Former Brazil World Cup captain Bellini dies at 83


Hilderaldo Bellini, Brazil's captain after they won their first World Cup in 1958, died on Thursday from complications following a heart attack. He was eighty three.

VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty PicturesBellini started the observe of lifting trophies over one's head. A statue in Rio de Janeiro now features his pose from the 1958 World Cup.

The Hospital 9 de Julho confirmed Bellini's death in an announcement.

The central defender turned extensively known for being the primary captain to raise the World Cup trophy above his head as a symbol of triumph. The gesture became immortalised with a statue of Bellini in front of Maracana Stadium.

He had a heart attack on Tuesday and had been hospitalised since then. Native media said he had additionally been affected by Alzheimer's.

Bellini also received the 1962 World Cup and appeared in the 1966 match. He played for Brazilian golf equipment Vasco da Gama, Sao Paulo and Atletico Paranaense.

Read The Original Article

Season 3 of ‘TUF: Brazil’ to Debut March 9 Exclusively on UFC Fight Pass

Can’t get enough Chael Sonnen? Higher pony up for UFC FightPass.


In case you don’t have a subscription to UFC Struggle Go, you will not beable to see the feud between rival coaches Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva

on Season three of “The Ulltimate Fighter: Brazil.”

The UFC announced on Monday that the truth present will air on thepromotion’s lately launched digital service starting on March 9.“TUF: Brazil three” will probably be available on demand for Struggle Passsubscribers each Sunday at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. The free trialperiod for Fight Go ends on Feb. 28; subscriptions can bepurchased for $9.ninety nine per thirty days after that. Fight Move may also havea behind-the-scenes function that includes regular updates fromSonnen.

Filming is already in progress for “TUF: Brazil 3,” which featuresmiddleweights and heavyweights vying for a six-figure UFC contract.The principle attraction for many viewers, however, would be the growinganimosity between coaches Sonnen and Silva, who will battle at alater date.

Apparently issues are already escalating between the futurecombatants. UFC President Dana White recently revealed that afight broke out betweenSonnen and Silva in Brazil, with one in every of Silva’s coachespunching Sonnen in the course of the skirmish.

Read The Original Article

Dozens arrested in new Brazil protests



Masked protesters make their feelings know in Sao Paulo. Approximately 2, 500 people marched through Sao Paulo holding banners and chanting “There will be no Cup, ” while some celebrations arranged to mark the city’s 460th birthday had to be cancelled.

"We are contrary to the millions and millions of dollars being spent for the Cup, " university student Leonardo Pelegrini dos Santos told the Associated Press news agency.


"It is money that ought to be invested in better health and education services and better transportation and housing. "


Fifteen people were also reportedly arrested in another host city, Natal, though elsewhere there were more peaceful protests – including in Rio de Janeiro, where the World Cup final will take put on July 13.


Brazil creates special riot force for World Cup

SAO PAULO – Officials in Brazil have created a particular “riot pressure” to assist police management the demonstrations expected to be staged through the World Cup later this year.

Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty PhotographsBrazil is making a riot power for the World Cup.

Colonel Alexandre Augusto Aragon, who heads the country’s National Safety Pressure, instructed the G1 Web portal that 10,000 riot troops selected from state police forces all through Brazil will be deployed in the 12 cities internet hosting World Cup matches between June 12 and July thirteen.

Violent road demonstrations broke out through the Confederations Cup in Brazil last June, with hundreds protesting against issues together with corruption and poor public services.

The Black Bloc anarchist movement has introduced plans for demonstrations through the World Cup, starting at the opening match in Sao Paulo.

Read The Original Article


Shooto Brazil Books Man Versus Woman for Friday’s Event in Rio de Janeiro


Should women and men be capable to combat each other in sanctionedMMA competition? |


Shooto Brazil recently introduced that a bantamweight contestbetween a man and a lady is slated for Friday’s event in Rio deJaneiro.

Shooto Brazil’swebsite Tuesday brought information of the planned bout, which willpit one-struggle veteran EmersonFalcao against pro debutant Juliana Velasquez. Nevertheless, Falcaoposted a message on his Fb web page indicating that an injurywould stop him competing till subsequent yr, so it is currentlyunclear if the fight will truly move forward. attempted to contact the Brazilian MMA AthleticCommission for remark, but CABMMA officers couldn’t beimmediately reached.

