Toby's Feed
Jun 21, 2014

Brazilian youth ‘factories’ belie romantic image

RECIFE Brazil (Reuters) – Brazil is deadly serious about developing young footballers in a factory-like environment, shattering the romantic image of bare-footed youngsters honing their skills on ramshackle streets and sandy beaches.

Young players are the financial lifeblood of Brazilian clubs and the production line that grooms them into saleable assets starts at a tender age.

Jun 21, 2014

Soccer-Brazilian youth ‘factories’ belie romantic image

RECIFE, Brazil, June 21 (Reuters) – Brazil is deadly serious about developing young footballers in a factory-like environment, shattering the romantic image of bare-footed youngsters honing their skills on ramshackle streets and sandy beaches.

Young players are the financial lifeblood of Brazilian clubs and the production line that grooms them into saleable assets starts at a tender age.

Jun 20, 2014

Soccer-Costa Rica stun Italy to reach last-16, England out

RECIFE, Brazil, June 20 (Reuters) – Costa Rica buried predictions of their early demise to emerge into the knockout stages of the World Cup for only the second time with a 1-0 Group D win over Italy on Friday that sent England crashing out.

Forward Bryan Ruiz headed powerfully home a minute before halftime to leave Costa Rica fans dancing in the sunshine at Recife’s Pernambuco arena and mocking those who thought they would be the sacrificial lambs in one of the tournament’s toughest pools.

Jun 20, 2014

Costa Rica reach last 16 with Italy win, England out

RECIFE Brazil (Reuters) – Costa Rica produced another huge upset to reach the knockout stages of the World Cup for the second time on Friday with a 1-0 Group D win over Italy that also ensured England were eliminated.

Bryan Ruiz headed powerfully home a minute before halftime to leave Costa Rica fans dancing in the sunshine at Recife’s Pernambuco arena, while Mario Balotelli missed Italy’s best efforts.

Jun 20, 2014

Soccer-Costa Rica reach last 16 with Italy win, England out

RECIFE, Brazil, June 20 (Reuters) – Costa Rica produced another huge upset to reach the knockout stages of the World Cup for the second time on Friday with a 1-0 Group D win over Italy that also ensured England were eliminated.

Bryan Ruiz headed powerfully home a minute before halftime to leave Costa Rica fans dancing in the sunshine at Recife’s Pernambuco arena, while Mario Balotelli missed Italy’s best efforts.

Jun 20, 2014

Take Italy to the moon please Mario, says coach

RECIFE Brazil (Reuters) – Mario Balotelli is a one-man weapon who can take Italy all the way “to the moon” but if he does not keep his mind on the job he will be brought straight back down to earth, his coach Cesare Prandelli said on Thursday.

The mercurial striker is once again set to spearhead Italy’s attack as they face Costa Rica in the north-eastern city of Recife on Friday, with both teams jostling for top spot in Group D after opening their World Cup campaigns with victory.

Jun 19, 2014

Soccer-Take Italy to the moon please Mario, says coach

RECIFE, Brazil, June 19 (Reuters) – Mario Balotelli is a one-man weapon who can take Italy all the way “to the moon” but if he does not keep his mind on the job he will be brought straight back down to earth, his coach Cesare Prandelli said on Thursday.

The mercurial striker is once again set to spearhead Italy’s attack as they face Costa Rica in the north-eastern city of Recife on Friday, with both teams jostling for top spot in Group D after opening their World Cup campaigns with victory.

Jun 18, 2014

Organized Costa Rica eye another upset against Italy

RECIFE Brazil (Reuters) – Shunning the flamboyance and individuality that has previously characterized their game, Costa Rica and their collection of nimble attacking talents face Italy on Friday ready to produce another World Cup shock.

The Central American nation were meant to be the sacrificial lambs in Group D but stunned Uruguay 3-1 in their opening game.

Jun 18, 2014

Soccer-Organised Costa Rica eye another upset against Italy

RECIFE, Brazil, June 18 (Reuters) – Shunning the flamboyance and individuality that has previously characterised their game, Costa Rica and their collection of nimble attacking talents face Italy on Friday ready to produce another World Cup shock.

The Central American nation were meant to be the sacrificial lambs in Group D but stunned Uruguay 3-1 in their opening game.

Jun 16, 2014

‘Rottweiler’ shuts the gate to keep ‘Big Boss’ at bay

By Toby Davis

(Reuters) – Pitching a well-marshalled defense against a largely impotent attack, it was perhaps no surprise that Monday’s Group F clash between Iran and Nigeria produced the World Cup’s first truly disappointing match.

The rollercoaster ride of thrills and spills had to come to an end at some point, but the only consolation to mitigate the lack of entertainment on offer in Curitiba was that it came in a fixture nobody thought would to be a classic.