July 3, 2014
Soccer and finance may not be that different after all, and ahead of Brazil’s quarter final showdown with Colombia on Friday, LatinFinance looks at how the LatAm rivals stack up
Brazil and Colombia both come to the field with something to prove in their clash in Fortaleza on Friday. Colombia, the underdog, will be looking to cement its rise in global rankings while Brazil, the powerhouse, needs to show it maintains dominance after some slippage.
Brazil has already shown off its skills on the European field, scoring €1bn in March in a move that helped its club players in the region. The win was all the more impressive for having come days after pundits moved it down global rankings.
Still, Brazil hasn’t played a match in the Americas since last year — although that resulted in a resounding $3.2bn win.
The game is also critical for Brazil’s managers, who could be replaced as soon as October. Colombia’s managers are in a more comfortable spot, having been confirmed in their jobs last month.
Colombia has less experience than Brazil in the international arena, but it has built a strong fan base following recent outings in the Americas. It scored $2bn in a long shot, taken from 30 years out, in January. That followed a strong showing when it took to the field last September. It scored $1.6bn then and drew cheers from fans from Europe, the US and Asia, as well as from the home crowd.
Friday’s match comes after a string of triumphs by teams from Latin American and the Caribbean this season. Ecuador left jaws hanging when it scored $2bn in its first match in the international field in six years. The sovereign was sent off with a red card after marking a $3.2bn foul in December 2008.
Jamaica also surprised the crowd this week when the team netted $800m. The Caribbean country has had two yellow cards in the past five years. Manager Peter Phillips is thought to have benefitted from international advice from a team of international specialists led by Christine Lagarde.
Friday’s winner could end up meeting Argentina or Costa Rica in the final. Costa Rica so far seems to be performing well under its new manager, although questions remain as to whether it can maintain its spot in global rankings.
Meanwhile, Argentina’s zigzagging moves have left pundits guessing. The team has gone all out on both defense and attack in what is thought to be a bid to please the home crowd. Manager Axel Kicillof is talking tough, but whether the team can pull through remains 50-50 in the eyes of some. LF
LatinFinance wishes luck to all the teams in the World Cup finals