ShootoBrazil forty five takes place Dec. 20 from the Miecimo da Silva SportsComplex and is headlined by a rematch between Lincoln da Sa andAlexandrePantoja Passidomo.

Falcao made his lone MMA look this past April, because the NovaUniao rep was submitted with a rear-naked choke at Upper SportCombat 2 in 3:34.

Read The Original Article


Tottenham keeper Heurelho Gomes is weighing up offers from two clubs in Brazil

Heurelho Gomes: Considering two offers from Brazil

Heurelho Gomes: Contemplating two affords from Brazil

£5 free every week

Forgotten Tottenham goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes has been quoted by Sambafoot as claiming he has two presents from golf equipment in Brazil and that he is free to depart White Hart Lane this January.

Gomes has discovered himself watching from the sidelines at Tottenham for the previous two seasons with Hugo Lloris and Brad Friedel forward of him in the goalkeeping pecking order.

The 32-yr-outdated, who sees his contract expire in the summer of 2014, is eager to stop Tottenham as he seems to kick-begin his career once more and he feels he still has lots to offer despite not playing much football within the final two years.

Gomes enjoyed a loan spell at Hoffenheim final January before the move was minimize quick by injury and the former PSV Eindhoven stopper claims Tottenham blocked him from joining the German membership on a everlasting basis.

"Sure, I've two gives from Brazil. I've negotiated with Tottenham to go totally free, so the possibility is high that I'll find my house country," Gomes told Sambafoot.

"I'm 32, I feel good, it is at this age that the career of a goalkeeper actually begins. If I find the competition in January, I still assume my probabilities for World Cup 2014 are high.

"I typically tried to depart Tottenham, but they've all the time kept from me going.

"I had several proposals but they were inadequate for the membership. It's very complicated. They need to get better the €10million (£eight.2m) they invested in me five years in the past. It is not doable.

"I was able to go to Germany (Hoffenheim). Hoffenheim needed to buy me completely but Tottenham blocked the transfer for monetary questions. I always tried to go away, but Tottenham has never helped me."

Gomes admits his state of affairs at Tottenham has not improved below Andre Villas-Boas after blaming former boss Harry Redknapp for freezing him out of the primary-group picture.

"Very little has modified," added Gomes. "I had few opportunities with him.

"When the coach modifications, you suppose positive things will occur to you. It has not been the case.

"The truth that he speaks Portuguese did not change something for me. He couldn't help me anymore, I remorse it.

"I'm part of the club's history. When we played the quarter-finals of the Champions League, I used to be the goalkeeper. In two years since, I have hardly performed."

Read The Original Article


World Cup: Field of 32 set after Uruguay tie Jordan to seal place in Brazil

Photo Credit score:

Two years and 159 days after the opening whistle of qualifying, the 2014 World Cup discipline is set.

Uruguay grew to become the 32nd and ultimate workforce from a group of 203 entrants to e book their place in Brazil next summer time after they battled Jordan to a 0-zero attract Montevideo’s Estadio Centenario, advancing comfortably thanks to a 5-zero win in the first leg of the 2 nations’ qualifying playoff.

Attention will now turn to the draw for the match, which is to be carried out on Dec. 6 in Brazil. The 32 teams will be divided into 4 pots of eight teams every for the draw, with hosts Brazil and the next seven highest-ranked sides within the October 2013 FIFA World Rankings being given the highest seeds in Pot 1 and the rest being divided up by geographical criteria to be determined.

Past World Cup pots have been designed to prevent groups from the same confederation (aside from Europe, which will ship 13 teams to the 2014 event) from dealing with one another within the group stage.

The eight seeded teams will probably be: Brazil, Spain, Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, Uruguay and Switzerland.

The full list of qualifiers, by confederation, is as follows:

Africa (CAF) Asia (AFC) Europe (UEFA) North America (CONCACAF) South America (CONMEBOL)
Côte d’Ivoire
South Korea

United States
Costa Rica

Bosnia and Herzegovina would be the solely nation to make their World Cup debut in subsequent summer time’s tournament.

