Grêmio 0-0 Palmeiras
The apathy we witnessed against Chapecoense clearly was the low mark: Palmeiras improved against Botafogo – albeit losing also that game – and performed a lot better in yesterday’s away draw against Grêmio. The southerners did put on a monstrous pressure in the first ten minutes of each half, but apart from that, Palmeiras were in control and created more scoring opportunities, one of which actually evolved into a goal, incorrectly disallowed for offside. It was Diogo’s first in the Palmeiras jersey and would have propelled us back in the G4. A shame.
Part of the explanation for yesterday’s improved performance is to be found in interim coach Valentim’s decision to, finally, promote young Wellington back into the defensive centre lock with Lúcio, freeing up Marcelo Oliveira to destroy the offensive of the adversary higher up on the pitch. It worked well – apart from those early minutes mentioned above – and Palmeiras dominated the midfield. The supremacy did not result in goals due to the absence of Valdivia or anyone possessing similar playmaking skills: Mendieta is not the man, so much is understood, and Bruno Cesar has yet to show his worth. Freshly recovered from an injury, Bruno César was on the bench against Grêmio, and now have six weeks to get in optimal shape before the Brasileirão resumes.
D minus 45
The squad has received two weeks of holiday, returning to face Ricardo Gareca on 16 June. The first week of training takes place in São Paulo, the second in Atibaia. In total, Gareca will have a full four weeks to mould the squad and incorporate new players (?) to the mix.
The interrogation point in the paragraph above is justified by president Paulo Nobre’s statement during a press conference earlier today, where he said that Gareca “was only joking” regarding Nobre’s alleged promise to him to bring in reinforcements. True or not true: what a silly thing to say, Paulo Nobre. Makes Gareca look foolish at best, while simultaneously pouring cold water on supporters desperate to see some new signing filling out the obvious holes in the squad.
Press Conference – part I
At the abovementioned press conference, Nobre announced that Palmeiras had accepted an invitation to participate in the Copa EuroAmericana, a friendly tournament with clubs from the Americas and Europe pitched against each other much like the Ryder Cup in golf: no individual team (or player, if we keep the Ryder Cup comparison) becomes champion, but rather a whole Continent.
Palmeiras play Fiorentina/ITA on 30 July, at the Pacaembu stadium. The other teams in this year’s edition of the EuroAmerica Cup are Estudiantes (Argentina), Atlético Nacional and Junior Barranquilla (both from Colombia), América (Mexico), Universitario (Peru), San José Earthquakes (United States), and Europeans Atlético de Madrid (Spain) and Monaco (France). With six teams from the Americas and only three European, I assume the European teams each play two teams from the Americas.
The event is a good showcase for all teams involved, contributing to the international strengthening of the club brand. And Palmeiras’ game against Fiorentina will take place only three days after the derby against Corinthians at the Itaqueirão… Exciting times, my friends.
Press Conference – part II
Nobre also announced a series of activities that will integrate the commemorations of Palmeiras’ 100th birthday:
Retro tournament – with participation of former Germânia (now Pinheiros), Paulistano, Juventus and, of course, Palestra Italia. The competition will take place in the Mooca neighbourhood, São Paulo, where the Juventus stadium is situated.
Birthday Banquet – special, centennial banquet with surprises for the participants.
Green Blitz – on August 26, all palmeirenses are asked to wear their green jerseys. At key points all over São Paulo, small gifts, stickers and pins of the centenary will be handed out.
Busts – keepers Marcos and Oberdan Cattani (the only man alive having played for both Palestra Italia and Palmeiras) will see the uncovering of their busts.
Centennial Monument – to be placed in front of the gym at Palmeiras’ Social Club.
Muse of the Centenary – in the coming weeks, a female palmeirense will be chosen to represent the Club in all her beauty.
Commemorative books – three of them, celebrating the centenary of Palmeiras.
Commemorative pens – specially crafted and in limited numbers.
Commemorative stamp – a homage paid by the Brazilian Postal Office.
Commemorative coin – specially crafted by the Brazilian Mint.
Centennial jersey – official jersey in celebration of the 100 years of the club.
Mobile trailer – a Palmeiras “mini-museum” of sorts, circulating the state of São Paulo and, if possible, other Brazilian states.
Not bad. Not bad at all. The marketing division at Palmeiras showing some results. At last, some would say. Although an important topic – and very visible – remains to be solved: the Master Sponsor. It’s been more than a year…
A badge worth a hundred
Launched in late April, the commemorative badge. Vincit qui se vincit. A victor is someone who overcomes himself. Palestra Italia. Palmeiras.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!