Category Archives: Sports

Disrespect for the five stars emblem: Brazil vs. Bolivia

Brazil’s national soccer team, five times champion of the world, all-time top ranked in FIFA’s table, gave an incredible demonstration of weak playing last night, here in Rio de Janeiro, against the bolivian team. (click here to see FIFA’s ranking)

A sea of blue chairs in the stadium

A sea of blue chairs in the stadium

In front of a tiny crowd of 20 thousand supporters (40 thousand tickets were put on sale), coach Dunga’s team has given a true victory for our rivals: a zero to zero draw. Click here to watch highlights from the match.

Bolivia celebrated the pitiful score like they had won the World Cup. Of course: Brazil gave them the air they needed after 13 losses in a row playing an away game. Stars like Robinho, Ronaldinho Gaúcho and Julio Baptista did nothing to them. The five stars emblem sewed on the yellow jerseys represented nothing to Bolivia, represented by their 10 men on field (one was sent to the shower by the referee). Unfortunately, nothing to our players either. 

worthy the celebration

Tie with Brazil: worthy the celebration

As you probably know, soccer is almost a matter of State in Brazil (in fact, our president gave some interviews last week saying that our national team should be more aggressive, like Argentina. In case you don’t know, Brazil and Argentina are the lead characters of a true case of love and hate. One can’t live without the other, but take every chance to poke the colleague in the eye. Knowing that, you can imagine the dimension our president’s declarations took).

Being almost a matter of State, Brazilian national team has been questioned all the time for their lack of attitude in the field. The main reason, most brazilians think, is coach Dunga.

Dunga was one of the main players in the 1994 World Cup title campaign. A true leader of the entire team, and a wall in the defensive area. He was the personification of will, strenght and determination. When he assumed the role of national coach, we thought: yes! that’s what we need.

Coach Dunga watching his team suffer against Bolivia

Coach Dunga watching his teamsuffer against Bolivia

Things came out a little different. In his first games as a coach, he used his visible position to wear clothes designed by his daughter, most of them absolutely terrible. A position like that should be taken seriously, and what he did was wrong. He looked like a clown and also used the national team for personal objectives. We brazilians are used to see politicians do that too, and we consent to this situation with our society’s silence. But don’t come mess with our national soccer team!

After that, he started to line up players we never heard about. Very few athletes from our own brazilian soccer teams were summoned to represent. We waited to see, and we saw bad results.

Now, things are getting more and more tight for Dunga and his crew. He couldn’t even hold on to the tiny cloud of success after beating up Chile 3-0 last week. I believe it’s time for him to let other assume the position. He’s still remembered as a great player, and I don’t want to see that image blowing away.

All that said, coach Dunga is one of the possible reasons to such a tiny crowd last night. The other was the game being held in the Engenhão stadium, one of the most modern arenas in the country.

Engenhão stadium lit-up

Engenhão stadium lit-up

Engenhão stadium is placed here in Rio de Janeiro and, as a native, I can tell you: it’s hard to get there. Starting from the city centre, you must take the subway, than change to the rail system to get there. Our rail system is nothing like american, french, german, italian… you get the picture. Also, there’s no proper parking lots around the stadium and I won’t even talk about buses. You get the picture too.

For you to have an idea, last october Brazil terminated the ecuatorian national team with a 5-0 win here in Rio de Janeiro also, but with the game being held in the world-famous Maracanã stadium. 85 thousand people were there, including myself. It was awesome.

The question unanswered: why our soccer federation decided for the Engenhão instead of Maracanã? We don’t know the reason, but the result came out to everyone.

Give a little respect to me

Give a little respect to me

Let’s see if things get better for Brazil team from now on. I hope they remember all the time that we are qualifying for the World Cup, and that demands the most of each player and coach.

To visit FIFA’s official website, click here.
To visit the brazilian national team official website, click here. (In portuguese)
To check search results for “Bolivia” in FIFA’s website, click here.