In complete, 816 video games have been played in qualification tournaments across the globe. There was a three-means tie at the top of the World Cup qualifying scoring charts, with Uruguay’s Luis Suárez, the Netherlands’ Robin van Persie and Belize’s Deon McCauley all tallying 11 goals over the course of qualifying.

Read The Original Article


Soccer-Australia voices concerns over Brazil World Cup security


SYDNEY, Nov 12 (Reuters) – Australia have issues over security at next 12 months’s World Cup finals in Brazil because of the civil unrest in the South American nation, Football Federation Australia chief David Gallop mentioned on Tuesday.

Thousands and thousands of individuals took to the streets of Brazil in June to protest in opposition to a rise in bus fares and a scarcity of investment in public providers with FIFA’s Confederations Cup event changing into a spotlight of violent demonstrations.

Smaller protests have continued in some cities since and the 7.6 billion Brazilian reals ($three.26 billion) being spent on 12 World Cup venues has been the goal of specific anger.

Australian officers received a style of what would possibly confront them next yr when police used tear gasoline and rubber bullets to disperse protesters before the Socceroos lost 6-0 to Brazil in a pleasant Brasilia in September.

“There clearly are some issues and that’s why we have already retained native people to help us plan for that,” Gallop advised Australian Related Press on Tuesday.

“We’re already nicely superior with our planning around the event.

“We have engaged native individuals in Brazil in addition to our personal employees who have been by way of World Cups earlier than.

“It is definitely going to throw up some challenges and we have to ensure that things are run as smoothly from our end as attainable.”

Australia qualified for a 3rd successive look at the World Cup finals in June. ($1 = 2.3284 Brazilian reals) (Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, enhancing by Patrick Johnston)

Read The Original Article


Brazilian footballer’s Beheaded in rio de janeiro


Sao Paulo, Brazil (CNN) – João Rodrigo Silva Santos didn’t come home Monday night.

When the former professional footballer’s wife opened the door on her way to work the next morning, she found his severed head on their front step.

The head was inside a backpack, police said. Santos’ eyes and tongue had been gouged out, according to Brazilian media reports.

Player stabbed, referee dismembered over soccer quarrel in Brazil

Now police in Rio de Janeiro are investigating the grisly killing, though they haven’t said who they believe is behind it.

Santos, 35, was a forward for a number of mostly second-tier Rio de Janeiro football teams before retiring and opening a health foods store.

His death comes at a time when football fans worldwide are shifting their focus toward Brazil, which will host the World Cup in 2014.

Late last year, the country announced it was pumping $900 million dollars into its security budget to make the competition “one of the most protected sports events in history.”

World football’s ruling body FIFA had expressed concern about Brazil’s increasing crime rate, particularly in Sao Paulo.

One police official told Brazil’s O Globo newspaper that authorities are investigating whether a recent post on the store’s Facebook page could be connected to the crime. The post showed surveillance footage and asked for help catching shoplifters.

Police plan to compare the images to surveillance footage taken at the shop Monday night, chief homicide investigator Rafael Rangel told the newspaper.

The former football player was last seen Monday night, when two suspects entered his vehicle, CNN affiliate TV Record reported.

On Wednesday morning, police said they found parts of a man’s body in a river outside the city and were testing the DNA to see whether the remains belong to Santos, TV Record said.

Authorities have interviewed 10 witnesses so far in the case, police said.

According to local media, Santos’ wife, Geisa Silva, worked for the police in one of Rio’s shantytowns, but as a social worker giving swimming lessons to children, not as a policewoman.

She told investigators she did not know of any threats made against her husband, according to TV Record.

Some of Santos’ relatives and neighbors told O Globo that he didn’t have any enemies and said they didn’t know what could have motivated the attack.

Brazil boosts World Cup security budget as crime rises

Santos started his football career when he was 16 years old, and played for several Brazilian club teams. He played for the Bangu club team from 1996 to 2005, according to a biography on the club’s unofficial website.

