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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Neglected Maracana to reopen in March after falling into disrepair

A view from above shows the poor state of the Maracana pitch.

The Maracana stadium is due to reopen next month after falling into disrepair following the 2016 Olympic Games.

The legendary Rio venue was caught in a political dispute over maintenance following the games, but that has now been resolved.

It means the Maracana will host a match between Flamengo and Argentine club San Lorenzo in the Copa Libertadores on March 8.

But much work remains to be done before then, with the pitch in need of attention and repairs needed in the stands.

The stadium, which...

 By Chris Wright

Twice as good as Pele? Striker in Cornwall, 49, scores 2,000th goal

There's a chance it may have passed you by, but Sunday was a truly momentous day down in the lower reaches of the English amateur game.

This was because one of Cornish football's greatest goal scorers notched the 2,000th goal of his long and storied 36-year amateur career.

Mark "Rappo" Rapsey, 49, came on for Wadebridge Veterans against Lanreath and promptly scored twice to pass the milestone -- some 19 years after he first passed the 1,000-goal mark.

To put that into context, Brazil legend Pele...

Australia to face Brazil in friendly at the MCG in June 2017

Australia
The Socceroos will take on Brazil this summer.

Australia will meet football powerhouse Brazil at the MCG in June in the lead-up to the Confederations Cup.

The Socceroos will meet Brazil on June 13 in a friendly, with the South American giants in Melbourne for a blockbuster clash with Argentina four days earlier.

Australia will be coming off a World Cup qualification match against Saudi Arabia on June 8.

Brazil have no shortage of world superstars, with Neymar, Philippe Coutinho, Oscar and Dani Alves expected to draw thousands through the gates.

Australia...

Brazil federation sacks gold medal-winning Rogerio Micale as youth coach

Brazil coach Rogerio Micale
Rogerio Micale led Brazil to the country's first Olympic gold medal last summer.

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Brazil's football confederation has fired the coach who led Neymar and company to the country's first Olympic football gold medal in Rio de Janeiro.

Confederation spokesman Gregorio Fernandes confirmed on Monday that youth division coach Rogerio Micale was removed after Brazil failed to qualify for the next Under-20 World Cup.

In nine games in the South American U20 championship, Brazil won three, drew four, and lost two, ending in fifth position.

Micale started with Brazil U20s...

 By Tim Vickery

The contrasting fortunes of Brazil's Gabriel Barbosa and Gabriel Jesus

Gabriel Barbosa came off the bench to score his first Serie A goal and seal three points for Inter at Bologna.
Pep Guardiola is unsure if Gabriel Jesus will return for Man City this season, expecting a two or three month recovery.

Less than six months ago, when he prepared for his first game as Brazil coach, Tite had a big decision to make.

He was taking over a team under pressure. Brazil were down in sixth place in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualification table, outside the slots that guaranteed a spot at Russia 2018.

The fixtures ahead looked tricky, starting with a visit to the altitude of Quito to take on Ecuador, who were level on points with leaders Uruguay. In such daunting circumstances, who should take the role of centre-forward,...