Tag Archive: Brazil

Uruguay forward Diego Forlan has joined Brazilian side Internacional after his Inter Milan contract was terminated yesterday. Forlan had moved to Italy from Atletico Madrid in 2011.

Something of a flop at Manchester United – his first European club – having cost the Red Devils over £500,000 per league goal at £6.9 million, Forlan has rebuilt his career in recent years, enjoying much more prolific spells at Villarreal and Atletico Madrid after leaving Old Trafford in 2004, as well as winning the Golden Ball at the 2010 World Cup.

Forlan’s move to Milan never quite worked out for either party

Having managed a much-improved strike-rate of around a goal every other league game at each of his Spanish clubs, it was only a matter of time before a European giant such as Inter came calling. Unfortunately, after signing at the San Siro in August 2011, Forlan struggled to emulate this record. Just two league goals all season led to the club tearing up the last year of the Uruguayan’s contract, making him eligible for a free transfer.

Signed as a replacement for Inter legend and Anzi Makhachkala-bound Samuel Eto’o – who had scored 37 times in all competitions in 2010-11 – Forlan was always likely to feel the pressure at a historically expectant club. Despite scoring on his debut in September against Palermo, Diego would find the net just once more in Serie A, having to wait until March for his next – and last – league goal for Inter, against Catania.

A move to Porto Alegre-based Internacional, who finished fifth in Brazil’s top flight last season, represents a chance to move back to his home continent for Forlan. His illustrious career has come the full circle: Forlan’s first club was Argentine giants Independiente; Brazil’s Internacional could well be his last.

The signing is likely to benefit both parties, with Forlan able to escape his Inter nightmare while winding down his career closer to home, while Internacional will likely bask in  increased shirt and ticket sales after the unveiling of Uruguay’s all-time top scorer. Indeed, a club statement read “Diego Forlan is the new reinforcement of Internacional. The Uruguay player is in Milan and will arrive in Porto Alegre on Saturday. The player will be unveiled tomorrow.”, while Forlan himself had earlier this week admitted he was “excited” by speculation linking him with a move to Brazil.

The world’s most casual unveiling? Forlan wears his new shirt

Although Forlan will undoubtedly be the crown jewel in Internacional’s squad – which is entirely comprised of South Americans – he is not the club’s first player to have proved himself in Europe and at international level: Internacional alumni include AC Milan’s Alexandre Pato, World Cup-winning midfielder Dunga, Juventus new-boy Lúcio and Villarreal forward Nilmar.

Forlan becomes the second foreign superstar in the space of two weeks to move to the Brazilian top-flight, following Holland legend Clarence Seedorf’s transfer to Botafogo on 30 June. The pair, who have both won over 80 caps for their country, will join fellow footballing celebrities Ronaldinho, Neymar, Deco and Luis Fabiano in the 2012-13 Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A, a league that is growing in stature and appeal to European fans with every marquee signing.


Images: Forlan at Inter Milan – http://www.nuevaeradeportiva.com/; Forlan in Internacional shirt – http://www.sambafoot.com


Veteran Dutch midfielder Clarence Seedorf has joined mid-table Brazilian Serie A side Botafogo in a deal that could make him the country’s best-paid foreigner.

Seedorf said an emotional goodbye to AC Milan – where he had spent half of his professional career – in May, after revealing that the league clash with Novara would be his last game for the Rossoneri. He officially departed the San Siro on 21 June and said: “I am leaving after 10 wonderful years…I leave a family”, while club CEO Adriano Galliani gushed “When Milan played well…each and every time it occured, Seedorf played an amazing match. He is a world class player.”

Botafogo will hope Seedorf’s experience and trophy haul can help his new team-mates

The Suriname-born schemer leaves Serie A following a trophy-laden spell in Italy which saw him lift two Champions League cups, two league titles and the FIFA Club World Cup with Milan, as well as reaching the final of the Coppa Italia with Inter in 2000. Having also enjoyed top-flight football in Holland, with Ajax, and won La Liga with Real Madrid, Seedorf joins Botafogo with a wealth of experience in the upper echelons of club football.

The 36-year-old has signed a two year deal with The Lone Star, and is expected to see out the remainder of his career at the 46,000-capacity Estadio Olimpico. A Botafogo club statement claimed the deal is “the biggest contract for a foreigner made by a Brazilian football club”.