In 1998, he played for Honduras’ Olimpia club. And in 2003 he played for Sweden’s Oster club, the website says.

The website calls Santos a “humble hero,” describing how goals he scored brought victory to another club team he joined.

According to the football news site, Santos left the field earlier this year to focus on his business.

The site reported that club players in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday honored Santos with a minute of silence.

CNN’s Shasta Darlington reported from Sao Paulo. CNN’s Catherine E. Shoichet reported from Atlanta. CNN’s Kevin Gallagher contributed to this report.

Read The Original Article


Zlatan Ibrahimovic warns Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of World Cup qualifying playoff


Hiya, Cristiano. I’m Zlatan — the cloud of pain that now hovers over you.

I must admit that the World Cup playoff draw was unfortunate. I do know that many individuals don’t like you, but I by no means felt that means. I’ve always seen you as a weaker, lavender scented model of Zlatan. A flattering Zlimitator. We each score goals at will and our presents are unappreciated in Barcelona. You’ve got boots with stars on them, I’ve boots full of ft that are more highly effective than the sun. After all, I’m higher trying, have higher hair and I’m way more skilled in deadly martial arts than you, but all of this offers you one thing to aspire to. You are welcome.

Since there will not be eleven Zlatans taking part in for Sweden, I cannot assure you will lose. What I can assure is that it’s in your finest interest to do so. Sweden did not qualify for the 2010 World Cup. This was deeply unZlatisfactory to me. If it happens again, I can be pressured to seek vengeance in ways that can make you wish you had been attending an awards ceremony the place Lionel Messi beats you in each category while your abs slowly morph right into a beer stomach. This is not a risk. Zlatan doesn’t make threats. I make predictions that happen.

The World Cup needs Zlatan. Who else could do a backheel so Zlectacular that it makes the FIFA executives heads explode like Mario Balotelli’s bathroom and convinces all of Brazil that internet hosting the event wasn’t such a waste of cash in any case? Who else would put Xavi in a cat provider and ship him to Tahiti when he decides to be the Goldilocks of groundskeeping and complains about a pitch being too dry or too moist for Spain? Who else would provide Pep Guardiola with an all bills paid journey to Brazil to watch the match just to make him sit between Pele and Maradona whereas they bicker endlessly about whether Justin Bieber is healthier than One Course? The answer is no one Zlelse.

I would want you good luck, Cristiano, however after reading all of this you shouldn’t need it. For those who suppose Pepe can protect you from the wrath of Zlatan, then you may be mistaken and he will be crying.

Maybe when that is throughout we will be pals. I can show you the best way to kick Gareth Bale within the head and the way not to tweet about boys underwear competitions. That’s how Zlamicable I could be.

Till then, I’ll see you on the pitch and you will note me in your nightmares.

Flamingo dream kick!
Betfred Football

Read The Original Article


Friendlies to test Brazil 2014 hopefuls

It has been a protracted marketing campaign, but two vital events still stay on the soccer calendar: the final round of 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil qualifying matches of the season on 7 June and the FIFA Confederations Cup, which runs from 15 to 30 June, additionally staged in Brazil.

So as to prepare for these challenges and to run the rule over their squads, the coaches involved will embark on plenty of pleasant matches between 28 Might and 9 June. takes a more in-depth look at these international duels.

The big match 
Brazil-England, 2 June, Estadio do Maracana, Rio de Janeiro
Luiz Felipe Scolari is fast operating out of time in his mission to reinvigorate the Brazilian national crew. Practically four months after his first match in charge, a 2-1 defeat by England at Wembley, he’s doubtless to use the ‘return’ match at the Maracana with a view to acquire some revenge, present the Verde e Amarelo with a confidence increase, make an initial assessment of the progress so far and try to get an thought of his starting XI for the FIFA Confederations Cup.

There are eleven players in Scolari’s squad who ply their commerce within the Brazilian League, including four – all in their early 20s – who have not yet worn the colours of a foreign membership: Bernard (Atletico Mineiro), Fernando (Gremio), Leandro Damiao (Internacional) and Neymar (Santos), Barcelona’s latest recruit.

