We’ve had a week like most others at Palmeiras, marked by unnecessary turbulence. Fuzz about the New Arena – with Walter Torre losing his patience with the unprepared Palmeiras representatives sent out to “set things straight” – made headlines as Walter Torre at one point threatened to halt work on the site unless Palmeiras president Tirone singed the needed paperwork. Although the threat was never executed (Mr Torre is much to sensible a man to take such impulsive and improper action), it was just what ex-president Mustafá Contursi needed to verbalise his never-ending criticism of the Arena and the partnership with WTorre. Contursi’s reasoning and simplistic cost/revenue projections would be laughable, wasn’t it for the fact that he’s actually got not only listeners, but people ready to act on the provided “information”. Let’s urge Mr Tirone to sign the documents as soon as possible in an effort to avoid further friction to the partnership with WTorre.
Also Valdivia was a lot in the news, mainly because of last week’s frequent use of the patented “vacuum kick” (both against Santo André and Mirassol). A few Corinthians players tried to fuel the fire by declaring that they thought the manoeuvre both provocative and unnecessary – a clear message to Valdivia ahead of Sunday’s derby. Others, like prime striker Liedson (also Corinthians), defended the kick and said that it required skill and was part of Valdivia’s repertoire, end of story. Valdivia himself has repeatedly explained that he’s been doing the kick for many years, playing for Colo Colo, playing for the Chilean National team, playing for Palmeiras. He sees no reason whatsoever for stopping. He’s right, of course.
Then there was Wednesday’s tragicomical performance of referee picking – courtesy of the Paulista Football Federation. I’m not going to repeat myself; just check out the previous post.
Thankfully, not only bad news hit us this week. Palmeiras are emptying the medical department; Patrik, Cicinho and Thiago Heleno are all advancing well in terms of recovery from their injuries and might be available for Sunday’s derby. In addition, striker Dinei was seen back on the pitch working the ball on Tuesday (although he’s not expected back in playing conditions for still some time).
Also, multiple and confident sources inform that Palmeiras have closed deals with two new sponsors: the English language school Skill (frontal stripe) and the BMG bank (sleeves). The numbers are not yet known, but the deals should be worth an estimated US$ 5 million, propelling Palmeiras into second place in the ranking of Brazilian teams with the largest sponsor-related income (Corinthians currently hold first place).
Well, that’s it for today. I’m counting hours and minutes to kickoff. With or without Paulo César de Oliveira, with or without vacuum shots, with or without rain, hail and snow: PALMEIRAS!!!