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.

252blog entries

The price of super stardom

Both Pele and the Beatles - whose careers started and ended at an uncannily similar moment in history - paid the price for transcending the realm of stardom in and era that was discovering globalisation.
On July 7th 1957, with little more than 30 senior games under his belt and still a few months short of his 17th birthday, Pele made his debut for Brazil, scoring his side's goal in the 2-1 defeat to Argentina in Rio's Maracana stadium....

How the game changes in the rare air of a World Cup

The plight of Colombia in 1994 and Brazil in 2014 are indicative of the heightened environment during a World Cup and the unique pressure it brings which can either bring a team together or tear it apart in spectacular fashion.
One of my favourite national teams is Colombia of the late 80s and early 90s, side which exuberantly tip-tapped the ball around as if in thrall to a hypnotic salsa rhythm. Their story, of course, ends in tragedy – and not just in sporting terms. ...

The significance of Turkey v Brazil this week

Turkey hosts Brazil in a match-up of the two teams that contested the 2002 World Cup semi-final, but will the occasion be a celebration of the heights they scaled in Japan and Korea? Or tinged with melancholy at the dwindling football fortunes of...
Brazil travels to Turkey to play an international which also serves as reminder of the World Cup semi final between these sides in 2002, decided in Brazil's favour by an inspired to poke finish from Ronaldo....
Football is not immune to the side effects of globalization, as a handful of big clubs get bigger and the rest are left dwindling on the periphery.
I received an interesting present as I made my way to Rio's legendary Maracana stadium on Wednesday evening. Flamengo, the club with the biggest support base in the land, was playing Internacional, a big club in its own right with ambitions of wi...

Delicate balancing act facing Alexis Sanchez

Chile's hopes in the upcoming Copa America - which it is hosting - rest largely on the diminutive shoulders of the sublimely talented Alexis Sanchez, whose performances for the national team over the next few months may rest on how much gas is...
These next few months are going to be a very interesting chapter in the life of Alexis Sanchez. The little Chilean striker was in magnificent form for his national team against Peru in Valparaiso on Friday night. [sbsondemand video="340429379882"...

Brazil is having its 'England' moment

There are some worrying parallels between the lethargy that plagued England post 1950 World Cup failure and what we are seeing with Brazil at the moment.
This year was not the first time that England flopped in a World Cup in Brazil. The fall was even harder in 1950, when making its debut in the competition, England also failed to make it out of the group stage, this time going down 1-0 to United...

The long haul in South America is yet to begin

While the 2016 UEFA European Championship qualifiers commenced this week, the cream of South American football was running around in mickey mouse games that will have little bearing on what will occurs next year when the likes of Brazil and...
In the last three World Cups, Ecuador, Paraguay and Colombia produced their best ever performance in the tournament. Chile also enjoyed its best World Cup, if we discount the one it hosted in 1962, and Uruguay returned as a force after decades in...

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...