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The Circus - 23 February

23 Feb 2013 | 00:00-Matt Price

Pele reckons Neymar's relationship-wrecking hair may be the only stumbling block on Brazil's journey to World Cup glory.

Bringing happiness to others, part 1

As Michael Laudrup demonstrated by dropping half of Swansea's first team for last week's 5-0 mauling at Liverpool, the days before a cup final can be time for nerves.

Thank god, then, that Kevin Keegan is on hand ahead of Sunday's League Cup decider between Swansea and Bradford with his new "tension-releasing" fragrance, Je l'aimerai.

Keegan, of course, has form on the fragrance front.

This time around, Kevin's (obviously very manly) scent is laden with calming jasmine and lavender, plus, the press material promises, "uplifting aromas such as orange and bergamot".

It will be spritzed in the direction of fans heading to London on cup day, thus ensuring that the atmosphere at Wembley crackles with all the electricity of a naturopath's waiting room.

Swansea fans will, you suspect, already be marinating themselves in the limited-edition Essence du Kev. If the Swans are to win their first ever major trophy on Sunday, they will have to do so without the support of one of the world's most popular religions.

The Dalai Lama, it turns out, has been a massive Bradford City fan ever since a visit to Yorkshire last June.

"If His Holiness' blessing has helped in any way towards your wonderful efforts, I hope that blessing will continue to bring you good fortune," the Tibetan spiritual leader's office said in a letter wishing the Bantams the best of luck in the final.

"He would hope that this tremendous achievement can be turned into an opportunity to help others, demonstrating the power of sport to bring happiness to others on and off the pitch."

Helping to demonstrate the power of sport to bring happiness, here is Luis Tejada, who is now $9840 poorer courtesy of the Mexico first division's disciplinary committee.

And taking the opportunity to help others, here are Dynamo Kiev teammates Frank Temile and Dmitry Korkishko.

Bringing happiness to others, part 2

Fred, 29, led Fluminense to last season's Brasileirao title. According to the Brazilian press, the striker's resurgence after a miserable few years in Europe can be attributed to his happiness off the field.

Sports newspaper Lance! last year labelled Fred, who chooses to live in Ipanema, 'The King of Rio'. Fred, the paper's sources reported, "likes to sit in a bar and talk with friends and flirt" and "is very affectionate with fans".

Understanding the rigours of professional football, The Circus is confident you can take all this with a pinch of salt. Life as a famous footballer in Brazil can't really be that great.

Knee-jerk corner

Many Italians will have enjoyed AC Milan's win over Barcelona in Wednesday night's Champions League, although perhaps not quite so much as commentator Tiziano Crudeli.

The following night, Coventry City played Crewe, needing to overturn a 3-0 deficit in the second leg of the equally epic Johnstone's Paint Trophy, Northern Area final. As the second half dragged on with the game still scoreless, Coventry fan Dan grew frustrated and eventually left two minutes before the end of regular time.

Angered by his team's inability to break down the Crewe defence, Dan phoned BBC radio Coventry after the game.

The spoken word

"Neymar has a lot of responsibilities on his shoulders. Right now his major concerns are fashion and his haircut."

- Pele claims Brazilian superstar Neymar is, perhaps, indulging in a few too many Fred-like activities – adding that it is time for him to move to Barcelona.

In news that may lend some credibility to Pele's argument, swimsuit and occasionally nude model Patricia Jordane has revealed why she and Neymar have split up: "Jealousy. He soon learned that, to the media, I am more beautiful than him."

About this blog

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The Circus

The Circus is The World Game's regular look at the beautiful game from left field. So join us every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for something a little more light-hearted than the norm.
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Fondly known as 'Mr Football', Les has been directly involved in all the major events covered by SBS Sport, including five World Cup football tournaments. Follow @lesmurraysbs on Twitter.

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As SBS’s chief football analyst, Craig provides expert opinion and unrivalled insight. He has also represented the Socceroos and played abroad. Follow @Craig_Foster on Twitter.

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After years playing abroad and a 20-goal career for the Socceroos, David turned his hand to football punditry and is a beach football fanatic. Follow @Zdrila on Twitter.

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Lucy is a life-long sports buff and former host of the Official A-League Podcast and also commentated games for Canberra United in the W-League. Follow @LucyZelic on Twitter.

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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.

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Philip Micallef is a football writer with almost 40 years of experience. He has worked for News Limited and now SBS. He is a long-time follower of AC Milan.

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Considered one of Australia's most gifted players, Ned Zelic represented the Socceroos 34 times over a decorated career that spanned Europe, Asia and the United Kingdom. Follow @NedZelic on Twitter.

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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.

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A journalist with decades of experience on TV and radio, Tony is an expert on all things Italian - including football.

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