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.

245blog entries

what happens to those lost on the road to stardom

When greatly-hyped Brazilian playmaker Diego Barcelo lined up against Lionel Messi in the 2005 South American Under-20 Championships I bet the last thing he imagined would be playing for Cypriot club AEL Limassol in a UEFA Europa League qualifier...
There is a question I would love to ask – but every time the opportunity presents itself I am too scared to do it. The question, you see, could well be taken badly, as an insult, though I mean no disrespect....
There are plenty of motives to be disillusioned with contemporary club football. But as memories of the 2014 FIFA World Cup recede, I have found two reasons to be cheerful.
I confess that it has not been easy to put the 2014 World Cup behind me and focus once more on club football.Part of that, of course, is that the party happened on my (adopted) doorstep, and I had a grandstand view. But there is something else....

Hack to the future for Brazil

It remains to be seen whether Brazil's new coach Dunga, a vocal critic of the possession game in the past, has learned anything from Spain and Germany's eight-year domination of international football.
During an appearance on The World Cup Show, as events in Brazil unfolded before our eyes, Les Murray, Craig Foster and I tried to dissect what had gone wrong with the football played by the host. We did not limit ourselves to the 7-1 thrashing by...

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 is some...

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 publ...

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 meeti...

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 in the city c...

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 M...