The most optimistic Palmeiras supporter would never imagine the 2021 we had. The year started with a Libertadores title and finished with another. Breno Lopes’ goal in January against Santos and Deyverson’s 301 days later against Flamengo made Palmeiras the Brazilian team with the most Libertadores titles in history, tied with Santos, Grêmio and São Paulo. The icing on the cake was the Copa do Brasil title in March against Grêmio.
2021’s calendar was insane. Palmeiras’ 2020 ended only after the win against Grêmio in the second leg of the Brazil cup final on March 7th, with the 2021 season already underway with a tie against Corinthians on 3 March, Palmeiras fielding nothing but substitutes. Palmeiras in 2021 played 91 games, the most of any team in the world.
Palmeiras had only two periods of more than 10 days without games throughout the whole year. The first (13 days) happened just before the first leg of the Recopa final against Defensa y Justicia, during Brazil’s most deadly time during the COVID-19 pandemic. The second (14 days) was in the beginning of September while Brazil’s National Team were playing and Palmeiras’ games were postponed.
Palmeiras played almost every game available in the Brazilian football calendar in 2021. The only premature elimination happened in the third stage of the 2021 Brazil Cup, just two weeks after an insane sequence of 18 games in 38 days between the second leg of the Recopa and the second leg of the Paulistão final. Although probably the biggest frustration for palmeirenses in 2021, the elimination allowed more resting time for our players, avoiding injuries that could have hampered the team in the Libertadores.
2022 will certainly be marked by yet another crazy calendar, due to the World Cup at the end of the year. At least this time, the Palmeiras squad has time to rest before the season starts. Most of our players were allowed to take their vacation after defeating Flamengo on November 27th and will enjoy almost two months without playing before Palmeiras kick-off the next season on January 26th against Ponte Preta for the São Paulo state championship. The game will be followed by a trip to Abu Dhabi where the battle for the FIFA Club World Cup title takes place in February. Palmeiras will arrived better prepared than last season; let’s hope this is reflected in the result!
Anything Palmeiras wishes palmeirenses all around the world a Happy New Year! May 2022 be as good as 2021 was!
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
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by Augusto Anteghini Oazi
*Here at Anything Palmeiras, we love football. We love Palmeiras. We are always keen to see Palmeiras play, and keen to write about it for you. But we’re against the return of football in a country that still hasn’t controlled the coronavirus pandemic. We express our deepest sympathy to the families whose loved ones have been taken by the disease.