With the clock approaching stoppage time, Palmeiras yesterday seemed to head for the first draw in 2014. XV de Piracicaba hadn’t dominated the game, but certainly cornered Palmeiras on numerous occasions, making keeper Prass deserve his pay check. With Kardec opening up the scorecard and XV equalising already in the first half, the second half continued with a certain advantage towards the home team, until they started to feel the fatigue. That’s when Palmeiras’ stronger bench made all the difference: Mendieta, Diogo and França were determining factors, with the unlikely hero of the night being the defensive midfielder, receiving a pass from Mendieta, tricking the defence and masterfully scoring the winner. Make sure to watch the highlights below.
The Palmeiras squad keep on growing, as the ninth and tenth players were presented this week:
Paulo Henrique is a left-back, who can double as a centre-back. He was brought up at Santos but out of action most of 2013 due to a serious knee injury. With a one-year contract, he was thrown in as a joker upon the conclusion of the Bruno César signing, their careers being handled by the same player manager.
Defensive midfielder Josimar has left Internacional of Porto Alegre to sign a one-year loan contract with Palmeiras. He has worked with Gilson Kleina before and comes with the coach’s full blessing. In early 2013, Palmeiras tried to sign him but his salary demands were unrealistic. Now, Palmeiras offered him the same amount as in 2013 but with inclusion of productivity clauses, as with all newly arriving athletes at the club. Deal closed.
Only a year of new management, new attitudes, new concepts, new procedures. Only a year, and perceptions regarding Palmeiras have changed considerable. Palmeiras are respected. Palmeiras are the place to be. Players with multiple offers opt for the Verdão. Bruno César, expected to debut against Corinthians on 16 February, even gave up on receiving US$ 800.000 – a debt Al Ahli wanted to pass on to Palmeiras – in order to speed up the transfer process. Yes, things have changed. And this is only the beginning.
Not only Palmeiras are growing, but so is the Allianz Parque. Our new home stands 82% concluded, and now in February grass will be planted. Escalators are working. Various tests are being carried out, like during the recent visit by a group of physically disabled who perambulated the stadium in search of bottlenecks.
New Adidas training jerseys were introduced last weekend at Palmeiras. They pay homage to the first truly great Argentine football club – the Racing Club de Avellaneda – who were Argentine champions no less than seven times between 1913 and 1919, earning the nickname “La Academia”. In the 60ies, Racing again stood out from the rest with an incredible squad, while in Brazil, Palmeiras were the team to beat. That generation of players at the Verdão inevitably also became known as “A Academia”. The jersey is a beautiful example of honouring and recognising history.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
I missed the game, but wow, what a beautiful goal by França. Thanks for the highlights. The new shirts look good in action, too!
It’s funny, but before the year started, I had a feeling it was going to start well. It doesn’t look like last night’s performance was the best Palmeiras have had to offer, but a sign of great teams is managing to win even when they’re not at their best. Avanti! =D
Davide, it was indeed far from the best game. XV actually proved quite the nut to crack. But as you said: good teams win even when they are not at their best. And França probably extended the duration of his personal promotional DVD by 50%. Hehe. Cheers!
I also have to wonder what all these new corintianos who sprung out of nowhere after their Club World Cup victory are thinking now. Just a great start to the championship in every way. 😉
Great analysis as usual, Kristian. I too missed the game due to timezones and an appointment. Thanks for posting it.
You’re always more than welcome, Sal.