We’re trying something different today. These lines are written as the ref’s getting ready for kicking off Palmeiras’ last game at the Pacaembu this season (final two games will take place out of São Paulo). Against Boa Esporte from the city of Varginha, state of Minas Gerais, Palmeiras need a draw to secure the title. With a defeat, Chapecoense mustn’t win against Bragantino. Worst case scenario, palmeirenses must wait another full week to “celebrate”.
[and there’s the whistle. first half underway]
The title should’ve been bagged last week, but the odd goal defeat away against Paysandu prolonged the spectacle.
Frankly speaking: Palmeiras being the champions of Série B means nothing. Now, losing the title to Chapecoense would certainly mean something.
[3 minutes, Kardec hits the post with a marvellous free kick]
Palmeiras today, again, without the most prominent players: Wesley Vilson, Mendieta, Leo Gago, Caio and Vinicius are all in the Medial Department. Valdivia’s serving the Chilean national squad. Luís Felipe seems, de facto, to have packed his bags, heading for Europe.
These remaining games, the title… Everything fall in the shadow of the main question: who will command Palmeiras in 2014? The club went after the Argentine 58-year-old top dog Marcelo Bielsa (Vélez, Argentine and Chilean national squads, Athletic Bilbao) but got cold feet upon hearing his demands: R$1 million (US$ 435.000) a month (after tax, mind you), three cars, and whatever else I couldn’t be bothered listing. Is he good? Yes. Is he that good. Not a chance. There’s got to be alternatives between Kleina and his gross R$ 300.000 a month and the cool net million Palmeiras would need to cough up for Bielsa.
[28 minutes, great goal after a tremendous effort by Wendel on a seemingly lost ball, serving Felipe Menezes]
Anyway, seems as Palmeiras are negotiating Kleina’s stay. Parties haven’t reached an agreement and Kleina wants a raise. Apparently, his feeling were hurt after learning Palmeiras were talking to Bielsa. Journalists spot a story when they see it and if they don’t, they make sure to provide a helping hand; Kleina, the players, directors, the question is always the same: should Kleina remain? Directors remain silent, while players (understandably) give their support to their (possibly also future) coach. While 15 million supporters impatiently await a conclusion.
It’s been an interesting week for Anything Palmeiras in terms of visibility, with two special features on international sports portals. Firstly, on SportsDirectNews, then on the Swedish portal Svenska Fans. Some of it clearly derives from exposure in the Football Blogging Awards, where Anything Palmeiras once again made the shortlist. If you haven’t voted, you have until Sunday: just follow the instructions. Winners to be announced Thursday 21 November.
[second half now underway]
Today and in following two games, shoulder region of the Palmeiras jersey sport the logo of Meltex, the company who so far his year has opened no less than ten “Academia” stores with Palmeiras gear.
[11 minutes and Charles drives the ball fast before passing to Leandro who shows all his class as he dribbles the keeper to increase the lead]
Not that big a crowd today at the Pacaembu, but that’s partly to blame on yesterday’s holiday, with many travelling to the coast for the extended weekend. Still, some 19.000 made it to what’s clearly the game of the title. Palmeiras now dominating the action.
[31 minutes, the sweetest pass by Eguren to Juninho, who repeats the shot to equal the 3-0 scorecard from two weeks back in the victory against Joinville]
Chapecoense beating Bragantino and securing ascension. Two spots remain, with at least six teams in decent conditions.
There it is, ladies and gentlemen. Palmeiras, Série B Champions 2013. It’s been, well… It’s been. To never be again.