Beyond the News

Sports weekend review: Humiliation in Rio de Janeiro, negligence in Silverstone


Brazil did with Spain what the European team did with its opponents in the last 8 years: humiliated them! 3 x 0 in the Maracanã Stadium yesterday led Brazil to its 4th Confederations Cup title. However, earlier in the day what happened in Silverstone was simply unacceptable! There was a show of tires burning out, and it did not happen on the way how we would like to see. Fasten your seatbelts; this is my sports weekend review!

Fred only scores when it is needed, yesterday he made it twice Photo: Danilo Borges/Portal da Copa

Fred only scores when it is needed, yesterday he made it twice Photo: Danilo Borges/Portal da Copa

Let’s start with the football lecture of Brazil over Spain yesterday night in Maracanã Stadium, Rio de Janeiro. It was already Monday morning here in Europe when the referee whistled the kick off, a fact that was a bit weird! Come on, we all know that Europe is the world’s football center and there would be a huge chance for a European team to be in this final. How can they schedule the game at 7pm local time? They could easily make it at 4pm, so in Europe would be 9pm and in Asia early morning, not bad! One size fits all!

However, it might have happened because on the same day Italy and Uruguay played the match for the 3rd place in Salvador, Bahia, a city in the north-east of Brazil where the coolest temperature in winter is rarely below 20⁰ Celsius, so it would be a martyrdom for them to handle a 90 minutes game (actually 120, plus over time, plus penalty shoot outs) in this condition. Anyway, I hope (and I am actually pretty sure) FIFA will review the time for the World Cup final next year.

The match itself was unbelievable. Brazil scored the first goal with just 2 minutes. Fred, the striker who only scores when it is needed, inaugurated the score board while lying on the grass inside the small box. In Brazil, Fred said to journalists after the game that he did “so many good things lying, but a goal was missing”. Recently, a video o Fred kissing an unknown girl on a motorbike in the middle of a traffic jam in Rio de Janeiro went viral. So, his above comments seem to make some sense…

At this point I said to myself (not many friends around to watch a game at 0 hour of Monday) that Brazil could be risking too much by scoring so early, what would potentially make the team to play more defensively, opening space for Spain to hold the ball and choose how to dominate the host nation. And that actually did not happen. The European and World champions were mistaking too many passes and could not put themselves together. That was really strange!

As a consequence, Fernando Torres, the striker of unnecessary goals, became too isolated in the front. The number 9 tried for a few times to retreat back for a bit, so he could receive the ball and organize the attack, but this is not his real game and did not play out. When the first half was about to finish 1 x 0 to Brazil, a whole in the Brazilian defense opened up and Pedro had one of those chances that cannot be missed in the final; however, David Luiz saved the draw pretty much on the line after Julio Cesar not managing to intercept the ball kicked by Barcelona’s striker. After the game, David Luiz said that it was a payback to Julio Cesar because in the semifinal he was responsible for a silly penalty against Uruguay which was saved by the keeper.

In the next minute, Neymar smartly positioned himself to avoid being in off-side position and received a perfect pass from Oscar. The new Barcelona star kicked without any benevolence and Iker Casillas had a taste of what he is about to face in the next “El Classico”. Brazil 2 x 0.

The second half started like the first, but this time Fred decided to use some class in order to extend the lead and made the Spanish team to have a feeling of what they have done with Italy in last year’s Euro Cup. And “La Furia” really got lost with the third goal. Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro etc run out of answers; they were that overwhelmed that Sergio Ramos managed to a miss a penalty. It was the “full stop” of this chapter, although there was some more time to spend in the field to hear “olé” from the crowd and see Julio Cesar saving couple of goals in style!

Moral of this story: Spain went to Brazil to live a holiday in the “Carnaval Country” and ended up having a strong hangover within the “Footbal Country”. However, the faces of Spanish players some minutes before the award ceremony were asking for vengeance in 2014. This cannot be missed!

Formula 1

In 2004 I was invited with other journalists to visit Pirelli’s factory in São Paulo, Brazil. It was part of company’s strategy to promote its products in the country; and I could witness the high standards which are followed to manufactures such tires. It made me wonder how it would be the process of producing “rubbers” for Formula 1.

At that moment, the F-1 was a “democratic” multiple tire race and Michelin was far the most successful supplier in the category. In 2011, FIA made Pireli the only tire option in F-1; a decision that became a huge headache this weekend in Silverstone. 4 drivers had their tires blowing up to the air during the race, including the local racer Lewis Hamilton who could easily step on the podium without this fail.

FIA already invited Pireli for a private talk. What will come up from this conversation we might or might not ever know, but I am absolutely sure that something like: “or you guys fix it or next year we will bring your competitors in” came up. Hopefully it will make a difference, because what happened yesterday was, at least, a huge negligence!

Eventually, the winner of British GP was Nico Rosberg, from Mercedez. His father (who was the champion of F-1 1982 season), must be now cracking a few more bottles of champagne after seen his son winning the second race in the year (the “boy” also made it in Monaco). Mark Weber, from Australia, came in second with his RedBull. It would be great to see him winning a race in his last season, but to be honest it is unlike to happen, especially now that Sebastien Vettel (132) is just 21 points ahead to Fernando Alonso (111), from Spain, who came in third with his Ferrari. The three times world champion left the race with a few laps to the end with a gear problem.

The next GP will be this coming weekend in Nürburgring, Germany!



 With Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer already back in the continent after been kicked out by unseeded players in the UK, the Wimbledon 2013 became an extend warm up section for Novak Djokovic. His next opponent is Tommy Haas, who is playing a fabulous tennis and hopefully will bring some difficulties for the world’s number 1. But, let’s be honest. Who would not be happy to see a final between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray this year? It is a possibility and it would shake Wimbledon!


Well, that is it for today, I will be back next Monday with some more sports review, hopefully talking about an epic tennis match in London!  


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