As habitual, since 2015, Palmeiras kick off the upcoming season well in front of opponents. Important steps have already been taken to provide supporters with another excellent year, Palmeiras in the run for all possible titles.
Alexandre Mattos and Cícero Souza
The two heads at Palmeiras’ football department had their contract renewed until December 2021. Besides their excellent overall management abilities, Alexandre Mattos is well known for his negotiation skills. As soon as he was confirmed as Palmeiras’ director of football for another three years, the news started popping:
The signing of Bahia’s 25-year-old midfielder was made official on Thursday afternoon. The player signed for five years. In 2018, Zé Rafael played 67 games, scoring thirteen goals and providing six assists: a player many teams have had their eyes on but who was kind of destined for Palmeiras, due to Palmeiras having passed attacking midfielder Allione over to the baianos last year.
The second player announced by Palmeiras is also one of the most talked about upcomers in this year’s edition of the Brazilian Championship, having scored seven goals for Ceará. Arthur is a promising forward, only 20 years old, another one now on a five-year agreement with the Verdão.
The 26-year-old fullback was on loan from Cruzeiro since 2017. This week, Palmeiras opted for exercising their buying rights, signing him for the next five seasons. Excellent call, if you ask us.
Prass, Jailson and Edu Dracena
The veteran trio (Dracena and Jailson are 37, Prass is 40), champions in 2016 and 2018, renewed their contract with Palmeiras for another year. Recognition of their important work both on and off the pitch in 2018.
Players on loan
Eighteen players will return to Palmeiras from loan. Probably, only a couple of them will stay: Erik and Raphael Veiga. Finding clubs eager to take on the rest is yet another work to be carried out by Mattos.
Unfortunately, we bring not only good news. Willian suffered a knee injury last Sunday against Vasco da Gama, when reaching out to control the ball and get it to Deyverson to score the goal that confirmed Palmeiras’ tenth league title. The severity of the injury was confirmed the other day: torn ligaments and 6 to 9 months of recovery. The effort came with a high price tag, Willian. Best of luck with the recovery, fera!
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
– – – ooo – – –
by Augusto Anteghini Oazi and Kristian Bengtson