Today, the Palmeiras squad left for São José do Rio Preto and tomorrow’s game against Oeste. Before departure, newly elected Palmeiras president Paulo Nobre visited the men in the locker room and introduced himself:
“A new era is starting at Palmeiras, and at this new Palmeiras we want to shield you and allow you to only play ball. Many doubt my competence for being a young president, but I have trust in me and I have trust in my players. You will have all possible backup under this new management and what we want from you in return is for you to wear the Palmeiras jersey, honour the club’s traditions and die on the pitch out of respect for the supporters, our biggest asset. I count on you to help us turn the tables and start a new era at Palmeiras.”
Barcos then spoke briefly in the name of the group, thanked the president, promised hard work and wished the new management good luck.
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On the day of the elections – certainly feeling which way the winds were blowing – César Sampaio announced his detachment from the club. The football manager was left without a contract as of 1 January but continued his tasks, working for free, aiding the former directors in their negotiations with Torres, Azevedo and Riquelme. A melancholic end, if I’ve ever seen one.
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Sampaio’s exit is of course intimately linked with Nobre’s intention to hire a professional football manager, but a manager with a very different mandate from what we are used to see in Brazil: Nobre is envisioning a manager with great autonomy, including the power to hire people. The manager would, European style, head the football department and respond to no one but the president himself.
This manager has a name: José Carlos Brunoro. Responsible for the Palmeiras/Parmalat partnership during the golden years 1992-1996, the current Audax football manager is expected to within days accepted the invitation to return to Palmeiras, the club he openly supports.
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And as these last lines are written, the Verdãozinho are eliminated from the Copinha after losing 2-3 to Santos. But the kids are alright.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!