Chile a huge test for Brazil
The business end of the World Cup starts, and the hosts face their toughest test, yet
Brazil, as expected, finished at the top of their group. But that was the easy bit. The hard bit starts tonight with their second round clash against Chile. The hosts have an excellent record here, they haven't lost to the Chileans since 2000, they have won 10 of their last 12 encounters. But that will count for nothing now. There are as many reasons to be confident as there are to be cautious. Read the full report in our print edition on June 28. Subscribe to The New Paper, now available in print and digital, at http://bit.ly/tnpeshop.
He's out, but Ronaldo will be back
A long season, injury and mediocre team take their toll on World Player of the Year
Cristiano Ronaldo's subdued performances for Portugal at the World Cup after his scintillating form for Real Madrid last season suggest the tournament was a bridge too far for the Ballon d'Or holder. Ronaldo was expected to be among the stars at the Finals in Brazil but after a gruelling season, when his record haul of 17 goals helped Real win a 10th Champions League crown, the Portugal captain did not seem to have much left in the tank. The 29-year-old also seemed to be suffering the lingering effects of a left knee problem that surfaced towards the end of the European club season and his sole goal, the winner in yesterday morning's (Singapore time) 2-1 victory against Ghana - his 50th for the national team - was scant consolation as Portugal failed to make the last 16. It would be unfair to blame the Iberian team's abject failure only on Ronaldo, who was playing in a mediocre side short on genuine quality. Ronaldo is theoretically at the peak of his powers and will surely have a part to play at Euro 2016 before perhaps bowing out of international football at the 2018 World Cup. And a player of his calibre is sure to bounce back with a vengeance. Read the full report in our print edition on June 28. Subscribe to The New Paper, now available in print and digital, at http://bit.ly/tnpeshop.