It’s not quite the same without a couple of things a day to make you wonder “what the hell”, is it? Well, now that the focus has shifted from the Copa do Brasil, rest assured thing will go back to normal (and by normal I mean reporting as usual on all Palmeiras snafu).
Midfielder Felipe, recently arrived at Palmeiras after a spectacular season at Mogi Mirim, has left for Atlético Paranaense. The 22-year-old, not much appreciated by Scolari, was liberated from his contract with Palmeiras (running to May 2013) in order to sign a four-year contract with his new club. In the transfer, Palmeiras got R$0,00, the equivalent of US$0,00. Odd? A Palmeiras director explained: “He was not going to be used by Scolari and by releasing him quickly to the first club that showed interest, we’re ridding Palmeiras of the burden to pay Felipe’s salary”. As dryly commented by Conrado of Verdazzo: no need for that second car of yours? Well, give it away to the first man that passes by on the street; congratulations, you’ve just saved yourself from some licensing fees.
Why are Palmeiras indulging in charity? How likely is it that no-one got anything from this transfer? This bed-time story is not putting anyone to sleep.
Then there’s Valdivia. His comments last Sunday about “contracts existing to be broken” certainly rocked the boat. Today was D-day for any transfer to the Arab World (in Europe, 31 August). Surely enough, Palmeiras received several proposals, the most lucrative coming from a club in Qatar. Although many would rather keep Valdivia at Palmeiras – including football manager César Sampaio – the athlete himself apparently was keen on the offer. In the end, also Palmeiras were apparently ready to play ball when resistance surged from Osório Furlán Júnior, the investor who has a huge percentage in Valdivia and was crucial for bringing him back to Palmeiras last year. Furlán probably thinks that for him to get his investment back, Valdivia must be in the limelight, i.e. next year’s Libertadores Cup. With this, Valdivia stays. For now. How motivated and for how long is impossible to speculate about.
Let’s wrap things up on a lighter note: the coach of the English National team, Roy Hodgson, yesterday visited Palmeiras’ training grounds together with other members of the Technical Committee. This was the third time the Committee visited Brazil scouting for a suitable base for the National team to be used during the 2014 World Cup.
“I was delighted with what I saw”, Hodgson said before added that the Training Grounds are excellent and have every condition to satisfy a National team. Hodgson also expressed his satisfaction with the opportunity to catch up with Scolari: “He’s a remarkable man”, he concluded.
Later this year, a delegation from the USA with the same mission is also expected at the grounds.