With all due respect to São Caetano: tomorrow is the day Palmeiras return to the first division, and in great style before a sold-out Pacaembu. Even a draw would mathematically secure ascension, but expect a resounding victory.
The Big Green will step on the pitch in canary yellow, paying homage to the Palmeiras squad who on 7 September 1965, in the inauguration game of the Mineirão stadium in Belo Horizonte, pulled on the National Team jersey to beat Uruguay 3-0 in a friendly. Pre-orders of the new Palmeiras jersey reached a record 5.000 within the first two weeks. Today, a picture finally leaked on the internet. Now that’s a mighty fine jersey. It does however come with a rather hefty price tag: R$ 249,00 or US$ 115,00.
Valdivia is back, and in style. Check out his new boots, yet another novelty in tomorrow’s clash. Only 2.000 pairs of this Adidas F50 model will be made, signed Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto. With imperial lions now guarding Valdivia, surely we’ll see an end to his frequent injuries.
There are more reasons to smile: pre-game, Palmeiras will premiere the “Palmeiras na TV” – a 25 minute long TV programme, scheduled to air twice a month on the football cable channel “Premiere”, part of the Globo network. Says director of marketing Marcelo Giannubilo: “There will be different and unexpected pieces, with news and backstage information. It’s all part of building the Palmeiras brand. A TV campaign, with a communication’s strategy, promotions and events, all lined up to a special plan due to the upcoming centenary.” Programme host will be Talita Rocca: journalist, model and, yes, palmeirense.
A piece of news destined to appear on the “Palmeiras na TV” is the recent decision by Palmeiras’ fiscal and deliberative councils to grace legendary keeper Oberdan Cattani with a bust at the Allianz Parque. Only three other players have received the honour: Waldemar Fiume, Junqueira and Ademir da Guia. A forth bust, for Saint Marcos, is in the making. At 94 years of age, Cattani is the only living person to have played for both Palestra Italia and Palmeiras. Better late than never: Cattani should have received the tribute long ago. Congratulations, Oberdan! Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!