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USA 0 – 2 Brazil: Young Samba stars shine in New Jersey

August 11th, 2010

Neymar, Alexandre Pato, Paulo Henrique Ganso, Brazil (Getty Images)

Bright future ahead for Menezes’ men…

Mano Menezes named an inexperienced, experimental lineup in his first match as Brazil coach, but his Selecao looked like a team that had been playing together for years.

The classic samba beat returned tonight as an inspired Brazil earned a 2-0 victory over the United States. In his international debut, Neymar headed in the opener, and Alexandre Pato added a second before half-time.

In addition to Neymar, playmaker Ganso and goalkeeper Victor earned their first caps for Brazil. For the United States, Omar Gonzalez wore his country’s shirt for the first time.

The United States looked the better team during the opening exchanges, and Landon Donovan had a penalty claim denied before Brazil found their rhythm. And find it they did. From the fifth minute onward, Brazil completely dominated the game.

Pato missed a gilt-edged chance and Andre Santos was denied by a fine save from Tim Howard before Neymar headed in Santos’ 29th minute cross. Three minutes later, Pato had put the ball into the net, but the goal was disallowed for a foul the Milan forward committed on Howard.

Brazil continued to dominate the game, using superior skill, as well as a numerical (3-2) advantage in central midfield to maintain possession and force the Americans to stay on their heels.

Repeatedly, the visitors would win the ball in midfield, burst forward, and have favorable numbers on the break. (more…)

Brazilians look at future prospects in US friendly

August 10th, 2010

Brazil coach Mano Menzes

New Brazil coach Mano brings back only four World Cup players for a Tuesday friendly against the United States, his debut in the job after taking over from Dunga.

Santos striker Robinho, AC Milan defender Thiago Silva, Barcelona defender Daniel Alves and Benfica midfielder Ramires will be joined by 10 new players as the South Americans look to the 2012 London Olympics and 2014 World Cup.

AC Milan forward Alexandre Pato, Santos playmaker Neymar, Liverpool midfielder Lucas and defenders Rafael da Silva of Manchester United and Marcelo of Real Madrid are among the newcomers being touted as the top of the next generation of superstar talent for the five-time World Cup champions.

The Netherlands ousted Brazil in last month’s World Cup quarter-finals, sparking Dunga’s exit and a call for more flair from the Brazilians. (more…)

Brazil planning sober samba party with alcohol set to be banned for 2014 World Cup

August 8th, 2010

Sobering thoughts: There will be a party in Brazil - but will it may be a dry one

Brazil 2014 is set to be the first alcohol-free World Cup after organisers confirmed sales will be banned at games under anti-hooligan laws.

None of the 12 stadia which will host matches will be allowed to sell drinks because of violence which cost 42 lives in 10 years to 2008.

The ban was imposed in April 2008 by the Public Ministry, which represents Brazil’s magistrates.

World Cup organising committee director Rodrigo Paiva said a law change, which magistrates have pledged to fight, would be needed if stadia asked to sell alcohol.

State governments in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Pernambuco, where games will be played, also have local rules stopping sales, and minimum jail terms for offences were added last week.

Budweiser has paid £32million to be an event partner, though their beer will still be advertised at stadia and sold at fan zones.

Despite the ban, trouble still occurs, and a fan died in February as 14 were shot when Sao Paulo and Palmeiras fans clashed.

A fan was reported to have had his hand blown off as he tried to detonate a home-made bomb at the game.

By Alistair Grant

Stallone left movie debts in Brazil

August 2nd, 2010

Sylvester Stallone AFP/Getty Images/File

Sylvester Stallone may be heading for box-office success when his latest action flick opens this month, but in Brazil — where the movie was filmed — companies are complaining he left a string of unpaid debts, according to a report.

The Brazilian weekly news magazine Veja said Sunday the producers of the movie, “The Expendables,” owed more than two million dollars to the local partner company O2, a lighting firm, drivers, security guards and other workers.

“Since May of last year, O2 has been trying to get the money from the Americans. However since the beginning of this year, Stallone and his producers have stopped answering their calls,” the magazine charged.

“The Expendables” is billed as the most expensive movie ever filmed in Brazil, with a budget of 63 million dollars.

Stallone, who earned fame from his “Rocky” and “Rambo” franchises, is banking on a muscular cast — including Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mickey Rourke, Jason Stratham and Jet Li — to make the film a hit. (more…)

Menezes picks Pato, Ganso, Neymar in Brazil debut

July 27th, 2010

Mano Menezes

New Brazil coach Mano Menezes chose a young roster Monday for the Selecao’s first match after the World Cup, picking AC Milan forward Alexandre Pato, Santos scoring sensation Neymar and Santos midfielder Paulo Henrique Ganso for the Aug. 10 exhibition against the United States.

Manchester United defender Rafael da Silva and Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva also are on the 24-man roster for the match at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Only four of the players picked were on Brazil’s 23-man World Cup roster: Barcelona defender Daniel Alves, Benfica midfielder Ramires, AC Milan defender Thiago Silva and Santos forward Robinho, who is on loan from Manchester City.

Kaka, Luis Fabiano and goalkeeper Julio Cesar were not selected Monday. (more…)

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