Columnist

Vitor Sobral

Vitor commentates for SBS and works as a presenter for The World Game. His passion for European football resonates through his blogs. Follow @Vitor_TWG on Twitter.

173blog entries

Touring is big business

The photo of more than 109,000 people packed into Michigan Stadium for the clash between football giants Manchester United and Real Madrid would have brought a massive smile to the marketing strategists at both these clubs.
Just in case any further evidence was needed that the game is growing rapidly in the United States, the turnout of 109,318  was a new record for a football game in the country.[sbsondemand video="315125315736"]Growth is the key to the future...

The 'Brazil' of European football

AC Milan is a seven-times European champion and an icon of world football that has been on the slide for a number of years now, with Filippo Inzaghi now tasked with the job of reviving its fortunes. Will the glory days ever return to the San Siro?
For Manchester City it seemed like a pre-season stroll against a lower division minnow.The English champion was four goals ahead before the half-hour mark and looked almost certain to score every time it went forward.But this was no third-tier...

The Iron Tulip blossoms in Brazil

Deep in the bowels of the aptly named Arena Castelao in Fortaleza, the press conference room is bursting at the seams with captivated journalists listening intently to the wisdom of Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal.
It seemed curious that Van Gaal, who has a history of berating reporters for their stupidity or unnerving players with his bizarre dressing room acts, was able to become such a cult hero among journalists and more poignantly his players. ...

Shattered Selecao can still be a catalyst for change

Brazil's 2014 FIFA World Cup may have been ended by Germany in the most brutal of ways but that doesn't mean the tournament can't have a positive effect on the future direction of the nation.
'Esta muito complicado.' It’s a phrase you often here in Brazil and it was particularly poignant on a night in Belo Horizonte that will forever be known as the Mineirazo.The horror show inflicted by Germany on the Selecao and its disbelieving...

USA's World Cup bus slogan rings true

The power of the World Cup has cemented football's place aming the upper echelon of American sports - UNITED BY TEAM, DRIVEN BY PASSION.
Before the United States took on Belgium in Salvador, Jurgen Klinsmann claimed that football is now an unstoppable force in the world's most powerful nation.What happened after USA's heroic defeat to the Red Devils proved Klinsmann's proclamation...

'Foreigners' argument doesn't wash

Portugal's limp exit from the 2014 FIFA World Cup must be the catalyst for change to the country's youth development system, but capping the number of foreign players in the league, as has been suggested in other countries, is not the way to do it.
An inquisition by Portuguese football officials over the national team's FIFA World Cup performance should begin in earnest.It is already underway in the media, not long after the team's exit Joao Moutinho was grilled for 10 minutes in the mixed...

Costa Rica a revelation

No matter what Costa Rica achieves from now on at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, its feats in Group D have made it the feel-good story of the tournament so far.
Taking an early morning stroll along the beach in Recife would have left any tourist drenched in sweat.By lunchtime the beaming sun and the humidity made breathing difficult enough.On the day Italy played Costa Rica there were a few clouds about...

Portugal must tap into local support

After watching their team fold like a cheap suit in the Salvador sun against a swaggering Germany, Portugal supporters could be forgiven for thinking their nation is set for another painful first round exit.
Only a few minutes into an ultimately disastrous encounter with Germany, Cristiano Ronaldo galloped down the left-hand side.It was this situation that Germany coach Joachim Low feared, the world player of the year driving at his backline.Ronaldo...

Spain served a tactical wake-up call

Buried beneath an avalanche of goals is the fact that for the first 30 minutes of Spain's match against Netherlands, the defending champion played spectacularly. The shock of this loss will spur this intellectual bunch of players into action, but...
The usual afternoon shower at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador made the surface that little bit slicker.Spain's passing was already sublime - its first goal resulting from an incisive move started by Andres Iniesta and intricately driven through...

A special setting to host World Cup epics

Nestled on a peninsula in between the Bay of All Saints and the Atlantic Ocean is the stunning city of Salvador.
Its fisherman work the waters during the day, providing the essential ingredients for the traditional Baiano dish of Moqueca, while the historic old town comes alive at night to the beat of the African drum and the colour of the Afro-Brazilian...