Today starts the African Cup of Nations and all of us involved in football in the continent are concerned with the lack of investment and structure at youth and senior level. There is no doubt that the continent has an enormous amount of talented boys and girls but underdeveloped coaching structure. Pele said after the 1996 Olympic Finals when Nigeria beat Argentina (after beating Brasil in the semis) that was the time for African teams to win the World Cup and become the 21st Century most common winners. Almost 20 years after we still waiting for an African Champion. In your opinion, what can we do to make it happen?
It’s great that during the World Cup in Brazil people were talking about futsal. I think a lot of people still don’t realise there is an elite level here in England and great growth at the grassroots level. Obviously Baku are doing really well in the elite level. Futsal is a great game, it just needs people to be aware of it. Once the awareness is there, the game is just going to grow so fast and become a really important sport in England.
Last week i gave a Futsal Clinic to a boys and girls team from Namibia. This is the second time their school St. Paul s College brought them for a week of training, their Coach Andre Benjamin is planing to open a Futsal Academy in Windhoek.
It has been a wonderful World Cup and football proved again that it is far more than just a game. We have seen people from everywhere not only from the thirty two nations at the tournament but actually from every nation in the world. It makes us feel like a big family getting together to commemorate and rejoice, singing and dancing together on the streets. It is not the most perfect World Cup in and out of the field but the harmony among people on the streets is the most important thing the tournament achieved. Many good and not so good surprises like in the past but in my opinion the good one was the US fans and their growing passion for the game, not so good was to see that African teams were not among the best again besides all the talents.
The World Cup vibe in Brazil is amazing from south to north, news coming from all the 12 host cities confirmed that the tournament has been great in and out of the field. In Belo Horizonte were i am based now and is the base camp for Argentina, Chile and Colombia the party starts early in the morning without time to finish. Yesterday we participate in a futsal clinic and tournament organized by Briarwood Soccer Club from United States in the biggest favela in town , was great to see the interaction between the local kids and the talented players from America, we could watch as well among a big crowd at Praca da Savassi the match between England and Uruguay.
Wonderful day of football and watch Spain against Holland with thousands of supporters from both sides at the Copacabana FIFA Fan Fest brought memories from 2010 and the unforgettable World Cup in South Africa, this time the dutch team had a perfect second half and got a historical score against the world champions. From the other matches no surprises but expected more from Cameroon; Mexico and Chile with good chances to go to the next phase.
Was at the fanfest in Copacabana, FUNtastic!
People from many nationalities, singing and dancing together since early in the morning, during the game, and until late in the night. The match was a typical World Cup match and in my opinion Croatia deserved a better result, Oscar and Neymar made the difference for the brazilian team.
Today besides the big match between Spain and Holland we will follow Mexico and Cameroon, Chile and Australia.
Holland trying to forget 2010 and a African and Asian team trying to prove that they can win their first World Cup. Enjoy!
I am currently in Brazil to watch the World Cup and the energy is electric.
I was at the beach at 6, absolutely wonderful, already full of tourists & flags. The climate is amazing! Copacabana is really a special place to be.
Don’t worry I will be updating the blog with photos soon
Let the games begin!