The Beautiful Game in Brasil: Photography by Christopher Pillitz

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Jonathan Reis: A Cautionary Tale for Would-be Ronaldos

By Kristian Heneage

For some players, their story is written on the pitch, hero or villain, infamy or inspiration, their career is defined by what they produce on the field. Brazilian striker Jonathan Reis has not been so fortunate. A player that seemed at one point destined to succeed compatriots Romario and Ronaldo as PSV Eindhoven’s star Brazilian, too much of his career has been spent trying to beat his demons rather than defenders. 

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Meet Tyroane Sandows. A promising talent rising through the ranks at São Paulo, except he’s South African.

São Paulo is one of the capitals of our beautiful game. This mega-city, boasting a population greater than 11 million, is home to Palmeiras, Corinthians and São Paulo, some of the nation’s most successful and popular teams. And it really is no surprise that we’ve seen a large amount of talent emerge from this part of Brazil, the likes of 2002 World Cup winning goalkeeper Marcos, Paulinho, Roberto Carlos, Luis Fabiano and of course Kaka, amongst plenty others.

This cycle will never stop and on this note, we introduce Tyroane Sandows, an 18-year-old attacker plying his trade with the São Paulo U-20 team. Unlike those illustrious names previously mentioned, Ty – as he’s called by his teammates – is not a local lad, having arrived six years ago from a city that is well over 7200km away, Johannesburg. Yes, Ty is South African.

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Lucas Moura, 14 months later

By Ross Mackiewicz

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Common Sense FC - AFR Voice

We all love a good crisis here on the podcast, so it seems only right that this week’s show that we take a long hard look at the woes of Manchester United. After conceding a 94th minute equaliser against the Premier League’s bottom club, whilst employing tactics that use more crosses than a teacher marking a fiendishly difficult maths test, we’ll be discussing just what is going on at Old Trafford, and why things don’t seem to quite be going to plan for David Moyes.

We’ll also be taking a look at the problem that faces 3 in 5 Premier League footballers within 5 years of their retirement: bankruptcy. How does it happen to stars who seem to be set for life, and what sort of support is in place for those who get into financial trouble? If our rambling on this isn’t enough, then you can also watch an excellent short documentary on the topic right here.

Then it’s off to Brazil, where the likes of Gilberto Silva have started to campaign for an improvement to players’ rights. As the domestic league seems to be in a state of stagnation, we’ll discussing the emergence of the Common Sense FC movement, and what it hopes to achieve in the country that will be hosting this year’s World Cup.

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Made in Brazil, by Eduardo Recife
"When I think what football means here in Brazil, I believe its more than a game. Its in us, in our nature. Most Brazilians are born with a passion for football and you can see this love everywhere we look at."
"The artwork expresses this idea of soccer being our own nature and even nature itself in Brazil expressing its love for the game." - Eduardo Recife, an artist, illustrator and type designer from Brazil
You can check out more of Eduardo’s work on his Instagram, Facebook Page and website. [Posted by Dom]

Made in Brazil, by Eduardo Recife

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Honest Reactions from the 2014 World Cup Draw

Putting managers and footballers near journalists is always done with the best of intentions, but in an era where news moves through the cosmos at an unbelievable pace, players and coaches stick to a fairly predictable script when responding to any type of question from the press.

Thankfully, neither group ever manages to hold their poker face; with a bit of research and plenty of imagination, those mundane quotes reveal a deeper meaning. Let’s take a look at what players and coaches said in the aftermath of Friday’s World Cup Draw, and what they actually meant to say.

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque

What he said: “We can’t say we were handed an easy draw. It’s a complicated group with tough sides. It’s going to be difficult.”

What he meant: “We were handed an easy draw. Every draw is easy when you’re Spain. I am happy we could avoid Switzerland this time around, but let’s talk again before the semifinals.”

Greece captain Giorgos Karagounis

What he said: “I don’t care how people describe our game or whether our style will be more defensive or offensive. We will play to make the last 16 and will fight for it as much as we can - you can be sure about that.”

What he meant: “Historically speaking, we’re much better at the Olympics than this, but we’re going to have fun fighting. I mean, playing football.”

United States defender DaMarcus Beasley

What he said: “I think [Portugal] have a lot of weapons. I don’t think they’re a one-man show.”

What he meant: “We’ll have to use all our weapons. If we want any sort of result against Portugal, we’re going to have to poison Cristiano Ronaldo. Even then, he might score 6. It’s a tough ask.”

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The World Cup Draw Survival Guide

With only hours until the World Cup draw that we’ve waited years for - the World Cup draw which will effectively decide your team’s fate next summer - we thought it was a decent idea to offer a few tips that could come in handy while you struggle to maintain your composure. We can’t make any promises, but if you follow these tips, we’re sure you’ll make it through at least the first hour of coverage. After that, it’s on you.

  • Expect to insult the unexpected (i.e. “Bosnia’s main export is leather? Haha, what are you, ….a…a…cow?”)
  • Expect a major period of emotional turmoil. Keep kleenex, a snuggie and your illicit Football Manager addiction nearby; use them generously: this draw is going to last 3 hours.
  • Prepare your pop culture references to maintain your sanity. Remember who the real enemy is.
  • If your nation is placed in a group of death, there will probably be good cultural cuisine involved. Be ready to eat your emotions.

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Capturing the power of the World Cup: AFR meets Martin Lotti, Creative Director of Nike Football

We attended the European launch of the 2014 Brazilian National Team Kit, where David Luiz spoke about his passion for Brazil and their iconic ‘Canarinho’ jersey. We wanted to know more about the Brazil shirt and how leading brands are preparing for the World Cup, so we caught up with Nike Football’s Creative Director Martin Lottia man behind a massive project.

AFR: The Brazil shirt is arguably Nike’s most iconic international jersey, so when designing the home kit for the World Cup host, what were the most important characteristics that couldn’t be lost, even when creating a new design?

Martin Lotti: We spent a lot of time traveling in Brazil, absorbing the culture, as well as meeting up with athletes. There were two very clear things that stood out the most: 1) the yellow (the colour of the shirt) and 2) the crest.

In fact, several footballers grabbed the crest and said “this what I’m fighting for. This is the heart and soul.”

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