Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tim Vickery in South America

Of the many images football has left in my mind, one of the most intriguing comes from a pre-match warm up more than 15 years ago. Flamengo were about to play Internacional in the Brazilian Championship. Reunited for the first time since winning the World Cup just over two years earlier, Romario and Bebeto were exchanging passes. Bebeto was sleek and somehow vulnerable, like a cheetah. Romario was stocky and merciless, a perfect hyena. The two made natural hunting partners. It is inconceivable that Brazil would have won USA 94 without them. But it was one thing for the pair of them to knuckle down and work together for the limited time frame of a tournament, especially with a big prize at the end. Doing it week in week out at club level would surely be a different matter. The pair had big egos and different temperaments. Now they were together at Flamengo, how would they get along? Would they fire together or end up sniping at each other?

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