Second in Formula One; and remembering Ayrton Senna

The word “second” has suddenly got an amazing importance for Brazil in the Formula One championship this week, after the Spa Francorchamps race, in Belgium. Let me show you why:

  1. Felipe Massa, Ferrari’s team brazilian driver, has guarded safely the second position in the driver’s championship for, at least, one race. Also, he is only two points behind the leader, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton.

    Kimi and Hamilton fight for the lead

    Kimi and Hamilton fight for the lead

  2. This approach has happened because Massa, who finished the last race in second place, inherited the victory after the checkered flag because the actual winner, Hamilton, got a penalty for cutting the chicane and getting advantage improperly. Click here to see Hamilton’s maneuver.

  3. After Massa’s lucky day, Ferrari started to rediscuss the team’s strategy from now until the end of the championship (only five races left), in order to possibly change Massa’s status from second driver to first driver, since Kimi Räikkönen, his team companion, lost important points to fight for the trophy.

Massa, Hamilton and Heidfeld on the podium before the after-race changes

Massa, Hamilton and Heidfeld on the podiumbefore the after-race changes

There’s been a lot of arguments in the web trying to answer if Hamilton’s penalty was or wasn’t fair. Personally, I believe it wasn’t. I’m totally in favor of “agressive” driving in F1, to avoid races becoming a car parade. Also, I don’t think the british driver commited any foul.

That said, the main reason of this post is: Felipe Massa has a real chance of winning the championship after last weekend. And, if the competition stays balanced like it has been so far, the title may be decided here, in Brazil, home of the last race of the season.

Felipe Massa talking to the press

Felipe Massa talking to the press

Can you imagine the thrill it will be for us if Massa decides the title with Hamilton in Brazil? I can’t wait.

It’s interesting to see that a brazilian driver has finally reached a good point count in the near-end of the season. I’m thrilled, some people are also. But I must say that I’ve seen Brazil’s REAL thrill when the subject was F1. You probably know about who I’m talking about.

That’s right: Mr. Ayrton Senna.

Senna and his unforgettable winning gesture

Senna and his unforgettable winning gesture

It’s a fact: from his tragical and unforgettable death until today, F1 has never been the same for brazilians. I remember the years that followed 1994, and they were sad, even with our national soccer team winning the World Cup that same season (even the soccer team paid an homage to Ayrton Senna after the final whistle of the title-winning match)

Sundays lost their morning fun (morning for us) and F1 reached an aversion level never seen here. It couldn’t be other way. In a day, we had a three-time world champion, charismatic, patriotic and brave in tracks driver. In the next, we didn’t. Also, we watched live that terrible wall in Tamburelo’s turn getting near and near Senna’s Williams. 14 years later, I can’t write this without getting a little uncomfortable.

Brazil saying the last goodbye for Senna

Brazil saying the last goodbye for Senna

Felipe Massa knows that. He, himself, says that Senna was his personal idol, and his death marked him forever. But now, the young driver has a chance to carve his name in our driving history and start to give us back that glow on our faces when someone starts talking about Formula One.

Let’s wait to see if Massa will have the honor of sharing a place in the hall of champions with the one and only Ayrton Senna do Brasil (“do Brasil” means “of Brazil”).

For now, click here if you want to feel the energy of Mr. Ayrton Senna’s victory in Brazil, back in 1993 (english subtitles). The jingle song that starts right after he crosses the line, named “Victory Anthem” and created specially for him, is played until today when a brazilian driver crosses the line in the first position, or any other sports person or team wins anything. It’s a touching song for us.

Check the first 10 drivers classification with five races to go:

 To view the entire table, click here.
 To visit the official F1 website, click here.
 To see several Ayrton Senna’s videos, click here.
 To watch Felipe Massa’s victory in Brazil 2006, click here.
 To read someone in favor of Hamilton’s penalty, click here.
 To read someone against it, click here.

Medal of Honor

Brazilian olympic athletes have just entered Beijing’s stadium.

Good luck to every one of these superb men and women who struggle in this country to have sponsors, financial aid and proper training locations.

Go, Brazil!