Posts Tagged ‘Sao Paulo’

Brazil’s FIFA World Cup Squad Worth ‘Half a Billion’

Brazil’s FIFA World Cup Squad Worth ‘Half a Billion’

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Brazil’s 23 strong World Cup squad is worth an estimated half a billion euros, Brazilian financial daily Valor reported Thursday, a day after Luiz Felipe Scolari named his list.

According to a calculation by Pluri Consultoria consultants, the squad, led by Barcelona superstar Neymar, is worth 514.23 millions euros.

A pre announcement in April estimated had valued the potential squad at 470.2 million behind reigning world champions Spain (486.9 million) and Argentina (474.1 million).

The April estimates made Argentina and Barcelona star Lionel Messi the most expensive player for the June 12 July 13 tournament starting with a price tag of 138.1 million euros ahead of 107.3 million for Portugal and Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo.

Taking estimated marketing pulling power into account, Neymar himself was only given a value of 67.4 million euros ahead of Germany and Bayern Munich forward Mario Goetze (59.7 million).

The Brazilian media, meanwhile, pored over Scolari’s choices which contained no major surprises, as he had been expected to leave out former world players of the year, Kaka and Ronaldinho.

Milan’s Robinho also failed to make the group. “Felipao opted for a family with ambition,” was the front page headline from Estado de Sao Paulo while Folha de Sao Paulo greeted “the new family” one containing only six players with previous World Cup experience.

Even so, the average age is 28.4 years old compared with 26.7 when a side coached by Scolari and inspired by Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho lifted the 2002 trophy in Japan.

In addition, the team is unlikely to be very different from the one which has already tasted tournament success on home soil, at last year’s Confederation’s Cup, when a tired Spain were sent packing in the final.

Folha de Sao Paulo noted the squad’s relative lack of World Cup experience was unparalleled since that of the 1950 side, which lost the trophy match in Rio to Uruguay.

But the paper picked up on Scolari’s insistence that “these youngsters have more ambition” than 30 somethings who have passed their peak.

“Green but with hunger,” was Folha’s judgment. The squad can also point to experience aplenty at club level with league titles earned in 11 countries assuming Fernandinho can complete the job on Sunday with Manchester City.

Whereas in 2002 when more than half the squad was home based, only four of the 2014 vintage play club football in Brazil strikers Fred and Jo and reserve goalkeepers Jefferson and Vitor.

Back then, as Brazil made it five tournament wins by winning the first Cup to be hosted in Asia, Corinthians and Sao Paulo provided the most players to the squad with three each.

This time, Chelsea supply four, the biggest single contingent in the shape of David Luiz, Oscar, Willian and Ramires.

Much has been made of whether European sides will be able to adapt to the heat despite this being the Brazilian ‘winter’ of some venues such as Manaus in the Amazon region and where England will start their campaign against Italy.

But the Brazil squad can point to their huge experience gained in winning club titles at all points of the European compass from Spain and Portugal, via England, Germany and Belgium to Russia and Ukraine.

Sao Paulo to host opening 2014 FIFA World Cup match even though stadium has yet to be built

Sao Paulo to host opening 2014 FIFA World Cup match even though stadium has yet to be built

‘We can say that, without question, we will have the World Cup opening match in Sao Paulo, in Itaquera, in the stadium of Corinthians,’ Kassab said.

The Sao Paulo venue is the biggest of many headaches facing the 2014 World Cup hosts where initial worries about crumbling infrastructure and rampant crime have been exacerbated by delays in the building or reconstruction of stadiums.

Sao Paulo initially planned to use the Morumbi stadium until the arena was barred by FIFA and local organisers over a lack of financial guarantees for the necessary rebuilding.

Kassab met with Brazil President Dilma Rousseff and state governor Geraldo Alckman on Friday to discuss the matter.

‘The president invited the mayor and governor to this meeting because her perception is that Sao Paulo is the city which must have the opening match, thanks to its infrastructure, hotels and the quality of its services,’ said sports minister Orlando Silva.

World class: Luis Fabiano and Kaka (left) hoping to give the host nation something to celebrate in 2014

The stadium will be situated in the east of the sprawling city, several kilometres from the centre.

Corinthians, one of Brazil’s biggest and most popular clubs, had planned to built the stadium with a capacity of 48,000, while FIFA require a minimum of 65,000 for the opening match.

Negotiations are taking place over who will pay for the building of the extra 17,000 seats.

Brazil was elected unopposed in 2007 to host the tournament which was earmarked for South America by FIFA under a short lived rotation system which also brought last year’s World Cup to Africa.

Brazil is due to stage the tournament in 12 cities despite the difficulties of moving around the vast country.

Last November, sports minister Silva said that the country’s outdated and overcrowded airports were the biggest risk to the event’s success and that not enough was being done to improve them.

