Puma haunts Brazilians with “Ghost of 1950” in Rio de Janeiro

Brazil last hosted a World Cup in 1950, and it was one that ended in unmitigated disaster for El Selecao.

Facing Uruguay in the final in front of 200,000 plus at Maracana Stadium, Brazil let a 1-0 lead slip away in what is considered one of the biggest upsets in football history. The memory haunts Brazilians to this day, and Puma is apparently looking to keep it that way.

In a brilliant piece of marketing, Uruguay’s official kit sponsor sent “The Ghost of 1950” (“El Fantasma del 50”) to Rio de Janeiro to remind Brazilians of their national nightmare. In the TV spot, you’ll find a couple fantastic shots of the ghost scaring the beejezus out of beach-goers and pedestrians.

All in good fun, unless Brazil suffer another heart-breaking loss to Los Charruas.

H/T Dirty Tackle


Seven nations still in the mix for final World Cup berths in CONCACAF & CONMEBOL

The single table formats in North and South America create a more straightforward final day of World Cup qualifying. There are some permutations to ponder and some weird scenarios — but the final standings reveal the pecking order rather quickly.

Most of the uncertainty surrounds the final berths in both confederations. Chile, Ecuador and Uruguay will fight it out for the two remaining confirmed berths and the playoff place in South America; Honduras, Mexico and Panama must sort out the last direct spot and the sole playoff berth in North America.

Here is a look at the circumstances on both continents heading into the final day:



Qualified: Argentina, Colombia

Assured of a playoff place or better: Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay

Eliminated: Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela

Chile and Ecuador enter the final day with the inside track to secure the two remaining direct berths into the World Cup. A draw between the two sides in Santiago will send both of them through to Brazil. Uruguay must defeat Argentina in Montevideo and hope either Chile or Ecuador prevails comprehensively in order to climb into the top four. Otherwise, a playoff with Jordan beckons next month.



Qualified: Costa Rica, United States

Assured of a playoff place or better: Honduras

Eliminated: Jamaica

Honduras can guarantee the final confirmed ticket to next summer’s World Cup with a point against already-eliminated Jamaica in Kingston. Mexico stands to benefit if Honduras fails to secure the desired result at the Office. El Tri can climb into the top three with a Honduran setback and a two-goal victory over the Ticos, but a point will suffice to arrange a playoff with New Zealand next month. Panama must defeat the United States in Panama City and pray for a Costa Rica win in San Jose in order to grab the playoff berth and knock out the Mexicans.


Cavani says Suarez wants to join Real Madrid

Edinson Cavani has reportedly stirred the pot regarding the future of Luis Suarez by claiming the Liverpool striker wants to join Real Madrid. And that’s not all. Cavani also says his fellow Uruguayan was not keen on a move to Arsenal during the summer transfer window. Will Brendan Rodgers never get any peace? Click here for more of the best rumors from the UK press.


Real Madrid continue Suarez pursuit

Luis Suarez was linked with a host of clubs during the summer transfer window and it seems the January window will follow a similar trend. The Liverpool striker has returned to the team in blistering form and continues to draw Spanish admirers. In today’s newspapers, Real Madrid are said to be chasing the Uruguayan ace in a £45 million winter raid.

For this rumor and the rest of today’s transfer gossip, click here.


Diego Forlan Scores Directly From A Corner Kick

While rumors concerning Diego Forlan’s future continue to circulate, that doesn’t mean he’s become distracted by the gossip.

During Saturday night’s match-up between Brazilian clubs Internacional and Fluminense, Forlan managed a ‘gol olímpico,’ scoring directly from a corner kick.

Was it intentional? Who knows? Does it matter? Not really.

All we know is that if Forlan is planning to move clubs during the summer, we wouldn’t mind if he brought his talents to the States.