RIO DE JANEIRO: Roberto Carlos and his booming free-kicks seemed to be a distant memory as far as Brazil were concerned but, on the eve of the World Cup, the former Real Madrid player’s name is being mentioned again.
Thirty-seven last Saturday, Roberto Carlos has enjoyed a new lease of life since returning to Brazil to play for Corinthians where he has joined forces with his former Real Madrid and Brazil team-mate Ronaldo.
Last week, he scored against arch-rivals Sao Paulo with one of his trademark free-kicks, helping Corinthians win 4-3.
Roberto Carlos, capped 131 times, was made one of the scapegoats for Brazil’s relatively early exit in 2006 where they lost to France in the quarter-finals and, like Ronaldo and Cafu, he has not been picked since then.
However, a dearth of obvious choices for the leftback position and his return to form have seen the media speculating on a possible recall.
“I think that, of the 16 years I played for the national team, 12 of them were successful,” Roberto Carlos told Brazilian media last week. “And, today it’s difficult to find a leftback.
“Most of the left-footed players prefer to play on the wing or the left side of midfield.”
Dunga, who played alongside Roberto Carlos in the 1998 World Cup team, is not prone to tinkering but leftback is one position where he has chopped and changed.
Since he took over following the 2006 World Cup, he has fielded Gilberto, Marcelo, Adriano Correa, Juan Maldonado and Richarlyson without settling on any of them.
Fenerbahce’s Andre Santos had a run of eight games in a row last year, appearing to have clinched the place, but the last three friendlies have seen Lyon winger’s Michel Bastos take on the role.
Michel Bastos, who like Roberto Carlos can hit the target from distance, is known in French football as a winger, but he began his career in left back. “If the Brazilian confederation’s fax arrives at home, I will somersault with happiness,” said Roberto Carlos.
“I don’t want to jump the queue. I’m 37 and when I came back to Brazil, I wasn’t thinking about the national team.
“But I’m not going to deny that the World Cup is not in my mind. I’m going to keep working hard at Corinthians and put a doubt in Dunga’s mind.” — Reuters
MIAMI (Mar. 27, 2010) – A Brazilian boxer is the new unbeaten middleweight boxing sensation, Michael Oliveira known as the “Chairman of the Board” with 11-0, 9 KOs, has been selected as the winner of the Brazilian International Press Award’s 2009 Athlete of the Year Award.
Michael Oliveira is only 19 years old, a student at Miami Dade Community College and lives in Miami. ((Many in the Brazilian boxing circles believe that he is the heir apparent to retired boxing legend Acelino “Popo” Freitas)). From a group of only 10 nominated Brazilian athletes, Michael was the leading vote-getter which included Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves, as well as NBA players Nene Hilario and Anderson Varejao.
“I was honored just to be nominated, never mind selected, as the winner of this prestigious award,” Oliveira said. “I’d like to thank all my fans for supporting me with their votes. I represent all of the Brazilians living back home as well as those in the United States. Brazil is always No. 1 in my heart. We take all sports, especially boxing, serious but no matter what the final results, it always ends with Samba music and partying. I’m only 19 and hopefully I can win this award again for years to come.”
The hard-hitting teenager, who is the reigning UNBC Latin champion, won every one of his eight fights last year, and he hopes to be back in the ring in late April.
Since the wildly popular Freitas, 4-time world champion, hung-up his gloves for the final time nearly two years ago there has been a distinct vacuum in Brazilian boxing. It appears that 19-year-old Oliveira is being set-up to replace Freitas in the minds of passionate Brazilian boxing fans in South America as well as those in the United States.
Oliveira, who lives and fights out of Miami, is different than most other professional boxers who generally rise from an underpriveledged background. Oliveira was raised in an affluent family, had all the beneifits his parents were able to provide and is currently attending Miami Dade Community College.
Oliveira’s interest in boxing is almost hereditary. His grandfather, Joao Oliveira, an amateur boxer sparred a few times with Brazil’s all-time greatest boxer, 3-time world bantamweight and featherweight champion Eder “Golden Bantam” Jofre (72-2-4, 50 KOs/1957-1976).
