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Brazil

Duarte: Five good things about 2014

Brazil
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 By Tim Vickery

Brazilian championship set to suffer again due to a crowded calendar

Cruzeiro won their fourth title last season but Brazil's calendar means they, and the fans, could suffer in 2015.

The Brazilian Championship kicks off in just over a week's time, on May 9. With the best 20 teams in this giant land playing each other home and away until early December, it is the country's most important club competition.

But if the reader of Lance!, Brazil's sports daily, sifts through the paper in search of the opening day fixtures, he or she will not find them. This is not a criticism of the paper; after all, they have just 24 pages to cover the world of sports. Rather, it is a condemnation...

Brazil not ready for Copa America yet but impress with win over Chile

Our football experts discuss Brazil's eight-game winning streak since the 2014 World Cup with Dunga at the helm.

LONDON -- Unless you were vacationing at the International Space Station last summer, you will remember just how Jorge Sampaoli's Chile was one of the sensations of the 2014 World Cup. They acquired that status by running rings around Spain in Rio and pretty much confirming the end of La Furia Roja's dominance.

Yet Alexis Sanchez and co almost caused a much bigger upset when only the crossbar in the dying minutes of extra time prevented them from dumping hosts Brazil on a dramatic afternoon...

 By Michael Cox

Roberto Firmino, not Neymar, gives Brazil a friendly win vs. Chile

ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson breaks down Brazil's narrow 1-nil victory over Chile.

LONDON -- Three thoughts on Brazil's 1-0 friendly win vs. Chile.

1. Firmino wins it for Brazil

Brazil's victory -- their eighth in a row since the World Cup -- was sealed by substitute Roberto Firmino, who collected a 73rd-minute through ball from right-back Danilo, before rounding Claudio Bravo and finishing coolly, to earn Dunga's side their eighth victory in eight games since their World Cup nightmare ended.

Firmino is a recent addition to the Brazil squad, one of the players ushering in a new...

Brazil's Dunga is having a positive impact in his second stint as manager

Goals from Neymar and Luiz Gustavo led Brazil's second-half charge as the Selecao overcame France on their way to a 3-1 victory.
France head coach Didier Deschamps and defender Raphael Varane admit their side still has room for improvement after they lost 3-1 to Brazil at the Stade de France.
The ESPN FC crew discuss the difference makers and talking points from Brazil's 3-1 comeback victory over France.

To a certain extent, it was laughable that so many Brazilian media outlets referred to the 1998 World Cup final during the build-up and post-match reaction of France vs. Brazil's recent friendly. Even if Brazil had won 18-0, instead of the 3-1 result that they posted on Thursday, the disappointment in losing the world title to the French 17 years ago still lingers.

Yet, there was a feel-good wave after the Selecao's win that was interesting for another reason. Almost nine months after taking charge...

Confident Brazil beat fragile France in Paris

Goals from Neymar and Luiz Gustavo led Brazil's second-half charge as the Selecao overcame France on their way to a 3-1 victory.
The ESPN FC crew discuss the difference makers and talking points from Brazil's 3-1 comeback victory over France.

Three thoughts on Brazil's 3-1 win versus France, which saw Oscar, Neymar and Luiz Gustavo answer Raphael Varane's opening goal at Stade de France.

1. In battle of hosts, Brazil look more comfortable

It's a fixture rich in history and, although this friendly meeting between France and Brazil obviously wasn't at the competitive levels of their great clashes of the past, the South American side's 3-1 win was at least rich in incident and entertainment. The visitors were occasionally sparkling, especially...

 By Tim Vickery

Brazil bag biggest victory since 2014's World Cup disaster

Goals from Neymar and Luiz Gustavo led Brazil's second-half charge as the Selecao overcame France on their way to a 3-1 victory.
International Friendly: Neymar goal (57') France 1-2 Brazil
International Friendly: Raphael Varane goal (21') France 1-0 Brazil
International Friendly: Oscar goal (40') France 1-1 Brazil
International Friendly: Luiz Gustavo goal (69') France 1-3 Brazil
International Friendly: Jefferson save (7') France 0-0 Brazil

In itself, that Brazil have preserved a 100 percent record since the World Cup does not tell us very much.

After all, their record going into the tournament could hardly have been much better -- nine straight wins, 30 goals scored, just two conceded -- but it did them little good when the real stuff started.

The seven consecutive victories under Dunga, then, need to be placed in context. The time for hard-and-fast judgments comes later.

But there is no doubt that Brazil can take great heart from...