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Tim Vickery
Gender Male
Job BBC Staff Writer
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Media BBC

2004 05 13 Publish

Brazil had just won the World Cup, but it was generally agreed that their side had lacked an effective link between midfield and attack. It was a connection that Marcio Amoroso looked likely to supply. He operated just behind Guarani’s even more youthful centre forward (Luizao, who was in the 2002 World Cup squad), and, as Zagallo never tired of pointing out, he set up the play like a number 10 and finished like a number nine

… Marcio Amoroso played on with a knee injury that he really should have rested. Two years later I asked Zagallo if Amoroso was still in his plans. Zagallo shrugged and pointed out that he was still not playing regularly. He had become a forgotten man, and was overlooked for the 1998 World Cup, though he surely could have given Brazil some extra firepower

2017 03 02 Retrieve

[q: How do you feel about the dismissal of Rogerio Micale after his Olympics success?] Firstly, I saw the Olympics as a lie, a useful lie for Brazilian football, but still a lie. In the final, a strong Brazil team met the German under-23 reserve side. Brazil also effectively drew three out of their six games, so it was no revolution. Micale is a victim of the national team’s impatience, but also a victim of what Brazilian football has become in recent years.

From the outside looking in, I’m not happy to see Micale leaving because I got the impression that he was proposing a change, and sometimes continuity can be what you really need in order to change. If you just keep switching, you will never get to the root of problem

2017 03 02b Retrieve

[q: What has Tite changed since succeeding Dunga as Brazil coach?] Tite advanced the line defensive line some 20 meters up the field, so the team is now more compact and that better facilitates the exchange of passes, I think that has been the key. He has also managed the group well and, in that sense, it’s good to be coach after Dunga because Dunga always needed conflict. Tite’s decision to bring back Thiago Silva gave a sign that from now on the management would be different, that there would be no more unnecessary conflicts. Tite is a master at developing human relationships

2017 03 02c Retrieve

[q: How important has it been that Tite found such a settled team so quickly?] First of all, I think Tite took over at a good time because there was a general feeling that things could not get much worse. But also, for all the criticism, Dunga had already begun on a trajectory towards what Tite was looking for. Things started to change in the match against Peru in November 2015, when Dunga called up Renato Augusto. He started to change the profile of the Brazilian midfield, and then he called in Casemiro. Dunga was starting something

2017 03 02d Retrieve

[q: Willian is the only player to lose his place in the team through anything other than injury or suspension] I think competition at a high level is very positive and it seems to me that the criteria for the players themselves was clear. Willian cannot complain, when the moment came he lost his place to Philippe Coutinho, but he has every chance to return. On the other hand, it is a big gain for Tite. Coutinho had played several times with Dunga without ever really convincing. Now the team has won a player who has turned promise into reality and raised the competition. I think that’s really healthy

2017 03 02e Retrieve

[q: Six matches, six wins. Are Tite’s Brazil peaking too soon?] It’s incredible you think that, but peaking too soon is a concern for Brazilians. The change has been brutal, six games, scoring 17 goals and conceding just one, and that was an own goal. Maybe they need to concede now, to go behind, because we need to see how Neymar and Gabriel Jesus will react to a negative situation. We are less than a year-and-a-half away from the next World Cup, and we need to see how they will react when they go behind in a game

2017 03 02f Retrieve

[q: Not playing for his club, can Alisson keep his place in goal or will Diego Alves finally arrive?] I think the goalkeeper should be Diego Alves. Most of the goalkeepers with whom I speak say that the goalkeeper of the Selecao should be Diego Alves. You can’t criticise Alisson so far for his performances. He made a great save against Argentina, for example. I know that [goalkeeping goach] Taffarel believes in him, but I think there is a need to bring Diego Alves into the group and for Alisson to become a substitute

2017 03 02g Retrieve

[q: What do you expect from March’s qualifier vs Uruguay?] I think Tite would not be overly disappointed if Brazil conceded the first goal against Uruguay. The fact is, you really don’t know a team until they’re losing, the truth of a side appears when they need to attack the goal. And Brazil have the luxury that they can afford to lose. Edinson Cavani will like it, because he will play as the central striker since Luis Suárez is suspended. It will be interesting because Brazil will have to test themselves with a different centre-forward and maybe a new way of playing [with Gabriel Jesus injured]

2017 03 02h Retrieve

[q: Who can lead the line in the absence of Gabriel Jesus?] Centre-forward has been the problem position for the Selecao. Mano Menezes played without one, Scolari brought it back and it worked [with Fred], until World Cup when it did not. Gabigol is an option now that he is getting some minutes at Inter, and scored his first goal. I think he is an interesting player. There also is Luan of Gremio, who offers a different option. With Luan, you have a false no.9, who can drop deeper and link with the midfield

2020 01 29 Retrieve

[What Arsenal’s new signing Mari will offer Arteta’s defence] I’ve been droning on about him to anyone who will listen because I think Manchester City missed a beat with this one. He was unknown, he came in very cold and was thrown in at the deep end, but he sorted it out for them (Flamengo) absolutely magnificently. For me, in that side that coasted its way to the Brazilian championship, won the South American title and gave Liverpool a game in the Club World Cup final, I think he was the most important player. He’s by no way the most glamorous, but that front four with all the goals being scored by Gabriel Barbosa and Bruno Henrique, it wouldn’t have worked had the team not been able to defend with a high line - and Pablo Mari was the man behind all of that, he was superb.

2020 04 27 Publish: Conmebol Handed Significant Blow Over Weekend

Conmebol, the South American Confederation, suffered a blow at the weekend. They had identified the key month in their quest to restart their continental club competitions, the Copa Libertadores and the Sudamericana.

The Sudamericana is straight knock out all the way from start to finish, while the Libertadores features eight groups of four, narrowing down to a knock out stage of 16 teams. Just two rounds of group games have so far been played

But if they are unable to start in August, then something will surely have to give. And over the weekend the Argentine government gave them a huge problem. Anac, the country’s civil aviation agency, announced that there will be no commercial flights until September 1st. Any recognisable format of the Libertadores is obviously dependent on the ten nations of South America having open borders. Without flights in and out of Argentina there can be no restart.

2020 05 13 Retrieve

[Not the first time Barbosa’s intelligence has been questioned] Now there was rumour of an interest from West Ham - which I couldn’t really see myself, I just couldn’t see him getting on with the coach - but what was coming out in Brazil was he thought the club were too small for him

And if he’s thinking that, he’s an idiot because he’s very unlikely to get a big European club now - you know one of the giants. But a club of the stature of West Ham, who have a magnificent history in their own right, you do well there and then you’ve proved yourself in Europe and one of the bigger European clubs might well be interested in you

If he stays in Brazil his problem is he might never get back to Europe. If you want to be considered a genuine world class player you’ve got to do it in top level European football