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.

259blog entries

Forlan case casts interesting light over old rivals

Diego Forlan's time in the Uruguay national team has come to an end, thanks largely to a regeneration process that began as a result of that play-off loss to the Socceroos in 2005. The question is, how does Uruguay's overhauling of its set-up...
Diego Forlan has retired from international football – though it is probably fair to say that he was given a gentle push. Forlan had not represented Uruguay since last year's World Cup. Earlier this year he talked about his desire to play ...

A reminder that Brazil needs to get with the times

An architecturally innovative park - conceived in Brazil's modernity boom of the late 50s - in iconic Rio de Janeiro, will host some of the city's 450th birthday celebrations, providing a visual reminder of a time when Brazil's football was at the...
My adopted home of Rio de Janeiro is celebrating its 450th birthday. This leaves me with an image in my head. The city is known all around the world for two of its mountains – Corcovado, with the statue of Christ, and Sugar Loaf. I imagine...

Glut of tournaments too much of a good thing

As a ludicrously cluttered schedule, player burn-out and a brazen move to stage it in the United States threatens to devalue the Centenary Copa America in 2016, the question must be asked, with so many big tournaments these days, are we getting...
I imagine there are plenty of fans in Australia suffering from post-tournament depression – the empty feeling when the party comes to an end. Fear not – help is at hand. If you can just hang on for a few months there is another tournament ...

FIFA candidates must heed past lessons

FIFA presidential candidates have a chance to enrich the debate on the way forward for the governance of the game - something that has been sorely lacking in recent years.
Now that a few candidates have thrown their hats into the ring, at least the next FIFA presidential election should generate a healthy debate, something which seems to be in short supply on the subject. The European, and particularly the ...
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 footbal...

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. Argentina v Bosnia This, in Rio's gian...

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 som...

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. The...

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 ...

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. The perspective of time makes i...