The opposite video games 
Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque will take all of the gamers chosen for the FIFA Confederations Cup to Miami. During La Roja’s penultimate warm-up match against Haiti, he intends to rotate his squad in order to offer a break to sure Actual Madrid and Barcelona stars, who normally make up three quarters of the crew.

Didier Deschamps, in the meantime, whose France aspect will serve as a sparring accomplice for Uruguay and Brazil, is constant his quest to reduce the common age of his side. Consequently, he has handed first-time call-ups to a few 22-year-olds, namely Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala, Josuha Guilavogui, who is coming off the again of a superb season with Saint-Etienne, and Lyon forward Alexandre Lacazette, a former youth worldwide.

Lastly, Belgium have travelled to the United States, to the sports activities centre at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, to arrange for his or her FIFA World Cup qualifying match towards Serbia on 7 June. After every week of training, Les Diables Rouges will test themselves towards the United States, for whom iconic attacker Landon Donovan – left out by Jurgen Klinsmann with Brazil 2014 qualifiers versus Jamaica, Panama and Honduras in mind – is not going to feature.

The stat
1 – Since taking over at the helm of Brazil on 29 November, every week after they suffered a 2-1 reverse in Argentina, Luiz Scolari’s record makes for disappointing reading: one victory, three attracts and one loss.

What they stated
“In my opinion, a multi-ethnic Italy is the long run. These players convey us something further, they enhance our stage they usually enable us to see issues from a unique approach,” Italy coach Cesare Prandelli, referring to Mario Balotelli and Stephan El Shaarawy.

Have your say
Ideally, who should begin up front for Brazil?

Read The Original Article


Sepp Blatter says protests could make blameless FIFA question Brazil as World Cup host


FIFA president Teflon Sepp Blatter has pointed a hypocritical finger squarely at the Brazilian government as he addressed the 2014 World Cup host nation’s civil unrest that his organization helped trigger. From the beginning of this summer’s Confederations Cup, outrage over the cost of two FIFA tournaments combined with mounting anger over government corruption led to massive protests throughout Brazil spanning the entirety of the competition. Though many of these protests took place in and around the stadiums FIFA occupied, Blatter is maintaing his usual complete lack of awareness on the matter.

From the AP:

“If this happens again, we have to question whether we made the wrong decision awarding the hosting rights,” Blatter told German press agency DPA on Wednesday.

FIFA spoke with the Brazilian government after the Confederations Cup, and Blatter said he’ll discuss the issue again with Brazil President Dilma Rousseff in September.

“We didn’t do a political debriefing, but we did emphasize the fact of this social unrest being there for the entire duration of the Confederations Cup,” he said. “The government is now aware that next year the World Cup shouldn’t be disturbed.”

Heaven forbid anything disrupt FIFA’s host-nation funded corporate cash-grab. I mean, we need to have priorities here. Forget the vital social and economic issues that affect an entire nation. FIFA’s traveling circus — incapable of any wrongdoing — comes first.

“It’s not we who have to learn lessons from the protests in Brazil – politics in Brazil have to do that,” said Blatter, adding that “FIFA cannot be held responsible” for social problems in the country.

Nevermind the fact that FIFA’s uncompromising demands for expensive stadium and infrastructure improvements have been a drain on national economies around the world, leaving white elephants in their wake. Or that their demands for a sanitized atmosphere have led to the destruction of poor neighborhoods and forceful eviction residents in both South Africa and Brazil.

Though governments should be able to refuse FIFA’s requirements, to say that “FIFA cannot be held responsible” for the situations they demand being carried out is, well, exactly what we’ve come to expect from an organization that has grown accustomed to doing whatever it pleases wherever it pleases.


20 percent of babies born in Bolivian city are named after Neymar


Confederations Cup Golden Ball winner Neymar is only 21 years old, but he’s already one of the few South American footballers capable of making people faint just by looking at him and with his impending arrival in Barcelona, that influence over the consciousness of fans could soon extend to other continents. In the fleeting moments when people are not knocked out cold by his existence, they are apparently busy naming their children after him in large numbers — a phenomenon that has already extended beyond his native Brazil and to the Bolivian city of La Paz.

