Featured Matches
Previous
Arsenal
Besiktas
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Athletic Bilbao
Napoli
ESPNDeportes 6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 1
Game Details
Bayer Leverkusen
FC Copenhagen
ESPN3 6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 2
Game Details
Aston Villa
Leyton Orient
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Birmingham City
Sunderland
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Stoke City
Portsmouth
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Burton Albion
Queens Park Rangers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Arsenal
Besiktas
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Athletic Bilbao
Napoli
ESPNDeportes 6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 1
Game Details
Bayer Leverkusen
FC Copenhagen
ESPN3 6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 2
Game Details
Ludogorets Razgrad
Steaua Bucuresti
ESPN3 6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
Malmo FF
SV Salzburg
ESPN3 6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 2
Game Details
Aston Villa
Leyton Orient
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Birmingham City
Sunderland
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Bradford City
Leeds United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Burton Albion
Queens Park Rangers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Stoke City
Portsmouth
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Los Angeles Galaxy
DC United
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
León
Herediano
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Municipal
Pachuca
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Cobresal
General Díaz
9:00 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 2
Game Details
Independiente del Valle
Trujillanos
9:00 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
Libertad
Nacional Potosí
11:30 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
River Plate
Universidad Católica
11:30 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
Atlético Nacional
Deportivo La Guaira
2:00 AM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Alianza Lima
Barcelona
2:00 AM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 3
Game Details
Atletico Rafaela
Newell's Old Boys
8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Rosario Central
Godoy Cruz de Mendoza
8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
River Plate
Defensa y Justicia
10:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Estudiantes La Plata
Boca Juniors
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Irapuato
U.A.N.L
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Morelia
Celaya
ESPNDeportes 12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Oaxaca
Chiapas
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Atlas
Mineros de Zacatecas
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Correcaminos
Santos
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
UNAM
Mérida
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Zacatepec
Guadalajara
ESPNDeportes 2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
América RN
Atletico Paranaense
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Cruzeiro
Santa Rita
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Botafogo
Ceará
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Bragantino
Corinthians
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Coritiba FBC
Flamengo
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Palmeiras
Atlético MG
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
LDU Quito
Deportivo Quito
12:15 AM GMT
Game Details
FC Seoul
Pohang Steelers
0
0
LIVE 23'
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Guangzhou Evergrande
Western Sydney Wanderers
12:00 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
Amazulu
Bloem Celtic
5:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Mamelodi Sundowns
Orlando Pirates
5:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Pretoria Univ
Free State Stars
5:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Silver Stars
Kaizer Chiefs
5:30 PM GMT
Game Details
SuperSport United
Mpumalanga Black Aces
5:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Saprissa
Santos
Postp
Game Details
Carmelita
Club Sport Uruguay
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Cartagines
Perez Zeledon
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Antigua
Marquense
9:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Petapa
Coatepeque
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Vida
Marathon
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Next

No recent activity

 Posted by Fernando Duarte
Jul 3, 2014

Thiago's tears are talk of the town

ESPN FC's Craig Burley warns that Brazil may be in trouble if they are unable to play their best football against Colombia.

If you had shown the headline and picture to somebody just getting off a plane, they'd be excused for thinking that Brazil had just endured the nightmare of being knocked out early from their second World Cup at home. Under the written plea "Get up, captain!" the picture showed a desperate and disheveled Thiago Silva being propped up by manager Luiz Felipe Scolari, tears rolling down the captain's face.

As we all know, that was Silva's reaction to Brazil's nerve-wrecking penalty shootout victory over Chile in Belo Horizonte last Saturday. And that show of emotion spooked a lot of his fellow countrymen ahead of Friday's quarterfinal showdown with Colombia in Fortaleza.

In the past few days, Silva's tears have been the talk of a whole country and have become the evidence of how the Seleção was finding the psychological pressure to deliver Brazil's first World Cup win at home a bit too hard to handle. The fact that the PSG defender was by no means the only man to shed tears on the pitch went unnoticed -- goalkeeper Julio Cesar's waterworks began even before he lined up to parry the first of two kicks in the shootout and Neymar fell face first on the grass as soon as it was all over.

But the man with the armband was singled out -- rather unfairly in his own opinion.

