Palmeiras are off to Porto Alegre, facing Grêmio and chasing those few points that would allow us to release a sigh of relief. Scolari has been experimenting with different line-ups during the week and also promoted specific training sessions for defensive and offensive players. The main novelty for Sunday’s game is the presence of 20-year-old defensive midfielder Didi. After having played well at Palmeiras B, only two training sessions with the A squad was enough to receive Felipão’s approval. Vinícius José Ignácio, as is his real name, is thrilled with the opportunity. At 184 centimetres and 75 kilos, he will carry the number 26 on his back.
Sub-17 progress to the finals
The sub-17 team consist of players that are still too young and inexperienced to join the main squad, but perhaps the future spine of Palmeiras is to be found among these kids who today Saturday beat Desportivo Brasil 4-1 and secured their spot in the final of the São Paulo Cup. Santos are the opponent. Anything Palmeiras will follow the preparations of the team and keep you updated on events.
On Wednesday, Luiz Felipe Scolari celebrated his 63rd anniversary. On Friday, players covered him in flour and eggs, as tradition calls for. The coach was all smiles beneath the pancake in the making; perhaps a good sign that there is still space for spontanious outbursts of comic relief. Whatever helps bringing these men together is welcome.
Also on Friday, but less amusing, was the breaking news that Valdivia had been punished with an additional suspension of two games by the Superior Sports Tribunal (STJD) because of his bookings against Atlético Mineiro. This means that the Chilean will be available for only one more game this season: the last round against Corinthians. What a year for Valdivia, what a year for Palmeiras…