Although Seedorf will clearly be the jewel in the crown of Botafogo’s modest squad – midfielder Renato (ex-Sevilla, with 28 caps for Brazil) and Uruguayan forward Sebastian Abreu (formerly of Deportivo and River Plate) are the club’s next-biggest stars – the Dutchman is not the first world-class player to have donned the side’s black-and-white strip. Botafogo alumni include legendary Brazilian wingers Garrincha and Jairzinho, three-time World Cup-winning coach Mario Zagallo (who had five separate spells in the Botafogo hotseat) and midfielder Didi, who has two World Cups to his name.

Seedorf’s impact on Botafogo’s success will stretch further than his performances on the field

Fully aware of Seedorf’s status in the game, Botafogo have already changed their website to have the Dutchman modelling a club shirt as the only image on the home page, with the caption “SEEDORF GLORIOSO”, while thousands of messages from fans with the slogan “Seedorf no Fogao” (“Seedorf the fire”) flooded social networking site Twitter.

The player’s fame is expected to lead to high shirt sales and will boost the club’s marketing prospects – just as the return of Ronaldo and Ronaldinho to Brazil in recent years saw huge advertising contracts and image rights. Expect plenty of stylish shots such as the one on the right.

The club will undoubtedly look to use the 87-cap Holland international to help advertise Botafogo to European audiences, enhancing the side’s reputation and attracting more supporters from abroad. Seedorf, who speaks Portuguese and is married to a Brazilian woman, also has the ability to communicate in his team-mates’ native tongue, an important factor that may save the dressing room from the sometimes morale-lowering impact of a marquee signing for the rest of the squad.

Clarence will join fellow 21st-century footballing icons Ronaldinho, Deco, Luis Fabiano and Neymar in the Brazilian top-flight, demonstrating a trend of up-and-coming superstars and veteran legends having greater faith in a league that has grown in appeal and stature in recent years.

Images: Seedorf at AC Milan – http://www.graphicshunt.com; “Seedorf Glorioso”, Botafogo – http://www.botafogo.com.br/

Founded on 25 January 1930, São Paulo has grown to become one of the giants of both Brazilian and South American football. The side is one of only five clubs never to have been relegated from the national top flight.

The badge's colours symbolize both the state flag and the three races of Brazil's previous inhabitants: Native Americans (Red), Europeans (White), and Africans (Black).

The first of six Série A title was secured in 1977, but São Paulo have often endured long waits between trophies, with a nine year delay until their second league success in 1986. 2005 was a brilliant campaign for the club in all other competitions – they won the FIFA Club World Cup, Copa Libertadores and Campeonato Paulista – but Série A dominance was hard to come by. However, a first league title for 15 years in 2006 sparked a trophy glut – the club went on to successfully defend their title in 2007 and again topped the league in 2008. 

In the last five years, on the other hand, the club has struggled to emulate this form. 2011 saw the Tricolor Paulista struggle to a sixth-placed finish in a season that saw them sack two managers, with the second of these, Adilson Batista, lasting just three months. At least it was an improvement on the previous season: mid-table mediocrity in 2010 followed a respectable third-placed finish in 2009. Similarities could be drawn with Liverpool – both have slumped in recent years with the emergence of richer and better-equipped clubs.

However, São Paulo’s squad still contains some famous veterans and emerging talent. Their most famous current squad member is Luis Fabiano, the former Porto and Sevilla forward, who has a record of a goal every 1.5 games at international level for Brazil. Other familiar names include Denilson, who has returned to the club on loan from Arsenal, and one of Brazil’s brightest young stars, Lucas. The 19-year-old has already won 11 senior caps for his country and was named on FIFA’s list of “Players to Watch” in 2011. 

Captain Rogério Ceni will go down in history as the first goalkeeper to reach 100 goals in their career – a phenomenal milestone achieved through being his club’s regular penalty and free-kick taker since becoming first-choice goalkeeper in 1997. São Paulo’s squad is admirably focused on Brazilians – the only two foreigners in the side are full-back Ivan Piris, from Paraguay, and Argentinean midfielder Marcelo Cañete. 

Midfielder Lucas has attracted the interest of AC Milan, Manchester United and Real Madrid

The club plays its home games at the Estadio do Morumbi, which was built in 1960 and most recently renovated in 2009. The capacity of 67,428 makes the ground the forty-second largest in the world and the fourth-biggest in Brazil. With an original capacity of 120,000, the stadium’s record attendance is a staggering 146,082 in 1977 – twice Old Trafford’s maximum.

São Paulo may have slid from national and international prominence in recent years, but with talent such as Lucas on the club’s books, the future looks bright for Émerson Leão’s men. Considering this is the former Brazil goalkeeper’s twenty-eighth managerial stint, his experience could be key in engineering an upturn in fortunes for the country’s sleeping giants.