Before anything else: forgive me for leaving you in the dark in relation to the first leg of the sub-17 São Paulo Cup final that took place last Saturday. My post-weekend post was so focused on the mathematical escape from relegation and the following and sudden dismissal of the entire Palmeiras press office staff that I entirely forgot to mention that we were victorious against Santos. 1-2 was the final score, and Palmeiras can now afford to lose the second leg by the same score at home (due to a better overall campaign we have the benefit of the draw) and still raise the trophy. The kids did more than alright; they played excellent football and showed that there are indeed good things happening at the base. The second leg is being played this Saturday, at 10 am. Stay tuned!
Looking ahead to the coming two games against São Paulo and Corinthians respectively, president Tirone has promised that players will receive an extra bonus if winning. Marcus Assunção and others quickly minimised the impact of this measure, claiming that if salaries were being paid on due dates, players should get on the pitch and to their best always, not depending on bonuses to boost performance. He is of course right, not least considering the disappointment that was/is Palmeiras of 2011.
Looking further ahead, the São Paulo football federation recently released the schedule for next year’s edition of the Campeonato Paulista. The regulations remain the same: first eight teams progress to the quarter-finals. Both quarter and semi-finals are played in one game only; in case of a draw, penalty shootout. The final is a two-legged affair.
Below, with courtesy of the always excellent Blog do IPE, behold the dates of Palmeiras’ games:
Round 1: Bragantino x Palmeiras, 22/1 (Sun)
R2: Palmeiras x Portuguesa, 25/1 (Wed)
R3: Catanduvense x Palmeiras, 29/1 (Sun)
R4: Palmeiras x Mogi Mirim, 1/2 (Wed)
R5: Santos x Palmeiras, 5/2 (Sun)
R6: Palmeiras x XV de Piracicaba, 8/2 (Wed)
R7: Palmeiras x Ituano, 12/2 (Sun)
R8: Americana x Palmeiras, 18/2 (Sat)
R9: Palmeiras x Oeste, 22/2 (Wed)
R10: Palmeiras x São Paulo, 26/2 (Sun)
R11: Linense x Palmeiras, 29/2 (Wed)
R12: Palmeiras x São Caetano, 4/3 (Sun)
R13: Botafogo x Palmeiras, 11/3 (Sun)
R14: Palmeiras x Ponte Preta, 18/3 (Sun)
R15: Corinthians x Palmeiras, 25/3 (Sun)
R16: Paulista x Palmeiras, 28/3 (Wed)
R17: Palmeiras x Mirassol, 1/4 (Sun)
R18: Guarani x Palmeiras, 8/4 (Sun)
R19: Palmeiras x Comercial, 15/4 (Sun)
EDIT: IPE informs that the exact dates are not yet decided – the list above indicates order of games and approximate dates (for example games scheduled for a Sunday can be moved to a Saturday). The final list will be compiled in the next few weeks.
And there he goes, surely to make Grêmio’s supporters miserable. Kleber, Gladiator, K30… Or, as preferably called by most palmeirenses for the last few months, Judas. He didn’t leave a day too early. And I must admit that a smile came across my face as I saw the pictures (courtesy of his rotten-to-the-core agent Giuseppe Dioguardi) of him signing the 5-year contract with Grêmio, apparently boosting his salary to nearly double the amount he was receiving at Palmeiras. Suckers. Perhaps I also should try offending my boss and then fake injury in order to get a raise?
Grêmio paid Palmeiras roughly US$ 2.8 million for a 50% share in the player (the other 50% belong to Cruzeiro), which must be considered reasonable – for Palmeiras, that is. My smile grew even bigger when I saw the ridiculous little doll in blue and white stripes. Poor gremistas… I give them six months: K30 will be out the back door faster than you can say “traitor”.