Reuters Soccer Blog

Like many, Ronaldinho’s World Cup bid may have come too late

February 10, 2010

Ronaldinho has been left out of Brazil’s squad for next month’s friendly with Ireland, making it highly unlikely he will make Dunga’s list of 23 for June’s World Cup.

Can Ronaldinho really get back to his best?

January 19, 2010

Ronaldinho is enjoying his best form in four years but he is still some way off the awesome performances he managed in the middle of the last decade (Noughties? ).

Spain have Brazil in their sights

November 16, 2009

Spain’s 2-1 friendly victory over Argentina on Saturday was further evidence that the European champions are going to take some stopping if they are to be denied their first ever World Cup triumph.

Parreira’s return condemned by South African media

By Mark Gleeson
October 26, 2009

Carlos Alberto Parreira’s return as South Africa coach has been widely pilloried in the country’s media, a stark contrast to the almost universal approval he received when he took the job the first time round in late 2006.

Is Guardiola the man to tame Robinho?

October 15, 2009

“Of course I would like to play for Barca, who wouldn’t? We could have a lot of fun. It would be a pleasure to play with Messi, with my colleague Alves, with Xavi, Iniesta, Ibrahimovic, with all of them. They are a brilliant team.

How did Argentine football get in such a state?

September 24, 2009

Lionel Messi walks off the pitch in Asuncion his head bowed after Argentina’s 1-0 defeat to Paraguay. A few days later he scores for Barcelona and the dimpled grin is back on his face.

Maradona untouchable despite latest defeat

September 10, 2009

Those waiting for Diego Maradona to resign or be sacked after yet another dismal Argentina performance in the World Cup qualifiers forget that he is untouchable.

Brazil look unbeatable but have they peaked too soon?

September 7, 2009

Ten wins in a row and unbeaten for eighteen games. The run includes 2-0 and 3-0 wins over Italy, 4-0 wins in Uruguay and Venezuela, 3-0 in Chile and, of course, Saturday’s 3-1 demolition of Argentina, the first time Brazil’s arch-rivals have lost at home for 16 years. Nothing, it seems, can stand in the way of Dunga’s Brazil and and a sixth world title.

Rosario prepares for rare sight of Messi

September 4, 2009

So often ahead of a great sporting event, there is little evidence of a city’s awareness that it is hosting something special, like last year’s Euro2008 in Austria and Switzerland. Not so Argentina’s big match with arch football enemies Brazil in this riverside city 300 km north of Buenos Aires, home to a bitter rivalry of its own between Rosario Central and Newell’s Old Boys.Saturday’s World Cup qualifier is the talk of the town which was surprisingly offered the match in June after national team coach Diego Maradona criticized River Plate’s Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires.Fans of Rosario’s two big clubs, kept apart to avoid potential fights, have been queuing for tickets since Monday outside their respective stadiums, braving the rain and cold of an Argentine winter in real or makeshift tents.There is a new breed of profiteers called queuers, people who stand in line for a fee and buy your tickets for you, a local journalist said.With so much at stake for Argentina, who need to pick up points to keep their World Cup qualifying hopes alive, there are fears of violence after the match if Maradona’s team lose.Far fewer people will be able to go to the match at Central’s ground, commonly know as the Giant of Arroyito, which holds 41,000, than would have got into River Plate, with a capacity for 65,000.But the move has been a boon for Rosario’s hotels and restaurants, which usually have a quiet time in the winter, and street vendors of football paraphernalia.Light blue and white striped Argentina shirts with Messi and the number 10 on the back are among the biggest selling items.Lionel Messi, a son of Rosario, has never played an official match in his home town, having been whisked away to Barcelona as a mere 13-year-old, forging a career in Europe that has him on the verge of being named the world’s top player.One of the youngsters queuing for tickets, a fan of Messi’s former club Newell’s Old Boys, said: “It’s worth waiting because don’t often see the ‘seleccion’ and even less Leo (Messi), whom we see on TV playing for Barcelona.”Fans hope to see Messi tear Brazil apart and ensure he and Argentina go on to play at the World Cup in South Africa next year.PHOTO: A street vendor sells masks outside Rosario Central stadium ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Brazil, September 4, 2009. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

Argentina without football starts to worry Maradona

August 8, 2009

Diego Maradona is a worried man, with no football in Argentina and less than a month to go before their critical World Cup qualifier against a strong Brazilian side.