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.

249blog entries
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...

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.The question is this; when, as a young...
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...

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...

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...