The 2014 Campeonato Brasileiro got underway at the weekend, to relatively little fanfare. For European fans weaned on the pizzazz of the Premier League, La Liga et al, the start of the Brazilian season can seem like a strangely anodyne affair. Sure, people are excited, but there’s little of the urgency that defines the big kick-off in the Old Continent.
This is a perennial problem. The structure of the season in Brazil ensures that Série A begins just when the two most important cup competitions – the Copa Libertadores and the Copa do Brasil – are clicking into gear. With the former offering prestige and the promise of a money-spinning Club World Cup campaign, you can understand why contenders tend to take things easy in the Brasileirão. The Copa do Brasil, meanwhile, is a de facto qualifying competition for the Libertadores. It also matters.
This year, the proximity of the World Cup could have its advantages, however. In this early stage of the season, a number of players will be looking to impress enough to secure their place at the competition.
Read the rest of this piece over at Yahoo! Eurosport.