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The Reuters global sports blog

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Can Ronaldinho really get back to his best?

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? ).

Sunday's hat-trick in AC Milan's 4-0 win over Siena featured a penalty and a close range header, but the third goal where he sent a perfect shot into the top corner from distance was a reminder of the Brazilian at his Barcelona best.

But only a reminder. He has lost a yard of pace and some of the passes he tries to make are baffling. Increasingly though, he is splitting defences open and playing with that really broad smile on his face, which has rarely happened since winning the Champions League with Barca in 2006.

It's the Milan derby on Sunday and leaders Inter will be keeping an extra eye on the 29-year-old.

from MacroScope:

Asking a banker about the Olympics

Henrique Meirelles, Brazil's highly rated central bank president, gave unusual insight into current thinking at the International Olympic Committee in a speech in Oxford the other night.

Diverging from his main theme on Brazil's remarkable journey from economic basket case to emerging market superpower, Meirelles said that he had gone to Copenhagen last month as part of Rio de Janeiro's successful bid for the 2016 Olympics. The reason: The IOC asked him to come.

The same old Felipe Massa?

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Felipe Massa won a lot of respect in Brazil a year ago when, having missed out on the Formula One championship by a single point after winning his home grand prix, he proved gracious in defeat.

“I know how to win,  I know how to lose,” he said.

The Ferrari driver returns to Interlagos as a spectator and special guest this weekend after suffering life-threatening head injuries in Hungary in July.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Maradona untouchable despite latest defeat

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.

Maradona will press on blindly, brushing off criticism with remarks about having always fought adversity and come out on top.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Brazil look unbeatable but have they peaked too soon?

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.

There's only one small problem: everyone was saying the same about Carlos Alberto Parreira's team four years ago after they won the Confederations Cup with a 4-1 win over Argentina in the final. Like Dunga's team, they were Copa America champions at the time and their so-called Magic Quarter of Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Kaka and Adriano looked unstoppable.

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