Columnist

Tim Vickery

British-born Tim works as a journalist and has lived in Brazil since 1994 and provides unrivalled knowledge of South American football. Follow @Tim_Vickery on Twitter.

288blog entries
Why does one team beat another? Untangling the reasons for the outcome can be a fascinating business, because often three factors work together to form the final result; technical, psychological and plain old luck.
Take, for example, Sevilla’s 3-1 win over Liverpool in the recent final of the Europa League.  While they were in the first half ascendancy, Liverpool could have been awarded one, or even two penalties. To this extent, luck was against the...
History is in the making. The Olympic Games come to South America for the first time, in little more than three months, and it will all happen in my adopted home of Rio de Janeiro - but before then a little tip back to London reinforce what being...
Follow @TheWorldGame The event will clearly leave some fabulous memories but in the short term it is creating something of a problem for football in the city. Rio has two principal stadiums – the world famous Maracana, and the Engenhao, bu...
When he played his first games for Argentine giants River Plate in April 2013, Eder Alvarez Balanta looked as promising as a centre back can possibly be.
Quick to move and quick to act, first to the ball and strong in the tackle, dominant in the air, passing well from deep off his left foot, breaking forward with pace and purpose, and a threat in the opposing penalty area. River Plate coach...
It is 50 years since England’s lone FIFA World Cup win, which coincided with a moment when the nation’s youth were creating a musical soundtrack that swept the planet. Four years later it was the turn of Brazil.
Is there a connection between these two things – the footballing success and the cultural effervescence of The Beatles, Rolling Stones and so many others?  Yes and no. In the direct sense it is hard to find a link.  Football represented a ...
It has been 34 years since Peru graced the FIFA World Cup but unless something is done to reverse a shocking recent qualifying record on the road, the long wait is destined to continue.
I was just turning five in the build up to the 1970 World Cup – too young to really understand what all the fuss was about.  I do recall, though, some older kids nearby collecting the sticker album, and I can still remember going through a...
It is the best thing about what I do, the biggest privilege of covering South American football – that moment of joy when you catch an early sight of a little known youngster who may be destined for greatness.
In the 22 years I have been living over here there have been plenty of careers I have been lucky enough to follow from the start. The highlight, of course, is Lionel Messi Little known even by Argentina when he was called up for the South ...
While some players take the easy option and go hiding when they chips are down, pint-sized Boca Juniors midfielder Adrian Cubas showed courage beyond his teenage years to do what is expected of him by his team - the simple things.
All fans have seen it on a frequent basis – after the team has scored, suddenly it is a different game. The ball is zipping around all over the field, the moves are flowing and suddenly, after seeming a desperately complicated affair befor...
It will surely be a traumatic memory for Socceroos fans, but I’ve always loved a piece of Australian radio commentary when Azizi scored that famous goal for Iran in the 1998 World Cup play off. It is a classic case of a man caught up in...
It often seems to be overlooked that even after Azizi had bypassed their defence, Australia still had more than 10 minutes – in front of their own fans – to do something about it.  Football can be a cruel game but it is much crueller when ...
Representatives of 15 leading clubs from six different South American countries recently met to set up an organisation dedicated to getting a better deal from CONMEBOL, the continent’s governing body of association football.
It can surely be seen as a consequence of the FIFA-Gate scandal, of which South America was the epicentre. The arrest or indictment of so many football fat cats has obviously weakened the power structure – which in turn has emboldened the ...
At the end of the First World War there was a new hit tune in the United States, one that made reference to the experiences that US servicemen were having on the other side of the Atlantic. The title – ‘How can you keep ‘em down on the farm, now...
It is a song with relevance to modern football.  Because in today’s globalized world, footballers from the four corners of the globe have all seen ‘Paree’ – meaning, in this case, the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and (why...