Brazil Uber Alles?

Will A Seleção Go All the Way?

With the opening of the 2014 World Cup just hours away, many eyes are on consensus-favorite Brazil as it seeks to capture the world’s marquee sporting event for a record sixth time.

The Brazilians appear primed to win it.

Read more exclusive analysis from VOA’s Mike Richman here.

A street vendor sells representations of Brazil's national flags near the Arena Castelao  in  Fortaleza, Brazil, June 11, 2014.

(Photo AP)

9:18 a.m., UPDATE:

An earlier headline to this post referred to the Brazilian national team as the Auriverde. While not technically incorrect, other nicknames are more common, including A Seleção (The Select), Canarinho (The Little Canary);  Verde-Amarela (The Green and Yellow); and, most humbly, Pentacampeões (The Five-Time Champions).

Quiz Time: Who Won The First World Cup?

Admit it. You didn’t know that the very first World Cup was won by Uruguay in 1930, when it defeated Argentina 4-2.

Now try this one:

The Golden Glove award, which is given to the best goalkeeper of each World Cup tournament, was initially named after which legendary Russian goalkeeper.

For the answer to this question, and many other obscure and arcane trivia related to the world’s biggest (and most hyped) sporting event, check out RFE/RL’s World Cup quiz. (click on the photo for the link)

Question image


Instant Replay Comes To World Cup

Purists Beware: Goal-line Technology Debuts in Brazil

Brazil 2014 marks the first time goal-line technology is used at the 32-nation football jamboree.

GoalControl CEO Dirk Broichhausen. Photo: Reuters

(Reuters Photo)

Fourteen cameras – seven focused on each goalmouth – will be used in all 12 World Cup stadiums in Brazil. The cameras will record 500 images each second, and a computer will process the frames. Within a second of a ball crossing the line, the referee’s special watch will vibrate and flash “GOAL.”

The small German start-up company GoalControl created the technology, which has been used for years in sports such as cricket, rugby, tennis and American-style football.

Read more at VOA’s sports blog, The Sonny Side of Sports

The Super Eagles

Nigeria By The Numbers

Le Nigeria en chiffres - Nigeria World Cup


the number of times the country has appeared in the World Cup. Nigeria made its debut in 1994, then participated again in 1998, when they rose to 16th place before being eliminated. Forgetting the past, in 2010, the Super Eagles returned with a stronger, more efficient team, led by coach Stephen Keshi.


The number on national team captain Joseph Yobo’s jersey. After an absence due to an injury, the Nigerian defender, who grew up in Norwich City, is back in a leadership role and hopes to lead his team as far as possible in this competition.


The number of African championships they have won.  The Nigerian team is actually the African champion after its victory in CAN 2013 finals against Burkina Faso in South Africa. As African Champions, the Super Eagles hope to represent the continent valiantly at the Brazil World Cup (as does Cameroon, Ghana, Algeria and and and…)


The sum of goals made by the best shooter in the history of the Super Eagles: Rashidi Yekini.  Before his death in May 2012, the Nigerian striker was selected by the national team 58 times.  He made 37 goals for the team between 1984 and 1998.


The most number of goals made by the Super Eagles in a single match. That was in 1959, against the Dahomey (Benin) during the finals of the Nkrumah Cup in Lagos. Benin scored one goal (that’s right, 1!)


(this post courtesy VOA’s French to Africa Service and its World Cup blog. check it out at