From Sambafoot:

According to local paper La Razon, two out of every ten babies have been named after the Seleção star.

And they estimate that this trend will only increase with the majority of men in La Paz named after the Brazilian.

“We believe that in 17 years most adult males will be called Neymar because that is the current trend,” civil registry office representative Remigio Condori stated. “It is the name in fashion right now.”

Keep in mind that even Neymar himself didn’t name his son Neymar (he opted for Davi Lucca).

Of course, if Brazil’s leading scorer at the Confederations Cup repeats that feat at next year’s World Cup while Neymar fails to keep living up to his impossibly high expectations, half of Japan could be named Fred in two decades.


Neymar doesn’t want anyone getting too worked up about Brazil beating Spain


Brazil capped off an impressive run of performances in their first turn as Confederations Cup hosts by beating Spain 3-0 to win the tournament for the third time in a row and fifth overall. Though Confederations Cup titles have become a regularity for Brazil never before given much praise, the fact that this one ended with a comprehensive victory over SPAIN!!! — the World Cup and back to back European Championship winners riding a 29-match unbeaten streak in competitive matches — seems to have made this one different.

Before the match even ended, eulogies for Spain possession-heavy style of play were already being written while others were prepared to give Brazil their sixth World Cup title a year early. But after the match, Neymar — the 21-year-old who won the tournament’s Golden Ball and Bronze Boot — advised everyone to hold the phone. From Reuters:

“Lets keep calm, let’s keep our feet on the ground,” he said as Brazil emerged as serious contenders to win the World Cup on home soil in a year’s time. “We did very well and we are on the right track.

“We needed this time to train, we get to know each other and to work together and we are much better than we were. We won the title and that was a great end to a great tournament.”

As always, snap judgements lacking any perspective beyond the previous 90 minutes are inevitable and, more often then not, fairly wrong. This result is definitely an encouraging one for Brazil. It showed the brilliance Neymar is capable of and proved that their home advantage is undeniable (even, or perhaps especially, in the midst of nationwide protests against the government and FIFA). But they still have never followed up a Confederations Cup win with a World Cup win.

Form can change a lot over 12 months and having something to prove can degenerate into overconfidence faster than you can say “quarterfinal exit.” Plus, crown jewel Neymar is about to move from his loving homeland to Barcelona and he’s doing it with a €57 million price tag on his head.

Meanwhile, Spain could’ve also lost to Italy in the semifinal. But the last time they failed to win the Confederations Cup, they went on to win the World Cup and a second European Championship. That semifinal loss to the USA (who went on to lose to Brazil in the final) in 2009 snapped an even longer unbeaten streak for them (35 matches) and they then went on to lose to Switzerland in their first match of the 2010 World Cup. As we soon learned, it was hardly the end of tiki-taka.

Whether the Confederations Cup proves to be a glimpse of a new era, a blip in current trends or a completely irrelevant cash grab for FIFA isn’t something we can predict at this point. So let’s just admire Neymar’s collection of souvenirs and hope the Spanish government doesn’t make him disappear when he reports to Barcelona in a few weeks.



Sepp Blatter pledges $100M to Brazil

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — FIFA President Sepp Blatter responded Friday to criticism of the cost of staging the World Cup in Brazil by pledging to give at least $100 million from profits back to the country.

Soccer’s governing body gave South Africa $100 million to invest in development projects following the 2010 World Cup, but had not previously said it would establish a similar ”social fund” after the 2014 tournament to Brazil.

The Confederations Cup, a World Cup warmup event, has been marred by protesters denouncing billions of dollars spent to host the World Cup – money some say should be going toward improving public services.

”We have left a legacy (in South Africa), a special fund of $100 million, this fund is controlled by the Football (Association) of (South) Africa, the government of South Africa and FIFA,” Blatter said during a news conference. ”I am sure an amount like that, or even higher, will be possible to have here… The aim from FIFA is not to take profit out of the country, but to put into the country.”

Blatter said he can ”understand this social unrest” in Brazil while the tournament has been taking place.

The demonstrations took off earlier this month over a 10-cent hike in bus and subway fare in Sao Paulo and morphed into a mass, nationwide movement voicing public dissatisfaction with a range of issues such as government corruption, poor education, health care and spending on the World Cup.

