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.

305blog entries
Garrincha is one of the greatest players of all-time, but will his grandson follow in his footsteps?
The bare statistics do not even tell half of the story of Garrincha.  The great Brazilian notched up 12 goals in 50 caps – which on paper is slightly more impressive than the record of Ecuador’s left winger Jefferson Montero, who currently...
There is only one winner in the age-old battle between time and the human being. It usually does not end well for the former great who tries to keep it going for too long – no matter how much of a giant he once may have been.
Boxing proves it over and over again. Doctor Ferdie Pacheco jumped ship before the end of Muhammad Ali’s career. He had seen the signs, both in Ali and in others. Ali looked in good shape when he entered the ring to fight Larry Holmes in 1...
Brazil are widely known for their 'samba' attacking football, but it was actually their invention of the back four that led them to international glory - a defensive system that is still used today.
“Don’t score any goals today, lads. Let’s go home at the first opportunity.” Bobby Charlton recalls these words being spoken by one of the England squad during the 1962 World Cup in Chile – a homesick player anxious to head back as soon as...
The phone rang about 4 o’clock in the morning, with the news that plane carrying the Chapecoense football team had gone down. A couple of hours earlier I had been talking about them on the radio, about their extraordinary rise and the big game...
The modest Brazilian club had become the first team from their country to qualify for a continental final in three years. They were on their way to fulfil a dream against Atletico Nacional of Medellin in the first leg of the final of the C...
After the drama and excitement of FIFA World Cup qualification in South America, it is hard to flick the switch and focus once more on the domestic club game.
One reason is time.  In Brazil, especially, there is no real opportunity to reflect on the recent two rounds of qualifiers, to check the fixtures for the next rounds in March and work out the permutations.  The national team were in action...
A tribute to the recently passed Carlos Alberto, who scored the defining goal at the first FIFA World Cup to be viewed around the world.
If you want a 30-second resume of why Brazil’s 1970 FIFA World Cup team were so great, then all you need to do is watch the last goal they scored in the tournament. The one that sealed their 4-1 win over Italy in the final. The team had be...
There is a special feel about a football-mad city on the day of a big game.
You can sense it in the streets hours before – people starting to gather wearing the colours of their team, an electric surge in the air, extra happy volume in mobile phone conversations. All of this was present in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday...
A couple of weeks ago, new Brazil coach Tite was asked to make a choice - did he prefer the FIFA World Cup winning team of 1994, or their predecessors from twelve years earlier, the 1982 side that lost to Italy and failed to reach the semi finals?...
This is not to attack the 1994 team. Indeed, Tite paid tribute to the work of then-coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, who moulded a well balanced side which won Brazil’s first world title in 24 years.   The long term value of that triumph, tho...
“We have to learn how to play both with and without Messi,” says Argentina coach Edgardo Bauza.
International football should be grateful that the first part of his phrase still applies. Lionel Messi, of course, announced his retirement from playing for Argentina after a penalty shoot out defeat to Chile in the final of the Copa Cent...
Europe’s main event is the UEFA Champions League, the competition where the top players from all over the world congregate, seeking to win the trophy and each other’s respect.
Strictly speaking, South America’s equivalent is the Copa Libertadores. But club football in the continent has been so gutted by player sales that a different comparison can be made. The closest that South America gets to the Champions Lea...