Sunday, November 12, 2006


Before I go into the book, let's recall some of the names that have been talked about all over the football world for this past few weeks going into the winter break. There are a lot of rumours surrounding the great interest with Europe's big guns over these 4 players whom I have not seen playing at all. You have Marcelo as the Brazilian whom will take over Roberto Carlos' shoes fully soon and the three young Argentinians Gago, Belluschi and Higuain. All are non-EU except Higuain who has the French passport as well as Belluschi who has the Italian passport so La Liga giants will have some problem filling in the 3 non-EU slots. If the four of them do come to Europe, will they live up to their expectations? Not everyone will be as good as Messi and Robinho.

1. Fluminense's Marcelo
2. Boca Juniors' Fernando Gago
3. River Plate's Fernando Belluschi
4. River Plate's Gonzalo Higuain

These youngsters are the next generation of Brazil and Argentina. It fits into my review of this book because this is the first friendly after the World Cup which both coaches were just newly elected and changes start in the squads to look into the future. The match was played in the new Emirates Stadium of Arsenal on Sunday, 3rd September, 2006 at 4pm. This book costs 5 Sterling Pounds! Thanks again Teg for your generosity! Even though it is not a 50 Sterling Pounds book, what really mattered to me is the thought to send the book over around 8 timezones. Really appreciate it. Now, let's get into the review.

The book itself is of good quality material. It feels like a 50 Sterling Pounds book man! :) The very first page after the CONTENT page is already filled with sexy Argentinian and Brazilian sexy ladies clad in their tight national colours costumes. Drool....... what a great way to 'turn on' the interest of male football fans like me. Haha! Warming up I say!

The book is in overall writing about Brazilian and Argentinian football as well as touching on Arsenal's relationship with them. This include the Brazilian and Argentinian players who had played with Arsenal before as well as the coverage of Arsenal in 1948 to Brazil to play with the clubs on a tour as well as a friendly against Brazil in 1965.

They also have many stats covering the clash between probably the most entertaining football nations of the world. The friendly was the 91st meeting between them and the 17th friendly. There is an interview with Gilberto, then Messi in 'THE NEW MESSIAH' article. They also put up the classic encounters between them dating back to as early as 1939.

Of course, a full detail of the line-up of the players for this clash. Most of the people in the list are unknowns as fresh faces are chosen to start afresh after the not-so-good World Cup for both of them. We are given some information and biodata of the players as well as the new coaches Carlos Dunga and Alfio Basile. There was an article about Arsene Wenger's opinion on the both countries and how he enjoys watching since his youth players like Pele, Didi, Vava, Tostao, Rivelino, Clodoaldo to Maradona, Kempes and Valdano.

There was also an article on the Argentinian Arsenal called Arsenal de Sarandi. The interesting thing is the photoshoot with the starting eleven. You see two kids in the shot as well as two hot chicks with umbrella at the corner. Wah! Although I very much thought it is for commerical purposes but the chicks do look hot. Yummy! We have an interview with Edu and Nelso Vivas, both are now former Arsenal players. Francisco Varallo interview is even more interesting as he is the only surviving player in the first Argentian team to play in the first World Cuo in 1930. The guy is 96 now! Incredible right? He must have lived through the whole history of the world football until now and beyond!

They even wrote about the history of Brazilian and Argentinian football. Charles Miller is thought to be the founding father for Brazil as he came from Southampton with two balls, a pump and a rulebook in 1894. Argentina have Glaswegian teacher Alexander Watson-Hutton to thank for bringing football over in 1893. He was even fired for teaching children "to play the animalistic game of football."

Let's look at the Head-to-Head Trophy Haul stats.

World Cup - 2
Copa America - 14
Confederations Cup - 1
Olympic Gold - 1
Olympic Silver - 2
Roca Cup - 4
World Youth Championship - 5
Total: 29

World Cup - 5
Copa America - 7
Confederations Cup - 2
Olympic Gold - 0
Olympic Silver - 2
Roca Cup - 8
World Youth Championship -4
Total : 28

Of course you cannot compare the total as the prestige equivalents are so different, especially between the World Cup against something like Confederations Cup.

Some other interesting stats about Brazil and Argentina which you may not know.

Argentina - 2.7 million km square
Brazil - 8.5 million km square

Argentina - Buenos Aires
Brazil - Brasilia

Domestic Champion:
Argentina - Boca Juniors
Brazil - Corinthians

Ethnic Groups:
Argentina - White (mostly Spanish and Italian) 97%, Mestizo (mixed white and Amerindian ancestry), Aemrindian, or other nonwhite groups 3%

Brazil - White 53.7%, Mulatto (mixed white and black) 38.5%, Black 6.2%, Other (includes Japanese, Arab, Amerindian) 0.9%, Unspecified 0.7%

Goalscorer (record):
Argentina - Gabriel Batistuta (56)
Brazil - Pele (77)

Holiday (national):
Argentina - May 25 (Revolution Day)
Brazil - September 7 (Independence Day)

Internet Domain:
Argentina - .ar
Brazil - .br

Argentina - 40 million
Brazil - 188 million

Veteran (most caps):
Argentina - Diego Simeone (106)
Brazil - Cafu (142)

World Cup Winners:
Argentina - 1978, 1986
Brazil - 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002

Finally, a football review will not be complete about two football powerhouses without the name list of their All-Time Dream Team.

Brazil All-Time Dream Team by Brian Glanville
Goalkeeper - Gilmar
Right Back - Djalma Santos
Centre Half - Bellini
Centre Half - Luis Perreira
Left Back - Nilton Santos
Midfield - Paolo Robert Falcao
Midfield - Didi
Midfield - Gerson
Forward - Garrincha
Forward - Pele
Formard - Ronaldo

Manager - Mario Lobo Zagallo

Argentina All-Time Dream Team by Brian Glanville

Goalkeeper - Amadeo Carrizo
Right Back - Carlos Sosa
Centre Half - Nestor Rossi
Centre Half - Daniel Passarella
Left Back - Silvio Marzolini
Midfield - Osvaldo Ardiles
Midfield - Jose Manuel Moreno
Midfield - Diego Maradona
Forward - Alfredo Di Stefano
Forward - Mario Kempes
Forward - Omar Enrique Sivori

Manager - Cesar Luis Menotti


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