Previous
Zenit St Petersburg
AS Monaco
0
0
FT
Game Details
Atletico Madrid
Juventus
1
0
ESPN2, ESPN3 LIVE 84'
Game Details
Malmo FF
Olympiakos
2
0
ESPN3 LIVE 84'
Game Details
FC Basel
Liverpool
1
0
LIVE 86'
Game Details
Ludogorets Razgrad
Real Madrid
1
2
LIVE 86'
Game Details
Bayer Leverkusen
Benfica
3
1
ESPN3 LIVE 87'
Game Details
Anderlecht
Borussia Dortmund
0
3
ESPN3 LIVE 86'
Game Details
Arsenal
Galatasaray
4
1
LIVE 86'
Game Details
Leeds United
Reading
0
0
LIVE 85'
Game Details
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Huddersfield Town
1
3
LIVE 85'
Game Details
Fulham
Bolton Wanderers
3
0
LIVE 70'
Game Details
Puebla
UNAM
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
America
Veracruz
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Morelia
Pachuca
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Chiapas
U. de G.
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Tijuana
Cruz Azul
2:45 AM GMT
Game Details
Ottawa Fury FC
Atlanta Silverbacks
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Bahia
César Vallejo
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Emelec
Goiás EC
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Atlético Nacional
EC Vitória
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
San Lorenzo
Olimpo de Bahía Blanca
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Estudiantes La Plata
Independiente
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Crucero del Norte
Sp. Belgrano
1
0
FT
Game Details
All Boys
Sarmiento de Junín
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Santa Marina
Atlético Tucumán
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Unión de Santa Fe
Patronato
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Boca Unidos
Colón de Santa Fe
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Instituto de Córdoba
Guaraní A. Franco
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Independiente Rivadavia
Huracán
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Gimnasia y Esgrima de Jujuy
Aldosivi
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Cruzeiro
ABC
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Botafogo
Santos FC
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Corinthians
Atlético MG
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
América RN
Flamengo
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Atlético Bucaramanga
Deportivo Pereira
1
0
LIVE 23'
Game Details
Los Caimanes
Inti Gas Deportes
0
0
FT
Game Details
Unión Comercio
Universitario de Deportes
2
0
FT
Game Details
Sporting Cristal
Real Garcilaso
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
León de Huánuco
César Vallejo
Postp
Game Details
Guaraní
3 de Febrero
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Deportivo Capiatá
Sportivo Luqueño
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Libertad
Nacional
11:10 PM GMT
Game Details
General Díaz
Olimpia
11:40 PM GMT
Game Details
Mushuc Runa
U. Católica
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Manta F.C.
Barcelona
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Olmedo
Club Deportivo Cuenca
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
El Nacional
LDU Quito
12:15 AM GMT
Game Details
Independiente del Valle
Deportivo Quito
12:15 AM GMT
Game Details
Club Petrolero de Yacuiba
The Strongest
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
San José
Oriente Petrolero
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Western Sydney Wanderers
FC Seoul
2
0
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 0
Game Details
CD Dragon
Alianza FC
Postp
Postponed - now being played Wed, Oct 1
Game Details
Valledupar F.C.
Atlético Junior
8:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Patriotas F.C.
Once Caldas
12:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Next

Duarte: Could Coutinho boost Brazil?

Brazil Aug 14, 2014
Read

Duarte: Dunga's return is complicated

Brazil Jul 21, 2014
Read

Brazil will be better prepped for 2018

Brazil Jul 15, 2014
Read
Jun 9, 2014

Deromanticising Brazil's relationship with the Selecao

Three-time World Cup champion Pele discusses "the most important tournament in the world".

The first thing I did after landing at Sao Paulo's Guarulhos International Airport for the 2013 Confederations Cup was nip into the gentleman's bathroom. I emerged positively giddy after discovering that in Brazil even the urinal cakes in public bathrooms had famous strikers' faces etched on them.

Here was immediate proof of the nation besotted with football I had always heard about, one in which, after searing national team losses, suicides are rumored, government inquisitions demanded and Brazilian flags flown at half-staff.

