing of groups (Netherlands took their place) but, luckly, was drawn to play against the weaker of the seeds, South Africa.

France team roster for the World Cup 2010:

france-badgeGoalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Steve Mandanda (Olympique de Marseille), Cedric Carrasso (Bordeaux), Mickael Landreau (Lille)

Defense: Bacary Sagna (Arsenal/England), Patrice Evra (Manchester United/England), William Gallas (Arsenal/England), Eric Abidal (Barcelona/Spain), Rod Fanni (Rennes), Sebastien Squillaci (Sevilla/Spain), Adil Rami (Lille), Marc Planus (Bordeaux), Gael Clichy (Arsenal/England), Anthony Reveillere (Lyon)

Midfield: Lassana Diarra (Real Madrid/Spain), Alou Diarra (Bordeaux), Jeremy Toulalan (Lyon), Florent Malouda (Chelsea/England), Yoann Gourcuff (Bordeaux), Abou Diaby (Arsenal/England), Yann M’Vila (Rennes)

Forward: Thierry Henry (Barcelona/Spain), Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea/England), Andre-Pierre Gignac (Toulouse), Franck Ribery (Bayern de Munique), Sidney Govou (Lyon), Djibril Cisse (Panathinaikos/Greece), Hatem Ben Arfa (Olympique de Marseille), Mathieu Valbuena (Olympique de Marseille), Jimmy Briand (Rennes)

Coach: Raymond Domenech.

World Cup 2010: Argentina

Thursday, May 20th, 2010
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Asociatión del Fútbol Argentino.

Main players: Lionel Messi (FIFA player of the year 2009); in recent World Cups, though, the countries with the Player of the Year have not been successful.

FIFA ranking (April 2010): #9.

Argentina finished 4th in the South America Qualifying, behind Brazil, Chile and Paraguay; more than the aprehension with not qualify, what Argentina felt most, due to Historic rivalry, was to be beaten by Brazil by 3 x 0 playing at home.

Argentina will be in Group B of World Cup 2010, and will play the first three matches against Nigeria (June 12th), South Korea (June 17th) and Greece (June 22nd).

Argentina Team roster for World Cup 2010:

argentina-badgeGoalkeepers: Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar/Holland), Mariano Andujar (Catania/Italy), Diego Pozo (Colon)

Defense: Gabriel Heinze (Olympique de Marseille), Martin Demichelis (Bayern de Munique), Nicolas Otamendi (Velez Sarsfield), Walter Samuel (Inter de Milão), Juan Insaurralde (Newell’s Old Boys), Clemente Rodriguez (Estudiantes de La Plata), Nicolas Burdisso (Roma/Italy), Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle/England), Ariel Garce (Colon)

Midfield: Javier Mascherano (Liverpool/England), Jonas Gutierrez (Newcastle), Angel Di Maria (Benfica/Portugal), Mario Bolatti (Fiorentina/Italy), Juan Sebastian Veron (Estudiantes de La Plata), Jose Sosa (Estudiantes de La Plata), Javier Pastore (Palermo/Italy), Jesus Datolo (Olympiakos/Greece), Juan Mercier (Argentinos Juniors), Sebastian Blanco (Lanus), Maxi Rodriguez (Liverpool/England)

Forward: Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Spain), Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid/Spain), Carlos Tevez (Manchester City/England), Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid/Spain), Diego Milito (Inter de Milão/Italy), Martin Palermo (Boca Juniors), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli/Italy)

Coach: Diego Maradona. Maradona is the undisputed best player in History of Argentina. His career as coach, however, has been very controversial; some in Argentina say he is the worst coach ever.