For the first time in history, this year, all of Palmeiras’ youth divisions made it to the semi-finals of the São Paulo state championships. But they did not stop there.
# U11 on Sunday play Santos in the first leg of the finals.
# U13 on Sunday play Corinthians in the first leg of the finals.
# U15 on Saturday play São Paulo in the first leg of the finals.
# U17 on Sunday play Ponte Preta in the first leg of the finals.
# U20 on Friday play Novorizontino in the second leg of the semi-finals, having won the first leg, away, 2-0.
In addition, the U17 are alive and well in the Brazil Cup: after eliminating Vasco da Gama on the quarterfinals, they beat Flamengo 4-1 in the first leg of the semi-finals and will, if they go through to the finals, face Chapecoense or Corinthians.
Palmeiras athletes have been called up to integrate Brazil’s youth squads in increasing numbers. Evidently, the rapid and broad evolution of the club’s youth divisions – largely a legacy of former president Paulo Nobre who made it a priority to extinguish “Palmeiras B” and remodel the whole approach – carry potential great revenue for Palmeiras, be it through players to be integrated into the main squad or sold to top clubs in Europe or elsewhere. However, for that to happen, Palmeiras need to look very carefully at the final transition phase, from youth to main squad. There is something missing there, and has for some time, in terms of quality, quantity and mental strength. Palmeiras are not known as a hatcher of great talents, but could and should be, even more so considering the financial muscle now available. There is plenty of lessons learnt, good practices to copy, and successful professionals to sign (if needed).
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!