Yet as I soon discovered, things were not entirely as they seemed. After following the Brazilian national team's dashing, anthem-propelled journey to Confederations Cup glory, the relationship between the people and the team was far from the poetic romance I projected. Football fans and journalists alike discussed the team and the Brazilian Football Confederation with a sense of hard-nosed commercial reality.

In Salvador, a town known as "the African capital of Latin America," I watched the Selecao thump Italy in front of a virtually all-white crowd. The only black face in my section was a food vendor who told me with disgust, "The Brazilian national team is beloved only among casual fans who don't follow football week in, week out."

Is the relationship between the Brazilian people and their national team not as close as advertised?

"A lot of what we believe when we talk about Brazilian football is about a mythical reality that does not exist," said David Goldblatt, academic and author of "Futebol Nation: The Story of Brazil Through Soccer." "Everybody in Brazil would like the team to play the same symbolic role as the great squads of the 1950s and '60s and herald a return to the golden age that gave us the imagery and language we draw upon to describe and think about Brazilian football -- the mercurial Garrincha in 1962, of a nation dancing while a red municipal fire engine pulls the team from the airport to the presidential palace. But Brazil has changed so much since then, and so has Brazilian football."

Paulo Vinicius Coelho, the iconic Brazilian broadcaster on ESPN and columnist for Folha de S. Paulo, is able to pinpoint the main difference since the golden age of the '60s and '70s.

"The main players no longer play [domestically] in Brazil; they play abroad, so they do not develop the same emotional relationship because club fans cannot see their development week in, week out," he said. "Just look at David Luiz, who has never played in the top flight of the Brazilian league."

The distance and unimaginable wealth enjoyed by Brazil's players is compounded by the fact that the national team itself feels more foreign. "The CBF [Brazilian Football Confederation] sold the rights to their friendlies to a sports agency who keep them on the road playing lucrative games," Goldblatt told me.

"The federation have an agreement with European clubs so the players will only fly small distances, which means the team play games in London and Switzerland more than in Brazil, where the poor people can see them live," Coelho said. "It is an important factor in the relationship between the team and the fans."

With the weight of a nation on his shoulders, this summer will do much to define Neymar's eventual legacy.
With the weight of a nation on his shoulders, this summer will do much to define Neymar's eventual legacy.

Goldblatt noted that this change has occurred over decades. "In truth, that sense of the team as commercialized commodity kicked off in 1996 when the federation signed their first, massive deal with Nike, which has become the richest in football," he said. "They can charge more than any other team in the sport, and no one is blaming [them] for that, but no one knows exactly where the money is going. It is definitely not flowing down to the grassroots or the women's game."

The hyper-commercialisation swamping the team is, in a way, a symbol of the extent to which Brazil itself has changed over the past 60 years. "In 1950, Brazil was a world away from how we think about it today," Coelho said. "There were no big cities; even Sao Paulo was more rural. There was no industrialization, movies or restaurants. The only thing to do was to watch football."

This line of thinking allows the broadcaster to flip the argument on its head. While Brazilians might not love their soccer team the way we imagine, that might never have been the case. "To be truthful, I don't believe they loved the [national] team more back in the '50s and '60s," he said. "Yes, the feeling that the team made us feel more of a nation is truer than today, but there are so many romantic stories told about the loss in 1950 with very few documented realities. People always say there were suicides, but back then journalists were not really journalists; they were popular writers, so the myths that surround the past may not be true at all."

Goldblatt agrees. "In a way, 1950 has been slightly exaggerated by the Rio intellectual elite whose voices we hear tell the story more than any other," he said. "In Sao Paulo, it was far more back to work as usual after the game." And what of 2014?

"How Brazil hosts and organizes the tournament will be more important than the way its team performs," Goldblatt said. "If the team loses, it will not be a national trauma. If it wins, it will be a fantastic party, but it won't have the depth of meaning of the '50s or '60s.

"If Brazil fail to win, there will be a lot of anger at the CBF for spending so much money over the last seven years with nothing to show for it. I foresee a depression for the football industry in Brazil but not for Brazilian society or the economy."

I ask Coelho to imagine the impact of a Brazilian win, and he collects himself before answering. "The Confederations Cup surprised many of us who thought a special relationship with the team no longer exists," he said. "A big World Cup can change that relationship and make it intense once again."