Posts Tagged ‘Spain’

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.

FIFA updates World Cup player rankings

FIFA updates World Cup player rankings

Central defenders Medel and Ponce come first and second respectively, while compatriots Isla and Jara appear in 14th and 17th. In a table dominated by defensive rocks, Chilean central midfielder Carlos Carmona joined his fellow Rojas despite picking up two yellow cards and therefore now missing the final group match against Spain.

The rankings’ indexing procedure assesses each player’s match contribution, measuring how much of an impact they have on their team’s ability to score or prevent a goal.

The system also awards points based on pass completions or interceptions, and the areas of the pitch and circumstances in which those passes were collected.

Defenders earn more points for successful tackles made closer to their own goal, but doing so carries the risk of giving away a well placed free kick or even a penalty.

Spain’s defensive stars Pique, Capdevila and Ramos are all included in the rankings, unsurprising given their capabilities at either end of the pitch, while Argentina’s versatile deMichelis and Heinze are joined by the only forward present, leading goalscorer Gonzalo Higuain.

FIFA World Cup Soccer South Africa 2010 Germany Uruguay Battle for Third Place Paul Oracle Octopus

FIFA World Cup Soccer South Africa 2010 Germany Uruguay Battle for Third Place Paul Oracle Octopus

This weekends world cup fixtures will showcase the tussle between Group A and D on Saturday and Group E and Group H on Sunday. Funny but true that it is the first (Group A) and last (Group D)group of the first four groups (ABCD) and the first (Group E) and last group (Group H) of the last four groups that will be playing. So that leaves us with Saturday Groups A, D, E, and H. Today I officially decree that SADEH is short for South African Destiny Enthrones Holland.

Miroslav Klose summed it up best when he said that winning as a team is more important than establishing personal records during the world cup competition. Paul the oracle Octopus has selected Spain to beat Germany. However, predicting a winner is different from being the winner. It will indeed be a hotly contested game on a cold winters night in the nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth. My gorgeous daughter will actually be attending the game; how I envy her context.

Never on a Sunday means that you have not made it to the final. The fact that Germany and Uruguay will be playing on Saturday does not mean that the game is of lesser value; just that it is the playoff for third and fourth place. I sincerely hope that that known villain and soccer handballer will not play in this game. He does not deserve a spot on the team. I think Uruguay will be better off without him.

Uruguay from Group A, drew with France, beat South Africa and Mexico, beat Korea and Ghana beat Ghana, was beaten by the Netherlands and so Uruguay plays on Saturday against Germany. Germany from Group D lost to Serbia, beat Australia and Ghana and lost to Spain and so Germany plays on Saturday against Uruguay.

It will indeed be a sad game as the nostalgia will finally dim. Folks will realize that all good things have to end. All the hype, all the rush, all the adrenalin, all the tension twill soon be over for the next four years. I would like to wish Brazil well as they prepare to host the next world cup in 2014. I am sure that they will take many lessons learned from us fun South Africans.

And then we turn our attention to Sunday. Wesley Sneijder says Holland from Group E must win against Spain from Group H because he wants his team to win. The form guide would indicate that Holland is the only unbeaten team to play this weekend. Right now I am more focused on the closing ceremony because my nerves just cannot take it anymore. I have no nails left and that includes toe nails.

No matter what you say, think or do with your vuvuzela, the giant vuvuzela on the unfinished highway in Cape Town has been certified by officials of Guinness as the biggest horn in the world. Some say the noise is a nuisance, others say it disturbs the birds others say it is just black noise.