What to expect from a squad with 10+ key players suspended or in the medical department? Certainly not much in terms of teamwork. On the other hand, one must always expect dedication. And Palmeiras showed dedication a plenty against the most recent cry baby of Brazilian football: Coritiba. True, the referee made several mistakes, but these were rather equally distributed between the two teams. In the end, the draw was fairly just and Coritiba proved, again, to be nothing but a timinho. Lot of talk an not that much else.
Good news are we might get as much as six players back ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Nautico (from Recife, state of Pernambuco) at the Barueri arena. Three points are imperative and will take Palmeiras out of the relegation zone to which they will not return. Palmeiras are obviously not going to be up there fighting for the title this year, but I foresee the Verdão developing considerably in the second half of the tournament and making life hard for every single opponent until the final rounds.
Another good piece of news is that Valdivia has announced his wish to stay at Palmeiras and play in the Libertadores Cup next year. His family situation is yet to be resolved (wife Daniela has refused to return to Brazil after the express kidnapping the couple suffered earlier this year) but at least the Chilean midfielder seems determined enough to pursue his career at Palmeiras regardless of succeeding or not in making the missus return.
Yet one more thing well worth mentioning is that Palmeiras have reached an agreement regarding the franchising of the club’s official merchandise. The tender was won by Meltex in stiff competition with Adidas; the contract will run for six years and the first store will open in late 2012. Meltex will not only sell official products, but also develop and manufacture new ones.
The deal should drastically improve visibility of the Palmieiras brand, in addition to boost Palmeiras’ cash flow, as almost US$ 10 million will be immediately injected in the club as an advance payment.