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.

255blog entries
While the Asian Cup has captured the attention of its host nation, and for good reason, across the other side of the world a junior tournament in Uruguay has scouts from the world's biggest clubs clamoring to snare the next big thing in football.
I hope, and I’m sure, that Australian fans are enjoying their country’s first hosting of the Asian Cup. Being in the middle of a tournament can be a wonderful thing, giving the intoxicating feeling that you are at the centre of the football world...

Three 2014 World Cup moments etched in my memory

With South American football currently slumbering through its high summer siesta, I hope I might be forgiven for glancing backwards at what has just become last year's World Cup.
The tournament was well worth remembering – for the protests it engendered beforehand, for the spectacle it provided us with during and for the memories that linger afterwards. These are some of mine....

Auckland's rise highlights the CWC's value

Auckland City's stunning success in the Club World Cup was born out of five consecutive years of exposure to the world's best teams and tactics in the competition and highlights its importance in breaking down football's continental barriers.
The worst fears were avoided. Some in South America had been fearing a cricket score from Real Madrid against San Lorenzo in the final of the Club World Cup. In the even the 2-0 scoreline left the champion of the Copa Libertadores with some respe...

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...