Behold Allianz Parque

Yesterday, the official name of Palmeiras’ New Arena was announced. Chosen by 89% of supporters (a total of 620.000 votes cast) and the sponsor alike, “Allianz Parque” it is. Be sure to check out the video below, screened during the announcement cerimony.

Some consider this the ultimate display of selling one’s soul. Others, that the Brazilian football landscape is changing and that Palmeiras are spearheading that change. After all, we see a solid and competent construction company – WTorre; a world-leading events and sports promoter – AEG; an international and financially strong investor in sports – Allianz Insurance Group; and nothing less than the Brazilian club with most national titles – Palmeiras. Add some 15 million supporters. These five components now come together under one roof,Allianz_Parque_logo merging tradition, innovation and passion for decades to come. It’s safe to assume many a rivalling football director lay sleepless at night.

Changing the subject: there are things happening on the transfer front.

Forward Ananias has arrived as part of the deal involving Souza, who left for Cruzeiro. The 24-year-old comes on loan until the end of the year, with Palmeiras having the option to extend the loan period or even purchase the player. The deal also contemplates an old debt that Cruzeiro settles for Palmeiras, plus the option for Palmeiras to buy Charles and Marcelo Oliveira after their loan periods come to an end at Palmeiras.

Ananias, born in São Luís (state of Maranhão), has previously played for Bahia and Portuguesa. At his first press conference, he promised to work hard and honour the Palmeiras jersey. If he doesn’t, he certainly won’t last long. That being said: I have a good feeling about this one.

Another player already considered in the bag is midfielder Mendieta. Clubs, player and agent have reached an agreement and the Paraguayan is expected in São Paulo any day now to undergo medical exams and sign the contract. Four seasons, apparently. Speculated transfer sum some US$ 1.5 million. Good and timely signing, if going through.

Other speculations include right-winger Luis Ricardo of Portuguesa in a swap including Maurício Ramos and Maikon Leite; and 23-year-old Argentine attacking midfielder Patito Rodriguez, currently at Santos, for Wesley. Only speculations. Only. Speculations.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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