From: Victoria Barrett 
Subject: I just saw the best 45 mins. of football this year [R/T]
Date: 14 March 2002 11:04

La Liga? No, not for once.

Champions League? Close, but no cigarro.

Serie A? Not even close.

The best 45 mins. of football I have seen in 2002 belongs to Brazil, and
specifically to Corinthians v. Cruzeiro, whose second-half I caught as I was
about to turn in for the night. 1 minute into the match, and I was
ABSOLUTELY RIVETED to the set, my drowsiness but a faint memory.

First, what a spectacular come-from-behind (2-0!) display of football from
Cruzeiro. I wish I could tell you that Corinthians played the second-half
abysmally, to at least justify the scoreline for Cruzeiro. But not a bit of
it. All the goals scored in the second-half, even those with hints of
off-side, do not take away from the majesty of this match.

Second, what can I say about Brazilian football skills? I haven't seen such
dribbling, such control, such creativity of the HIGHEST CALIBRE watching
Serie A ALL this season.

Suffice it to say that I stopped counting the back-heels, the lencols
(chips), bicycles, nutmegs, and assorted brilliant plays these 22 plus
players put on as a soccer display for us lucky viewers. Luckier still are
those fortunate Brazilians, like Gabriel and Lleo, who see this type of
match week in and week out, if today's rendition was any indication of
quality. Again, just one-half of football, but I wouldn't trade it for 90
minutes of EPL action all this season.

Likewise, I don't give a good gosh darn if the Brazilian national team are
decadente at this moment. Brazilian football, my dear fellow RSS'ers, is
alive and nossa mae!, well.

Random Thoughts on the Players:

- Deivid was a stud. He might be a cheeky player, playing with defenders
like a cynical cat pawing at a mouse, but his play down the right wing gave
the somewhat scatter-brained Cruzeiro defence more headaches than married
woman of 30 years.

- Vampeta has talent to burn. I can see what Gabriel said now about his
positional play: it is outstanding, seemingly always attacking and in the
next breath defending, and he can hold the ball like the best of 'em. The
only draw-back that I saw was a tendency to be too indulgent, and he took at
least 3 kicks from long range whose excellent built-up play merited a pass
or a cross.

- Edilson, good friend of Vampeta and who promised to dedicate a 28th
birthday goal to him, and because of that one of the interesting sidelights
of this match, might be all of 5'5" (maybe) but he loomed large and got a
goal on a third-time-is-a-charm corner from the 6 footer +++ Dida for the
first Cruzeiro goal of the match. Dida's fault yes, but he had looked
impenetrable for 75 minutes previous to this goal. Edilson also has (1) boku
talent (2) like Vampeta is somewhat greedy with the ball, but so what, he
was effective at it.

- Gil did on the left what Deivid did on the right, only faster and with
even greater precision.

- Juan Pablo Sorin seemed literally everywhere, which often caused Cris and
Maicon headaches trying to cover up his holes. But oh what a goal from a
MIDFIELD bicycle kick from (Luisao? whomever, amazing) that Sorin timed
calmly, took down in one neat touch, slotting it home nearside on Dida.
Celebratory dancing skills need a little work though. ;)

- Scheidt for once didn't live up to his name. In fact, he got a couple of
claps from the demanding Paulista crowd for his play, especially at the
start of the second-half. Sure at the end, the plot was lost but credit
where credit is due.

- Carlos Alberto Parreira was as impenetrably Sphinx-like as ever on the
sidelines. If ever I am in a poker game and need a partner, boy, this is my

The tale of the tape is below, but seeing it in blasé accountant
black-and-white can not do it justice.


Dida; Rogério, Scheidt, Fábio Luciano e Kleber; Fabrício, Vampeta e
Ricardinho; Deivid, Leandro (Fernando Fumagalli) e Gil
Manager: Carlos Alberto Parreira

Jefferson; Maicon, Cris, Luisão e Sorín; Augusto Recife, Fernando Miguel
(Jorginho Paulista), Ricardinho (Rui); e Jussiê; Fábio Júnior e Edílson
Manager: Marco Aurélio

Date: 13/02/2002
Time: 21h45
Location: Estádio do Morumbi, em São Paulo
Referee: Carlos Eugênio Simon (RS)
Yellows: Fábio Luciano, Rogério, Vampeta (Cor) Augusto Recife (Cru)

Goals: Deivid (Co), aos 33min do primeiro tempo; Ricardinho (Co), aos 10min,
Edílson (Cr), aos 30min; Sorín (Cr), aos 37min do segundo tempo