Palmeiras 1-0 Figueirense – with the approval of Gareca

henmen.
A typical Alberto Valentim game, a typical Alberto Valentim victory. Palmeiras played with a lot of heart, didn’t display that much of convincing football, but overall deserved the victory. Special mentions to Diogo, ever-present both in offense and defence; Fábio, showing at each new appearance that Fernando Prass – when back after healing his elbow – will have to work hard to recover his position in the starting eleven; and Henrique, once again the decisive goal scorer.

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Ricardo Gareca followed the game from a cabin at the Fonte Luminosa stadium, next to president Paulo Nobre. The Palmeiras players seemed a little extra “energised” during the 90 minutes, which is, of course, normal. And a final comment regarding yesterday: Bernardo made his (timid) debut in the Palmeiras jersey. The three points propelled Palmeiras to an excellent 4th position in the tables.

— ooo —

gareca_jerseyToday at noon, Palmeiras officially presented Ricardo Gareca as the new coach. Calm, polite and, well, almost graceful, Gareca received a personalised jersey before answering the journalist’s questions. He expressed his satisfaction with the opportunity to coach Brazil’s biggest club, said he was ready for the challenge, and that he would adopt to Palmeiras and not the other way around. Gareca also hinted at new players arriving (“Nobre has promised”), although not getting into any details.

Although most of us expected Gareca to take on his coaching duties immediately, it was today announced that Valentim will be in command for the remaining three games before the World Cup break. Gareca will watch the games in loco, make his observations, and take over command as soon as players return from their brief holiday after he last game against Grêmio.

At first, I admit disapproving of the decision, being of the opinion that Valentim’s winning streak likely will come to an end; I would much prefer having Gareca coaching Palmeiras against Botafogo and Grêmio. On the other hand, Valentim is on a roll and Gareca has personal business he needs to attend to, including the move of home and family to São Paulo. In addition, relieved from the day-to-day duties of coaching and training, the Argentine have the opportunity to personally talk to players he’d potentially like to see joining the squad. Names include fellow countrymen Lucas Pratto (forward at Vélez Sarsfield), Fernando Tobio (centre-back, also at Vélez) and Diego Milito (forward, former Inter of Milan).

Below, a short clip showing Gareca’s arrival in Brazil, his first visit to Palmeiras and the moment of signing.
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Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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