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Messi and Ronaldo: The view from home

Argentina vs. Portugal

Firmino ready to take his chance

 By Tim Vickery

San Lorenzo's Club World Cup win exposes dearth of Brazilian ideas

San Lorenzo's Emmanuel Mas says the team take great pride in reaching the Club World Cup Final, in which they will play Spanish giants Real Madrid.

For all the intensity of their footballing rivalry, there was little Brazilian pleasure to be taken from the problems of Argentina's San Lorenzo in the semifinal of the Club World Cup -- where the unimpressive Libertadores champions needed extra time to squeeze past semi-professional Auckland City of New Zealand.

San LorenzoSan Lorenzo
Auckland CityAuckland City
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There are two reasons for the lack of Brazilian schadenfreude. The first is that in the 10 year history of this competition, every club from Brazil has struggled with the semifinal. Two...

 By James Young

The problem with Brazilian football coaches? Try the culture around them

Muricy Ramalho partly blames his recent health problems on managing in Brazil. He might have a point.

"I've never had heart problems before ... [the doctors] said that it was caused by stress. My heart was beating in a strange way. It was frightening ... it made me wonder whether all this madness is worth it."

Those were the words of Muricy Ramalho, the Sao Paulo coach who was hospitalised in September and diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmia, during an interview with Brazil's "Esporte Espetacular" TV show back in October. Ramalho, who was one of the candidates to replace Luiz Felipe Scolari as...

Despite Dunga's criticisms, Marcelo is a key member of Real Madrid

ESPN FC's Sid Lowe discusses the gap between Barcelona and Real Madrid this season.

Carlo Ancelotti will have been secretly smiling inside when he offered a stern defence of Marcelo following derogatory comments made toward the Real Madrid full-back by Brazilian national coach Dunga this week.

The former Brazil captain, who returned to coach the national side in July following their failings in the World Cup, has largely turned a blind eye to the 26-year-old, instead opting for Chelsea's Filipe during his short reign in charge so far. He also deemed the Madrid star too attacking...

 By James Young

The Copa Sul-Americana: Brazil's sides are on the outside looking in

Sao Paulo head coach Muricy Ramalho described his team's Copa Sudamericana exit to Atletico Nacional as the most unfair result of his managerial career.

As Atletico Nacional of Colombia and Argentina's River Plate prepare to square off in the Copa Sul-Americana final (to use the competition's Portuguese title), Brazilian clubs and their fans will experience what has become an increasingly common feeling: that of sitting on the outside looking in.

First up, there was this year's Copa Libertadores, which saw only one Brazilian club make it as far as the quarterfinals (where Cruzeiro lost to eventual winners San Lorenzo) and featured a semifinal lineup...

After Thiago Silva's outburst over captain Neymar, Brazil tensions calm

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol believes Dunga should have had more respect for Thiago Silva, who was stripped of Brazil's captaincy following the World Cup.

Surely Brazil could have done without one of their most experienced players throwing a childish tantrum. However, before attacking Thiago Silva for creating some unneeded controversy ahead of Tuesday's friendly against Austria in Vienna, let's think again.

On Sunday, a couple of days after Brazil's straightforward 4-0 drubbing of Turkey in Istanbul, Silva, returning to the squad for the first time after the World Cup, had some harsh words following his demotion as captain.

Asked about his feelings...

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo -- the view from Argentina and Portugal

ESPN FC's Santiago Solari believes the only friendly will be between Argentina and Portugal but not Ronaldo and Messi.

When Argentina and Portugal meet in Manchester on Tuesday, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo go head-to-head in the colours of their national teams for just the second time.

Ahead of the Old Trafford friendly, Nicolas Baier and Andy Brassell discussed the "view from home" of Messi and Ronaldo.

How are Messi and Ronaldo viewed in their home countries by fans of the national teams?

Nicolas Baier: Messi is regarded as the best player in the world and the biggest star of the team. In time,...