Trophy in hands, planning underway

Yesterday, Palmeiras convincingly beat Ceará 4-1 (goals by Eguren – his first, Charles, Alan Kardec and Leandro), severely reducing the chances of the opponent to finish the season in the top four. Chapecoense are already there and Sport, due to yesterday’s away victory over Boa Esporte, idem.  Thus, only one spot remains before the final round, with three teams on equal score: Figueirense, Icasa and Ceará. Last of the three, only Ceará plays at home, but against difficult seventh-placed Joinville. Also, Ceará are two victories short in comparison to Figueirense and Icasa. I believe Figueirense are able to bag three points against uninterested Bragantino and secure ascension, regardless of Icasa beating Paraná or not.

Before yesterday’s game, Palmeiras’ directors resumed talks with coach Kleina, presenting a slightly improved offer: instead of his current R$ 300K/month (roughly US$ 130K) he’s been offered R$ 180K in addition to hefty bonuses if achieving pre-set goals (i.e. win titles). In order to reach these goals, Nobre has promised Kleina several reinforcements. And apparently, Nobre intends to implement the same model (lower salaries, attractive bonuses) on newly arriving players and on those in the process of renegotiating their expiring contracts. That second group consists of no less than 13 players, including Patrick Vieira and Mazinho, who are returning from Japan, as the second division season in the land of the rising sun yesterday came to an end.

“Where I come from, this is common practice”, explains club president Paulo Nobre. “Above all, it’s a question of dividing responsibilities. Today, everybody benefits when the club wins, but only the club carries the burdens of defeat.” Nobre is aware that the model will be challenged, not least due to the risk of Palmeiras losing players to rivalling teams that are ready to pay more. Still, he’s convinced that it’s the best way to administer things in the long run.

Coach Kleina seemed very sceptical at first, even offended, but a change of mind can now be detected. “Who knows… This is a new concept. One needs to look into this, understand how it works” he told reporters after yesterday’s game. Also Nobre seem again confident the club will reach an agreement with Kleina. Chances seem fairly good a new contract will be signed in the meeting scheduled for coming Tuesday.

— ooo —

While Palmeiras lifted a trophy, Anything Palmeiras didn’t: the LFC Fans Corner blog – a Liverpool FC blog run by ten lads spread throughout the World – proved too hard a nut to crack, receiving the “Best Football Club Blog” award in the 2013 FBAs. Our sincere congratulations to the winners.

THANK YOU all palmeirenses who voted: even though we didn’t muster the bi-championship, in one way or the other we contributed to place Palmeiras on the map.

— ooo —

As of this week, the documentary “Santo Marcos” go up on screens for those lucky enough to be in São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Campinas, Londrina or Maringá (last two in the state of Paraná). For now, the rest of us can nothing but watch the official trailer, over and over again.

Almost a footnote: next Saturday afternoon Palmeiras make the season’s last appearance against Chapecoense, in the state of Santa Catarina.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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