Yesterday, Palmeiras announced the new coach for the 2020 season: Vanderlei Luxemburgo. Three months after Felipão’s farewell, it looks like we are back in the nineties.
Luxemburgo will command Palmeiras for the fifth time in his career (sounds insane? Well, yes, it is, but this is Brazil) with a contract valid for two years. One of the most victorious coaches of the club, he has already bagged the São Paulo State Championship four times (1993, 1994, 1996 and 2008), the Brazilian Championship twice (1993 and 1994) and the Rio-SP Cup twice (1993 and 1994) with Palmeiras. “Luxa” is also the coach with the most Brasileirão titles in history: five.
The idea of signing Luxemburgo grew strong after a deal was not reached with Sampaoli. Although asking for a very high salary, most considered the Argentine a done deal. Palmeiras quit negotiations as Sampaoli showed little flexibility.
Having to look beyond the first option also happened with another vacant position, the one of football director, previously held by Alexandre Mattos. Palmeiras had Thiago Scuro (Red Bull Bragantino), Rodrigo Caetano (Internacional) and Diego Cerri (Bahia) as the main options, but settled for Anderson Barros, previous football executive at Botafogo. Although Barros has a 25-year-long career in the football business, he is not much known, in part due to his reserved behaviour, very contrasting to Mattos’ popstar vibe.
With Cícero de Souza remaining for 2020, the signings of Luxemburgo and Anderson Barros define the management team of next season. The idea now is to kick off the reshaping of the squad, in addition to the renovation of Palmeiras’ football management, as envisioned by club president Galiotte.
Let’s make one thing clear: Vanderlei Luxemburgo is not renovation. But he understands football and the mind of footballers. If he’s motivated, and resonates with the squad, good thinks could happen. But Luxemburgo 2020 is yet a another shot in the dark. Palmeiras, within months, going from Mano Menezes to Vanderlei Luxemburgo. Good luck trying to find the red line…
— ooo —
by Augusto Oazi & Kristian Bengtson