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Carlos Tévez to Corinthians and Brazil’s penalty pain

19th July, 2011

Manchester City yesterday confirmed that an agreement had been reached with Corinthians for the sale of Argentinian strop-thrower Carlos Tevez. The deal suits Tevez, who has sensibly used an infinitesimal portion of his multi-million pound fortune to procure himself a world map which clearly shows that Corinthians’ home of Sao Paulo is in fact closer to his much-missed family in Argentina than is Milan, the dwelling place of F.C. Internazionale, the striker’s other principle suitors. It will also appeal to the Brazilian FA, who will be delighted to have enticed within their borders the one man whose recent exploits from twelve yards may deflect attention from their own countrymen’s failure to score a single goal in Sunday’s Copa América quarterfinal shootout with Paraguay.

Of course Elano, André Santos and Fred, whose penalties all failed to hit the target, and Thiago Silva, whose effort was placed at the perfect height for Paruguay’s outstanding skipper and goalkeeper Justo Villar to bat away effortlessly, weren’t the only Brazilians to have fluffed their lines over the past two weeks. Failures to been Venezuela, for whose football team the term whipping boys may well have been coined, and an undeserved draw against Paraguay, secured in the dying minutes, meant that Brazil’s only victory was against a poor Ecuadorean team who still managed to scare them by twice coming back from single-goal deficits until finally capitulating and allowing Brazil to run away with a flattering 4-2 scoreline.

Ramires, a player who over Brazil’s four matches displayed remarkable ball control for a headless chicken, clucked of the quarterfinal loss: “after the way we played today, I’ve never seen a more unfair result in my entire career.” Surely proof positive that the Chelsea midfielder’s head hadn’t been in the group stage encounter with the same country, when Marcelo Estigarribia made Dani Alves look as though by getting into Brazil’s starting eleven he’d managed to pull off an even bigger hoax than Ali Dia’s at Southampton, only for Paraguay to somehow contrive to allow Fred to equalise with one of the last kicks of the match. Nor indeed had he been paying much attention when Luis Fabiano handled the ball twice en route to opening  the scoring against the Ivory Coast at last year’s World Cup. It wouldn’t be cruel to suggest that given his distribution throughout the four matches his country were involved in during the present tournament, one might be forgiven for thinking that Ramires doesn’t see too much of anything during a great deal of the matches in which he’s involved.

This blog humbly submits the proposition that both Carlos Tévez and Ramires are unwitting agents of the English FA, who have infected the two players with a largely benign virus whose only harmful effect is an in-game loss of vision, a theory borne out by the tireless but directionless efforts of both men during the Copa América. In fact England’s FA may have in mind the longer-term strategy of incapacitating two of football’s giants at the World Cup. Evidence indicates that the contagion is spreading more quickly through Brazilian ranks, with Elano, who had a stint at Manchester City before Tévez arrived, and Ramires having infected Fred, André Santos, Thiago Silva, and possibly goalkeeper Julio Cesar, whose inability to stop two comedy strikes from Christian Benítez bodes well for England should they, and the speculative shooting of midfield odd couple Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, meet the host nation in the next edition of the World Cup. With Brazil succumbing and Argentina swiftly following, news reporting the departure of Ramires to the German top flight is expected soon…

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