Salvador

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USA goalkeeper Tim Howard has been described by manager Jurgen Klinsmann as among the top five in the world. Photograph: Christopher Lee/Getty Images

It was a refrain heard many times from the locals playing soccer with tourists on Natal’s Ponte Negra beach these last two weeks. “Oh, Americano! Ir (...)

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(...)

 Belgian national soccer team captain Vincent Kompany during a training session. Photograph: Diego Azubel/Epa

Vincent Kompany, Belgium’s captain, jumped to head a corner kick during a World Cup qualifying match against Serbia last June. He hoped to land with a(...)

 Iran coach Carlos Queiroz has brought disipline to the Iran side during his tenure. Photograph: EPA.

With a solitary World Cup win to their name – against the United States on 1998 – another for Iran against Bosnia today would alone be cause for big c(...)

Record shop owner Randy Roberts: “The attitude to playing music here is very similar to Ireland, where I remember guys would head out with their whistle or whatever to meet their mates and play.”

It’s been generally sunny and hot this past week in Salvador, but when the rain strikes, as it often does at some stage over the afternoon or early(...)

Thomas Müller celebrates after scoring the second of his three goals in Germany’s 4-0 victory over Portugal in Salvador. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters.

It’s not unusual for protagonists with one eye on their next game to see the one they have just lost from a very particular perspective but for Portu(...)

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo during their 2014 World Cup Group G defeat to  Germany at the Fonte Nova Arena in Salvador. Photograph: Jorge Silva / Reuters

The first round of matches at this World Cup has been a huge success, not least because this time, so many of the headline acts have delivered. Neymar(...)

 Portugal’s  Cristiano Ronaldo in action against the Republic of Irleland’s Alex Pearce  and David Meyler during the recent friendly international at  the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Photo: Justin Lane/EPA

The original motivation for Martin O’Neill to attend today’s game between Germany game against Portugal was, he said, to weigh up the top seeds from I(...)

Fans are still celebrating after Brazil defeated Croatia 3-1 in the opening match of the 2014 World Cup last night. Photograph: Victor Moriyama/Getty Images

World Cup fever gathered steam across Brazil today as fans streamed to a second day of matches and violent protests subsided, although a last-minute s(...)

No European side has ever triumphed at a World Cup held on this side of the Atlantic but the Spanish are used to making history at this stage so maki(...)

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