The straws we’re grasping at are increasingly slim, short and slippery. The draw against Botafogo wasn’t the last nail in the coffin, but Palmeiras are now seven points behind Bahia (would’ve been five hadn’t Lusa keeper Dida make things that much easier for the baianos) and Portuguesa, with Sport – also in the relegation zone – three points ahead of us. Twelve points (four rounds) are still available, meaning that Bahia and/or Portuguesa are not allowed to sum more than five points each while Palmeiras must win all remaining games (Fluminense, Flamengo, Atlético Goianense and Santos). You optimistic? If Vasco da Gama lost six in a row, we could win four… Always look on the bright… And so forth.
Yesterday’s game was a good game, a tight duel. Palmeiras just blew too many clear chances while individual faults (this time Maurício Ramos seemed as if having two left feet) tipped the scale against our favour. Barcos was magnificent (again) and with his two successful attempts reached his personal goal for the season: 27 times on the score sheet – the same amount he scored last season for LDU. Yesterday, Barcos’ late equaliser was a piece of art. He’s simply too good for Palmeiras, at least the Palmeiras we’ve come to know the last few years. Would he stick around for second division play? I don’t think so. And it wouldn’t cross my mind blaming him for not to. If we’re in fact relegated perhaps a creative solution could be found, with Barcos on loan to let’s say Cruzeiro for a season. After all, he’s on contract with Palmeiras until 2015: would be a shame to see him go so soon, especially after having bonded so well with the Palmeiras supporters.
A week of training before Sunday’s clash in Presidente Prudente against visiting top dogs Fluminense, with Fred and all. A loss and Palmeiras could, depending on a combination of results, be mathematically relegated (and Fluminense crowned champions) already on that same night. A win and hope regains its strength. Coach Kleina believes in four straight wins: he remains motivated and Palmeiras are in his prayers. Positive energy, prayers and dreaming come free of charge. I’d encourage everyone to do a little bit of each.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
If Barcos does leave, it will be a huge loss. This is not an understatement. I am new to this futbol life being American and married into futbol. Why is it set in stone great players who participate for a team all season long who end up relegated deem it necessary to leave the team? Why do so many people say if Palmeiras is in the second division he will be over looked for Argentina’s national team? From my point of view you make the bed you sleep in. He is contracted for next year he participated in more than a majority, should he not feel obligated to stick it out, play in the Libertadores, and win the second division? And, like the skunks come back with vengeance on the Brasileiro by winning it with that sour second division taste in our mouth. Like I said I am very new to all this American sports are very different from this.
Rafa, it would indeed be a huge loss. But it’s not set in stone that great players leave. Especially if having played for a longer time in the club. Many did not leave when Palmeiras was relegated in 2002, most notably keeper Marcos. But then again, he’s one of the greatest of all times wearing the Palmeiras jersey and never has played for any other club in his life (only the National Squad).
There are a few strong arguments why a really good player shouldn’t/wouldn’t play in the second division: a) good players need good competition to stay on top of their game b) the performance of any player tends to be underrated due to happening in a less competitive setting c) the more extensive travelling and sometimes worse playing conditions (poor stadiums and pitches, for example) increase fatigue and risks for injuries.
Barcos has done more than anyone would expect from him in 2012 and has bonded strongly with Palmeiras and the supporters. He’s the last to blame if the team goes down. He’s had his first shot at the National Squad and would be crazy doing anything to jeopardize his future career. That’s how I feel about it. I’d love for him to stick around, but I couldn’t blame him if he didn’t. Remembering he might even get transfered against his will if an offer from abroad is high enough. We’ve seen our directors do the craziest things…