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.

242blog entries

The unforgettable sea of blue and white

After a major tournament, the global media fly off home with brutal speed. There is little chance of catching up with old friends and mulling over what has happened – Brazil 2014, then, was like a good meal when you are unable to prolong the...
Around me, Brazilian football has moved on.  The local first division resumed on Wednesday, just three days after the World Cup final.  And it is a matter of days before the national team name a new coach – at the time of writing there...

Brazil reaped what it had sown

Lost among the hyperbole and sense of mourning over the loss of Neymar to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, is the uncomfortable reality that the host nation may have brought it upon itself with its continued and controversial use of 'tactical fouling'.
After the cruel injury that keeps Neymar out of the rest of the World Cup, Brazil has become a country in mourning and also a country in denial.Camilo Zuniga, the Colombia right back whose ill-judged lunge caused Neymar's injury, has become public...

The elements are taking their toll in Brazil

While the World Cup action on the pitch has been thrilling there are forces at play that could well decide just the tournament's ultimate outcome.
Costa Rica was the makeweight in the 'Group of Death', along with three former world champions. It has not turned out that way at all.After just two games the Costa Ricans have already seen off champions of the past, Uruguay and Italy. The meeting...

The elements at play against the Socceroos

I have just got back to my home in Rio from the southern city of Curitiba, where on 24 June (AEST) Australia will complete its group program (and - I hasten to add that this is a question rather than a declaration or even a prediction - complete...
It was my first time in the city. I was there to give a lecture and spent less than 24 hours before returning to Rio.  My lasting impression?  Blimey, it'cold! The event went very well but I can honestly say that my happiest moment...

The power of Brazil's golden generation

England take note, it is not impossible to have both a quality league containing many foreign players and a strong national team. The key, surely, is not the quantity of the former, it is the quality of idea that underpins the latter.
Sevilla showed it in the Europa League. Atletico Madrid has shown it all season. For all its flaws, Spain's La Liga cannot be reduced simply to Real Madrid and Barcelona.In recent years, when one watches Spain at U-17, U-20 or senior level, what...

When away goals really rule

The top contintental competitions in Europe and South America have recently showed just why goals on the road are crucial.
It might sound easy to say in hindsight, but even at the time I was not overly impressed with Chelsea’s 0-0 draw away to Atletico Madrid in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final – and not just because it did not make for much of a...

Messi's defining moment is coming

The question has long been asked and in Brazil, come June and July, it will be answered: just where does Lionel Messi sit on the list of all-time greats?
Straight off the plane on a quick visit to London, the first thing I did was buy the new issue of World Soccer magazine. A column by Jim Holden caught my eye. Criticising some of the recent treatment handed out to Manchester United boss David Mo...

Chile tactics will ask a lot of the Socceroos

Chile willl look to take the initiative, play high-tempo, high-pressure football against the Socceroos at the World Cup. So the question is just how will Ange Postecoglou's side respond?
In the final of the 2004 Copa America in Peru, Argentina dominated an experimental Brazil side. With three minutes to go La Albiceleste went 2-1 up. Surely the title was won. But with the last kick of the game, Brazil scored the equaliser. A...

Chile transformation is a real coup

A meeting with an idol of mine got me thinking about how Chile's national team has metamorphosised into one of world football's most exciting collectives.
There is much wisdom in the old piece of advice that it is a mistake to meet your idols, because you are bound to be disappointed. Great ex-footballers, for example, have sometimes become dangerously accustomed to being listened to, even on sub...

Being bold is the best form of defence

The lesson that can be learned from Ecuador's second-half escape against the Socceroos is that the best solutions are almost always the boldest ones.
When Australia's goals were flying in at the New Den against Ecuador a thought was going through my head; I’ve seen this film before. At the end of last May Ecuador took on Germany in an international played in the United States. It was just a...