High noon, and all spotlights were directed toward Bruno César, the 25-year-old competent midfielder receiving his Palmeiras jersey, number 30, from the hands of president Paulo Nobre. We learnt the player gave up on receiving US$ 800.000 – a debt Al Ahli wanted to pass on to Palmeiras but the club was more than hesitant to take on – in order to speed up the transfer process. We learn he is eager to show his worth, to get in shape as soon as possible, preferably to debut for Palmeiras against his former club, arch rivals Corinthians. We learnt this and more, but unfortunately, our attention was irrevocably diverted by the unexpected news that our team captain, Henrique, was leaving for Napoli. The Swedes call this “smolk i bägaren”, dirt in the cup. You’re commemorating, you’re lifting your glass to toast, and something comes in the way to ruin your happiness.
Napoli had expressed interest in Henrique before, but as a loan. Now, with the transfer window closing on Friday, they turned it up not one but many notches: €4 million for Henrique, offering him a four-year contract. The players’ agent deemed Napoli’s offer irresistible, and so did Henrique, signing the agreement as Palmeiras gave their blessing. Of the €4 million – actually corresponding to only two thirds of the stipulated transfer fee – Palmeiras pocket 80%, the remaining 20% to be split between the player and his agent.
Henrique is a good player. And our captain. But he’s not irreplaceable. If the “irre$i$tible” offer made him change his mind, better let him go before he contaminates the rest of the squad. €4 million is not bad cash. The timing is not good, but that’s out of our director’s control. Now, a replacement is needed, and fast. Depending on what will arrive, we’re in better shape to judge to what extent Henrique’s exit was beneficial or detrimental to Palmeiras.
A final word, and always worth remembering: We Love Palmeiras. Players do not. They play for Palmeiras, and they get paid for it. Never expect their love, much less demand it. Hell, distrust any player who expresses his love for Palmeiras (there are a few exceptions to this last sentence, and we all know who they are). Adopting this posture will save you from disappointments, time and time again.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!