The endless upstream

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At times, the only reaction is “you gotta be kidding”. With Palmeiras through to the knockout phases in the Copa Libertadores and the São Paulo Championship, the last game against Ituano should have been a formality, the only spice being a possibility to advance a position or two in the tables to seek easier opponents in the quarter-finals. Well, Palmeiras not only lost 2-1, but lost Fernando Prass: our keeper was harshly challenged by an opponent inside the penalty area while clearing a ball and fell badly, injuring his left shoulder. Six to eight weeks out of combat is the doctor’s verdict, meaning Bruno will be our hope between the posts during the concluding stages of the abovementioned tournaments. Bruno, who came on against Ituano and can be held directly responsible for the two goals suffered.

Making things worse, the causes for pains centre-back Vilson had been feeling in his left knee proved worse than expected, the player this morning undergoing a surgical procedure to remove fragments from the knee. At least four weeks away from the pitch. Vilson is one of the few newcomers available for the Libertadores Cup. Or rather, was.

Palmeiras’ medical department also includes Patrick Vieira, Valdivia, Kléber, Leandro Amaro, and Edilson. Chronic structural problems? Bad luck? I bit of both? A lot of both? In any case, Valdivia and Kléber could be ready for Saturday’s game. Let’s hope they are not only ready but hungry as Bayern Munich.

This coming Saturday, a single quarter-final decision against Santos. Already the following day, Palmeiras should be heading for Mexico to face Tijuana, on artificial grass, on the last day of the month. My guess is that we roll all over Santos but lose rather badly to Tijuana.

— ooo —

Midfielder Souza’s contract expires at the end of the year. Palmeiras wanted an extension, but Souza’s recent success has clearly gone to his head and his salary demands were simply insane. Seems he’s gotten a raise as an attempt to keep him happy, but the redhead might be looking closely at offers likely to materialise mid-semester. It would be a shame if he left prematurely, but on the other hand if money’s all he’s thinking about, better leave sooner than later. He has the capacity to write history at Palmeiras: hope he’s ready to listen to anyone who could spell that  out for him.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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