The government is projecting that $13.3 billion will be spent on stadiums, airport renovations and other projects for the World Cup, with an estimated $3.5 billion on the 12 venues.

As violence escalated in the streets near to Confederations Cup matches, with protesters clashing with police, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said her government would start to invest in projects the public had been demanding.

”They have promised to change – this is not our problem, this is a political problem, but something will be changed,” Blatter said. ”Then the World Cup will have this platform when finally this can be delivered. It’s all a question of patience and a question of trust and confidence.”

Blatter also expressed ”trust and confidence” in how the authorities coped with ”some uncomfortable situations we have witnessed” during the Confederations Cup, declining to comment on the police firing tear gas and rubber bullets at some protesters.

Blatter, though, expects soccer to help unite the nation, and Brazil will lift the Confederations Cup on Sunday if it can beat reigning world and European champion Spain.

”Hope is one of the elements of football.. we play football nowadays in all perturbed countries in all the world,” Blatter said. ”And not only in the perturbed countries where there are many (security) situations, like in Syria or in Afghanistan where we play football, but also (where) there is some social unrest.

”Look at European countries, there is social unrest – there are demonstrations in Portugal, France, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Greece.”

The extent of the public anger was clear to Blatter at the opening match of the Confederations Cup between Brazil and Japan, with fans loudly jeered him and Rousseff.

Blatter said he did not know if the president would attend Sunday’s final at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, and the Brazilian government told The Associated Press: ”We do not have that information.”


Neymar blows kiss to Uruguayan player before setting up late winner for Brazil

For the first time in this Confederations Cup, Neymar went a whole match without scoring a goal in Brazil’s 2-1 semifinal win against Uruguay. But he did put his mark on the game by setting up Paulinho’s 86th minute winner and taunting Uruguay’s Alvaro Gonzalez shortly before he did it.

With the score at 1-1, Neymar was preparing to take the corner kick as Gonzalez — who had been receiving pitchside treatment for an injury — offered a few choice words while walking around him towards the benches. Gonzalez had been subbed off and Neymar responded to his jabbering by mockingly blowing him a kiss goodbye. Then, with another corner kick minutes later, Neymar dropped a well-placed corner kick onto Paulinho’s head for the goal that would put Brazil back in the Confederations Cup final.

Something tells me Neymar isn’t going to be a calming force in relations between Barcelona and Real Madrid once he moves to Spain next season.


Tahiti players hold ‘thank you, Brazil’ banner after their final Confederations Cup match


Tahiti lost their three Confederations Cup group-stage matches by a combined score of 24-1, but being the gracious guests that they are, they still took the time to thank the host nation. Following their 8-0 loss to Uruguay, in which they surrendered the fastest goal in the Confederations Cup’s brief history (79 seconds, scored by Abel Hernandez), the Tahitian players held a large banner that read “Obrigado Brasil!” (thank you, Brazil) as they waved farewell.

As the smallest nation to ever compete in a FIFA senior tournament, Tahiti instantly became fan favorites at the tournament. Their popularity only grew when they managed to score in their first match against Nigeria and gave traditional shell necklaces to all of their opponents before every match. Their massive defeats in every match prompted some critics to argue that their inclusion in the tournament (achieved fair and square by winning the 2012 OFC Nations Cup) only served to devalue the competition. But the Brazilian people got behind the team at the time when they themselves are feeling like the little guy as they protest their government and fend off attacks from a violent police force in the streets.

“We have won a major victory here by winning the hearts of the Brazilian public,” said Tahiti manager Eddy Etaeta after their record-breaking 10-0 loss to Spain. “I think its fair to say we are better known in Brazil than we are in Tahiti.”

So the mostly amateur team returns home with a set of once in a lifetime memories and fans around the world. They never came close to winning any matches, but they did win a bit of admiration for their positive style both in attitude and in their refusal to play with cynical tactics by parking the bus and trying to frustrate their more talented opponents. Size and skill aside, it was nice to see a rare bit of joy and sportsmanship brought to a tournament of jaded giants.