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SIR CLIVE WOODWARD: Jonny Wilkinson was an obsessive who had to be the best throughout his glorious career

MARTIN KEOWN: Ryan Giggs was bloody minded, brilliant and a true man of steel. But I still should have stopped him scoring THAT goal!

DEREK LAWRENSON: Miguel Angel Jimenez’s run in to Wentworth is the ultimate middle aged fantasy. who would dare argue 50 is not the new 30?

MARTIN SAMUEL: Richard Scudamore has been an ass, but this witch hunt is ridiculous

MAD DOG ON MONDAY: Arsenal need a world class central midfielder and striker to turn FA Cup success into league glory. not Mathieu Flamini and Olivier Giroud

GRAHAM HUNTER’S EUROVIEW: Real Madrid legend Iker Casillas has a special relationship with the European Cup. Atletico, you have been warned

ROB SHEPHERD’S FOOTBALL GRAPEVINE: Luis Suarez set to spark war between Real Madrid and Barcelona

JAMIE CARRAGHER: Ghosts of Arsenal’s Wembley past could haunt them

JONATHAN McEVOY: Nico Rosberg is not being treated as a second class citizen by Mercedes. but he is driving like one

PAUL NEWMAN’S WORLD OF CRICKET: James Foster’s last Test was in 2002 but Peter Moores should have no qualms in throwing 34 year old the England gloves

ASH WEDNESDAY: Diego Costa can lift curse of the Chelsea striker. Atletico Madrid star has proved he is tough, deadly in the box and has no fear

JAMIE REDKNAPP: John Terry, Luis Suarez, Yaya Toure and David Marshall make my Premier League team of the year. but who is my top boss?

DEREK LAWRENSON: Martin Kaymer leads the way for return of Medinah heroes after victory at the Players Championship

DURHAM DOSSIER: Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel are not world class. Vincent Kompany is and that’s why Manchester City not Liverpool won title

Why The FIFA 2014 World Cup Finals Will Be Unique And Very Unfair

Why The FIFA 2014 World Cup Finals Will Be Unique And Very Unfair

Brazil’s state of readiness to host the 2014 World Cup Finals continues to be a concern in fact an escalating one. This past summer there were demonstrations during the test event that was the Confederations Cup and there are indications that demonstrators will back in greater numbers and perhaps more emboldened when the eyes of the world are focused on Brazil next next June.

Stadia builds are far from complete and it is certain that the deadline set by FIFA of December 31 will not be met by all twelve venues spread across the country. And there was even worse news last week as two workers were killed when a crane toppled at the Sao Paulo stadium, the site for the opening game.

Nonetheless, this coming Friday 32 countries will find out who they will play and where they will play next June and July. The draw for the World Cup Finals will be conducted in the coastal resort of Costa do Sauipe in the state of Bahia at 13:00 local time, 11:00 EST.

The group draw will place four countries in one of eight groups with the top two finishers moving onto a knock out competition that will conclude with the final being played in Rio de Janeiro on July 13. Prior to the draw each country will be placed in one of four pots.

We already know who will be in pot one Spain, Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, Uruguay, Switzerland and host nation Brazil. In fact, the host nation has already been placed in Group A and placed in position A1 and will play the opening game of the tournament in Sao Paulo on June 12.

The other three pots will be announced December 3 but it is almost certain that they will come out looking like this:

Pot 2 Japan, Iran, South Korea, Australia, USA, Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras

Pot 3 Chile, Ecuador, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Algeria, Nigeria, Cameroon, France.

Pot 4 Netherlands, Italy, England, Portugal, Greece, Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Russia

This means that the USA might be drawn in a group with say Germany (pot 1), Chile (pot 3) and Russia (pot 4). However, the USA cannot be drawn against any of the other countries in pot 2 such as Mexico, Honduras and Costa Rica.

One other key principle that impacts the draw is that there cannot be more than two European countries in one group.

With Brazil already placed, the draw will first assign each of the pot 1 countries into the remaining groups B through H.

For pots 2, 3 and 4 the draw procedure will move from group A through group H with a country drawn from the appropriate pot followed by another drawn number which will indicate its placement in each group that will be 2, 3 or 4. That number dictates the fixture schedule for each group.

And this is where things will change for the worst.

Knowing that each group consists of a round robin, the fixture order is usually well down the list of factors that pundits consider when pontificating on the countries most likely to move to the round of 16. But this time around the position could be incredibly important.

An article by Tim Vickery in the December edition of World Soccer points out that these World Cup Finals are like no other in that logistics and geography may play a significant role in who is crowned World Champion next summer.

Normally at World Cup Finals group play is based in various regions of the host country. This reduces the travel and wear and tear on the teams and it also makes it a lot easier for fans to pitch “base camp” and to follow their respective countries through the initial stage at least.