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(...)

Joachim Löw has lasted this long because his team has spent eight years roaming in the gloaming between success and failure.

In an age when professionalism and TV have caused the different styles of football around the world to converge, World Cup dugouts at least remain ple(...)

 Robinho is another Brazilian footballer for whom religion plays an important role.  Photograph: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

In the corridor of souvenir shops near the vast, red-brick hangar of the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, just down from the (...)