Sonar pings #25

This Thursday FIFA announced the calendar for the Confederation’s  Cup 2013 and the World Cup 2014. The city of São Paulo was confirmed as the host for the 2014 opening ceremony and game. Congratulations to all us taxpayers – the marginal improvements in São Paulo’s infrastructure will serve as justification for the “investment” of at least USD 250 million of public money, in the shape of tax reductions, earmarked for the private stadium that is being built for Corinthians. Shame is the name of the game.

Speaking of FIFA: Palmeiras earlier this week sent documents to FIFA on the Martinuccio case and included pictures of a Palmeiras jersey – signed by Martinuccio with a personal greeting from the player to Palmeiras president Tirone – to counter the claim made by Fluminense that the player was not aware of what he was signing (a pre-agreement with Palmeiras) earlier this year. Stay tuned for further developments.

Kleber continues training in isolation from the rest of the squad. The striker’s image has gone from idol to Judas in record time. While some few still believe in his reintegration to the squad, most speculations are centred on which club he will join as soon as this season is over. Grêmio, Flamengo, Corinthians? While this is being settled, supporters keep themselves busy swapping ideas through social media on best ways to remove name and number without damaging a jersey.

Not only over here do players fall out of grace with supporters. The argentine striker Teves, who left Manchester United in a least than friendly fashion and is now facing suspension at his current club Manchester City, has caused such turbulence that a campaign has been started ahead of tomorrow’s derby between the two teams: trash your Teves jersey – be it United or City – and get a new one for free. I can imagine that container getting pretty full…

Idols are indeed hard to come by these days. Our own seems closer to retirement for each week that passes. Marcos was not to be found at today’s game against Figueirense and Scolari admitted this Friday that although “The Saint” has been working hard he’s not getting much closer to the desired performance level in order to retain his position between the posts.

Today against Figueirense Scolari reached the mark of 350 games for Palmeiras. Congratulations to our commander. We all wish the commemoration would happen with Palmeiras in better shape than currently.

The game also marked the return of João Vítor on the bench. Due to an injury to his left knee he was out against Santos, Flamengo and Fluminense. This was the first time he faced the supporters after the incident on 11 October, when João Vítor and two friends of his got involved in a fight with some Palmeiras supporters in front of the official Palmeiras store. João Vítor this week expressed his wish to leave what happened behind him and start a new life. “I hope to be happy and make the supporters happy”, he concluded.

Ah, yes… You want details on the game against Figueirense? At the Canindé stadium Palmeiras lost 2-1, the second straight loss at home. Hopeless in the first half and behind on the scorecard already after 10 minutes, Palmeiras improved significantly in the second half but was unable to overcome the Figueirense defence. The Florianópolis team counterattacked and scored their second goal with 15 minutes to go. In the last shivering moments of the game Tinga crossed nicely to Ricardo Bueno who closed the scorecard with a header.

Today did nothing to bring Palmeiras closer to the “safe zone”: we need another 3-4 points in order to relax. Doesn’t sound too difficult, does it? No, it doesn’t, but when considering the pathetic performances as of late, one must admit that there is a real possibility of a tragedy without precedence, especially as many of the bottom teams are starting to get their act together and climb the ladder. We’re in a bottomless pit, heads first.

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