Brazil’s Willian attends a training session in Teresopolis near Rio de Janeiro on Monday. Brazil will meet Germany in their 2014 World Cup semi-finals on Tuesday. Photograph:  Marcelo Regua/Reuters

Much like Ireland in 2002, Brazil has, over the last few days, become utterly focussed on a man who is no longer available to play. The locals are hav(...)

Brazil’s Fernandinho commits one of several fouls on Colombia’s James Rodriguez during the World Cup quarter-final in Fortaleza. Photograph: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters.

The car was speeding down Rio’s eastern motorway in the direction of Copacabana. The driver dodged from lane to lane but he wasn’t paying any attentio(...)

Neymar waits to be airlifted home from Brazil’s training camp inTeresopolis following his back injury which occured in the quarter-final against Columbia. Photograph: Reuters

As the Brazil team returns to Belo Horizonte for tomorrow’s semi-final against Germany, their fans remain preoccupied with getting what they see as ju(...)

Lionel Messi: made it clear a five-man defence is not a formation of which he approves. Photograph: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

I watched the first half of Argentina’s World Cup opener against Bosnia with a friend in a restaurant in Salvador, at half-time we talked about how ba(...)

 Brazilian players celebrate with goalkeeper Júlio César  after winning the penalty shoot-out in the  round of 16 match against  Chile at the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte. Photograph: Dennis Sabangan/EPA

Brazilians have a terrible weakness for redemptions stories and if there is one silver lining to their side’s unmerited victory over Chile yesterday i(...)

A woman takes a photo next to an advertisement featuring Uruguay’s Luis Suarez, mocking the biting incident against opponent Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup match against Italy, on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photograph: Getty Images

Last week in this space I was writing that Luis Suarez was the closest thing this generation of footballers has to Diego Maradona. This was after S(...)

If Brazil are ultimately to win this tournament then there may yet be an element of Neymar having to drag them to victory in the way Garrincha did 52 years ago.

Brazil’s footballing rivalry with Chile is generally a friendly enough affair but the stakes are high this weekend and a note of tension crept in ahea(...)

Neymar of Brazil celebrates scoring his team’s second goal in the World Cup Group A against Cameroon at Estadio Nacional in Brasilia. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Brazil 4 Cameroon 1It was a night when Neymar delivered yet another reminder of how much the hopes of one nation, and 200m football-mad people, rest o(...)

A mural showing Brazilian footballer Neymar and Angenor de Oliveira, known as Cartola, a Brazilian singer and composer (1908-1980) at the Terreirao do Samba (Samba Land), in Rio de Janeiro. Photograph: Marcelo Sayao/EPA

In a huge shopping mall just off São Paulo’s main drag 18-year old delivery boy Clayton Neves is spending some of his lunch hour checking out Brazi(...)

Barcelona’s Neymar shows his frustration during the La Liga defeat to   Valladolid at Jose Zorilla stadium. Photograph: Sergio Perez/Reuters

Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino needs to find a quick fix for whatever is ailing his team or his first season in charge at the Nou Camp is lik(...)