South American Soccer

South American Ticker: Robinho dazzles in Santos return, Ortega's struggle and more

Robinho 1 (GettyImages) 


Robinho showed his appreciation to his old club Sunday. The diminutive striker made his return to Santos a memorable one by notching a late match-winner with a mind-boggling back-heel goal to help his side to a 2-1 away in against Sao Paulo in the Paulista tournament.

The Brazilian is currently looking for some productive first-team soccer but is also desperate to bring back the magic and characteristics that made him the talk of the footy world before suffering a dip in form with Manchester City, who approved his loan to Santos until the summer.

In Sunday's contest, Sao Paulo equalized with about 20 minutes left with a Roger header after 18-year-old sensation Neymar had put Santos up earlier with a nifty penalty kick. Robinho entered the match in the 58th minute and combined nicely with Neymar before grabbing the winner with about five minutes left.

Here is Robinho's winner (at the 1:05 mark):

Here are some other stories from the weekend in South America:


In Argentina, Ariel 'El Burrito' Ortega, who was once the subject of rumors of playing in MLS, is again facing a battle with alcohol. The River Plate midfielder abruptly left the team's training center prior to his team's 0-0 Clausura match against Rosario Central after being told not to dress for the match.

River Manager Leonardo Astrada notified Ortega of his decision after the midfielder failed to show up at the team's center on Friday night to prepare for this week's game. Ortega walked in Saturday morning, apparently in bad condition, according to reports in Argentina.

Ortega has been battling alcohol addiction for years and has had several off-the-field dilemmas.


Paolo Guerrero is still in his native Peru recuperating from torn knee ligament damage and…..his fear of flying?

Over the weekend, the Hamburg striker, whose contract expires at season-end, said in an interview that he plans to be back on the pitch next month and sign an extension to his contract with the Bundesliga outfit, declarations that caught his manager, Bruno Labbadia, by surprise.

Labbadia was perplexed that Guerrero would even mention his phobia to the press and also labeled his early return to the field as a "false assessment." Guerrero also faces some stiff competition now that Ruud van Nistelrooy has been scooped up from Real Madrid.

While sympathetic towards Guerrero's condition, the Peruvian press wonders how this came about from the national team striker whose made numerous trans-atlantic journeys for friendlies and World Cup qualifiers.


What do you think of Robinho's goal? Hoping he joins Santos at Red Bull Arena for the stadium's opening? Glad that MLS never picked up Ortega? Share your thoughts below.

  • inkedAG

    How does a international player from South America have a fear of flying? How did he get to Germany in the first place?


  • Angelo

    About that PK, about 8/10 of all PK’s taken in the Brazilian league are taken like that, its been like that for about 2-3 years. apparently the refs let it go. i think its a gutless move…


  • DClee

    Agreed. I hate that type of PK. An Honduran side, CD Marathon did that against D.c. united in CONCACAF Champions League play this past season and everyone including some players were like how is that legal but apparently the rules have been changed so that PKs can be taken like that. BS if you ask me!


  • Josh D

    By soccer “law,” once you start your run you are not meant to stop… Doesn’t stop refs from allowing it though…

    Consistency from refs is what we’ve been missing in the game for the last few years. Too much “interpretation” from individual refs…


  • Jonny2bad

    In Brazil they turned it into “uterere^” fun to say, they still do it down there.


  • Neuwerld

    There is no FIFA law prohibiting PKs like that. All the Laws of the Game say regarding PK procedure is:

    “- After the players have taken positions in accordance with this Law, the
    referee signals for the penalty kick to be taken
    – The player taking the penalty kick must kick the ball forward
    – He must not play the ball again until it has touched another player
    – The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves forward”


  • brunomarmos7

    Yes, it’s allowed. You can stop in the middle of the run, but you can’t come back. The foot can’t make a back move, but it’s allowed to stop during the move of the kick.


  • Alexandria

    How are mid table teams in the epl better? They seem to always get bounced out of the ueafa cup all the time. The EPL has top teams ranked 2,3,5 in their top 3 but after that, you can’t honestly say they are better, then the teams from other leagues.


  • understood

    its because most soccer fans in this country only watch EPL, Champs. League, MLS, and US Nats so they lack perspective


  • I

    In that case… take a look at the replay again. His leg clearly comes back before he kicks the ball…


  • Carl

    You guys are crazy… the EPL is by far the best league in the world. The best players play there.


  • Pico

    If you study the history of world soccer, the best players in the history of the sport (except Pele) have always opted to play for the most technical leagues in the world: Spain, Italy, Portugal, France, and Germany. Just start enumerating the names of the best players from Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Spain, Italy, Germany, Holland, France, Portugal, Russia, countries from the old Soviet block, and you will get the idea.

    If the EPL and MLS are your only reference to the game, there is so much you are missing.



  • Scott A

    There’s an argument to be made. It’s in the top 3 without a doubt. But it’s false to say it’s the best league in the world by far


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