Two events marked our timeline today and both involved former golden eggs Kleber and Valdivia: the former has travelled to Porto Alegre and is expected to sign for Grêmio this week; the latter arrived late (and drunk?) to the hotel where the Chilean National Team is gathered and was, together with four other team mates, removed from the squad as punishment.
While writing these lines, I’m also watching Vasco da Gama against Universitário from Peru in the second leg of the South American Cup quarter-finals. Vasco lost the first game 2-0 and was 1-2 down in this game – and thus needed to score an additional four goals – when the second half started. With just five minutes to go, Vasco is now winning 5-2; a tremendous game, with the cariocas showing tremendous heart. And this from a team that already have guaranteed their spot in next year’s Libertadores Cup due to being current Brazilian Cup champions. Vasco are also sharing top position with Corinthians in the Brazilian Championship. So, it’s not like they don’t have plenty of other things on their mind. Nevertheless, Vasco are giving their very best to honour their history and their supporters. And doing it well. That was the final whistle: Vasco are through to the semi-finals.
I’ll use the opportunity to treat you to a little gem produced by Daniel Grandesso – owner of the excellent Blog do Maluquinho. He put this list together when midfielder Pedro Carmona was arriving a few months ago and with Klebergate in fresh memory. It’s a (sometimes, sometimes not so) tongue-in-cheek manual containing basic rules that any player at Palmeiras would do wisely to follow if he’s interested in nurturing a peaceful relationship with us supporters. Enjoy!
1. Stay far from the Medical Department. You have arrived at a prime Football Club, not a spa. In injured, always return before what our doctors expect.
2. Don’t party hard.
3. Stay away from twitter. If you don’t, at least refrain from blaming you cousin for whatever crap you post.
4. Don’t compare your salary with that of others; it’s your problem if your personal manager doesn’t know how to negotiate.
5. Don’t demand acknowledgment, earn it.
6. Never do interviews criticising your team mates, your coach or the club directors. Sort it out backstage, far from the microphones.
7. Never go to “Jogo Aberto”. If you go, dress in Palmeiras gear. Never talk to Perrone, not even in your Palmeiras gear [this part is all about avoiding certain “journalists” that are known for their anti-Palmeiras stance].
8. Kneel when you see Marcos for the first time. Address him as “Your Sainthood” or “Saint”.
9. Never ever celebrate a goal imitating João Sorrisão [a stupid TV stunt, making players behave like fools]. More important: do not kiss the badge. You don’t support Palmeiras, you play for Palmeiras.
10. Always respect the supporters and never disgrace the jersey. The badge on the chest is always more important than the name on the back.
11. Hate the referees and all your opponents. Always loath The Skunks (Corinthians) and be merciless with The Bambi (São Paulo).
12. __________. This number is immortalised at Palmeiras. You should already know this.