The added scrutiny surrounding Thiago Silva's emotional outburst is unfair.
The added scrutiny surrounding Thiago Silva's emotional outburst is unfair.

"The pressure to win a knockout game is enormous because you know you're going home if you lose. I am the kind of person who commits heart and soul to what I do and I am an emotional guy. But I am also a guy who has proved his value on and off the pitch. A lot of people in the press are sayings things that are not helpful," Silva said on Wednesday in the prematch news conferences. It was a statement addressed to the sectors of the Brazilian media that questioned, albeit never directly, his emotional state and whether he was fit to keep the captaincy.

BrazilBrazil
ColombiaColombia
2
1
ESPN3, ESPN FT
Match 57
Game Details

While few people actually believe that Scolari would demote the man who wore the armband for much of the past four years, the feeling was hardly confined to the fringes of public opinion.

It is a curious situation for Brazilians, who are hardly known for their stiff upper lips. The great Ayrton Senna, who seemed to possess anti-freeze in his veins while negotiating overtaking maneuvers of 200 mph, wept openly when he won his first Formula 1 world title in 1988, for example; men all over the country also shed a cheeky tear. Ronaldo's sobbing after completing the mother of all personal comebacks in lifting the 2002 World Cup had the same effect.

So why is Silva's case different? Well, for a start it happened during the battle. Secondly, the PSG defender, one of the nicest guys one could ever meet in football, was a victim of his own sincerity. In the chaos of the mixed zone after football matches, he told a Reuters reporter of his plea to Big Phil to move him as far down the penalty takers' list as he could be -- even behind goalie Cesar. That didn't reflect well on him, especially after Silva's partner in the Brazilian defense, David Luiz, volunteered to open up the shootout despite playing 120 minutes in pain due to a back injury sustained in training.

Scolari has done his best to protect his players from the ensuing media blast though concerns remain.
Scolari has done his best to protect his players from the ensuing media blast though concerns remain.

The pressure increased after a poorly organized meeting between Scolari and his staff with trusted journalists, which led to the leaking of the manager's concerns with his captain's state of mind. Both couldn't have tried to look more united while addressing the media at Castelão.

"Scolari didn't question my attitude at any moment. I am a guy who overcame tuberculosis, so my mind is fine. Is it natural of human beings to feel emotional and I will not change because of what people say," Silva reckoned just before the manager chipped in with an anecdote from the days he was Portugal manager.

"You all have heard of a gentleman called Luís Figo, who once was the world's best player. I subbed him out in a quarterfinal against England in Euro 2004 and a lot of people lambasted us because he wasn't seen on the pitch when we won. The truth is that he was back in the dressing room praying in front of Mother Mary's image," Scolari added.

Brazil vs. Colombia: July 4, 4 ET
(ESPN and WatchESPN)

- Duarte: Neymar deals with the pressure
- Lang: No plan B for Brazil
- ESPN FC: Colombia eager to face Brazil
- 50-50 Challenge: Brazil vs. Colombia
- Kaka: "Brazil has not convinced yet"
- Carter: Golden Boot countdown

Silva also spoke about Colombia, rest assured. He sounded optimistic about Brazil's chances in the quarterfinal given their opponent's penchant for attacking football, which suits the Seleção's taste for pouncing on opponents who don't respect them.

Apart from arriving a second late to cover for Dani Alves and prevent an Ivica Olic's cross that Marcelo bundled up into the net in Brazil's opening game against Croatia, Brazil's captain has hardly put a foot wrong on the pitch. Beyond Neymar, Thiago Silva's partnership with Luiz has been one of the reasons why the Seleção has climbed back to relevance after their quarterfinal dismissal in South Africa four years ago.

Still, Silva should have known better, no matter how unfair it could be that a man is still expected to behave like some kind of imagined macho figure these days. With all the ghosts surrounding Brazil's second shot at the World Cup on home turf, Brazilians of all ages are looking up to him big time in this tournament as an example of serenity among the chaos. We'll know how successful that has been by Friday night.

Fernando Duarte

A U.K.-based Brazilian football expert who has followed the Selecao for 10 years and regularly features as a pundit for media outlets in Europe, South America and Asia. He's also a Flamengo fan.