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 By James Young

Champions Cruzeiro are a shining light in Brazil's bleak football year

Cruzeiro players celebrate after clinching the Brazilian league title on Sunday.

"Don't expect to walk into a bar in Belo Horizonte and hear Cruzeiro fans chanting the name of [Ricardo Goulart], the star of this year's Brazilian championship. And it will be hard to find kids shouting his name when they dribble round their opponents in schoolyard kickabouts," began a story on a major Brazilian football site after Belo Horizonte club Cruzeiro had clinched the Brazilian league title for the second consecutive year on Sunday, beating Goias in front of 57,000 people at a rain lashed...

 By James Young

Brazilians facing nightmare on home soil

Brazilians woke up this Saturday morning to a relatively unfamiliar sensation. Even though it has been 12 years since the country's last World Cup win, five mundial titles, a steady production line of talent and even the minor feather-in-the-cap bonus of last year's Confederations Cup triumph all add up to put an inherent spring in the step of the average Brazilian football fan.

That all changed after the "Massacre at the Mineirao" last Tuesday. Now the glass is not so much half-empty as knocked...