Ironbound, NJ- March 16, 2010 -The opening of the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ has filled the air with excitement all over New Jersey. In the Ironbound section of Newark New Jersey were Brazilians and Portuguese live, residents in every street corner are talking about the New York Red Bull and the upcoming game against Santos FC, who will be featuring Brazilian mega star Robinho in the starting 11. The Red Bulls kicks off their first season in their new 25,000-seat Red Bull Arena on Saturday night before a full house in a facility that is the top soccer-specific stadium in North America.
Many Ironbound soccer lovers are disappointed to find out that the game is already sold out. But no matter what, the atmosphere amongst the Red Bull faithful and the local Portuguese and Brazilian community is electric.
At today's Redbull’s 2010 Media Day the winners of the franchise's all-time First XI, as voted on an online fan contest was announced.
The contest, which ran from Thursday, January 28 through Friday, March 5, gave fans the opportunity to cast their vote for the best players in the 15+ years of the franchise, with the First XI team taking the field in a 3-4-3 formation. The honorees as the New York All-Time First XI are:
Goalkeeper: Tim Howard.
Defenders: Jeff Parke, Mike Petke, Eddie Pope.
Midfielders: Youri Djorkaeff, Amado Guevara, Tab Ramos, Dave van den Bergh.
Forwards: Jozy Altidore, Juan Pablo Angel, Clint Mathis.
Current Red Bulls captain and franchise all-time leader in goals scored, Juan Pablo Angel, was the leading vote getter. Petke and Howard had an equal number of votes to tie for second, closely followed by Guevara. Each was the leader at their respective positions.
The complete list of nominees for this all-time team was:
Forwards: Jozy Altidore, Juan Pablo Angel, Rodrigo Faria, Clint Mathis, Giovanni Savarese, Adolfo Valencia, John Wolyniec.
Midfielders: Mark Chung, Youri Djorkaeff , Roberto Donadoni, Eddie Gaven, Amado Guevara, Tab Ramos, Seth Stammler, Dave van den Bergh.
Defenders: Kevin Goldthwaite, Steve Jolley, Carlos Mendes, Jeff Parke, Mike Petke, Eddie Pope.
Goalkeepers: Tim Howard, Tony Meola, Jonny Walker.
"With the opening of Red Bull Arena, we are kicking off a new era in the history of this franchise," stated Red Bull New York Managing Director Erik Stover. "However, we cannot move forward without recognizing the talented players who have played for this franchise in the past, and I could not have imagined a better way to elect this team than by allowing the best fans in MLS to vote on the selections. All of the nominees were worthy, and I am pleased to present the franchise's First XI team."
The team is a founding member of MLS (1996)) and since its founding played its home matches at Giants Stadium, at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey until the end of the 2009 season. The team's headquarters are located in Secaucus, New Jersey.
Over the years there were any famous team members such as Roberto Donadoni, Lothar Matthäus, Adolfo Valencia, Youri Djorkaeff, Amado Guevara. The team has had its share of famous coaches as well, including American stars Tony Meola, Tab Ramos, Tim Howard, Alexi Lalas (who was also the team's General Manager, for a brief time), Clint Mathis, and Eddie Pope have all played for the team.
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Carlos dos Santos, a local resident from nearby Ironbound, New Jersey commented (translated from Portuguese) that he “loves the idea of having the New York Red Bull team so close to his home.” Carlos first became aware of the team while viewing a video on the website vejatv.com. From that time, he has been an ardent fan of the team. “We Brazilians love soccer. The game is in our blood.” When asked if he has purchased a season ticket he said “absolutely and also for my two teen age boys.”
Full Season Ticket Plans for the New York Red Bulls' first season at Red Bull Arena are on sale now. Midfield seats in the 100-Level and sideline sections 107, 112, 124 and 128 are all sold out, but good seats are still available. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 1.877.RBSOCCER or log onto www.newyorkredbulls.com.