Football: The dazzling new boys from Brazil
Sunday 29 June 1997
Chun's opinion is highly questionable. So far this "weak side" have dished out a 10-3 drubbing to his Asian champions in the final Group B fixture, and scored another 10 goals, this time without reply, against Belgium, reducing in the process, the poor Belgian goalkeeper Francois Gillet to tears.
Pity, then, Cristian Munoz, the Argentine goalkeeper facing Brazil here tonight in the quarter-final which really ought to have been the final. Selected against England on Thursday in preference to regular first choice, Leonardo Franco, Munoz did well enough for the holders in their 2-1 win to keep his place. Whether he can keep out Brazil, ending their advance towards a fourth title, is another matter.
Argentina have, in Pablo Aimar, a player saddled with the "next Maradona" label, minus, one hopes, the seedy trappings. Brazil, on the other hand, possess in Adailton Martins - who prefers to go by the nickname of Adaio - a forward who models himself on Romario, who incidentally may be missing tonight from Mario Zagallo's senior side against Bolivia in the Copa America final because of injury.
The comparison between Adaio and Romario is logical. Far and away the tournament's top scorer, Adaio is slighter in physique but he possesses the same absolute mastery of the ball, deadly left foot and uncanny goalscorer's knack for being in the right place when the chance presents itself. Ten of those chances have been dispatched so far, six of them against the Koreans, four during one staggering nine-minute spell. At 20 he is a regular for Guarini, for whom he first played as a 15-year-old, in the Brazilian championship .
Up to three Belgian players followed Adaio around on Wednesday, the upshot being that he scored only once. With five other marksmen, Brazil did not exactly suffer. "They have four or five outstanding players but their strength is as a team," Gerard Houllier, the French coach, commented after his team's opening 3-0 defeat.
Beaten by Argentina in the final at Qatar two years ago and again in the South American championships last January, Brazil must overcome the psychological factor if they are to win today. Ideally, their coach Toninho Barroso should instruct his players to persevere with their natural attacking game. "Whatever happens, it will be a beautiful game," the Belgian coach, Ariel Jacobs, said.
Latest in Sport
Frank Lampard was RIGHT not to celebrate Manchester City's equaliser against Chelsea
All Blacks Aaron Cruden misses New Zealand flight after drinking session, has brilliant excuse
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Five reasons why Louis van Gaal is a worse Manchester United manager than David Moyes
Comment: Louis Van Gaal struggled at start of Bayern reign, but Manchester United's problems run deeper and Premier League is less forgiving
- 2 Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 4 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£21552 - £22552 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education ar...
£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Group: Part time Design and Technology...
£20000 - £25000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Bristol: Head of Department for English. Wiltsh...