Since the arrival of Abel Ferreira 16 months ago, Palmeiras have played eight finals and won four titles. Yesterday’s Recopa is probably the least important of them all, but maintaining the habit of lifting trophies is always important. And for this particular supporter, the night was unique in a very special way…
In the first leg of the Recopa, Palmeiras counted on a last minute penalty to draw 2-2 away against Athletico Paranaense, in a game where any of the teams could have gotten the upper hand. Both goals conceded by Palmeiras were the result of corner kicks.
In the return leg, at an Allianz Parque packed with 30 thousand palmeirenses, the Big Green imposed its strength over Athletico Paranaense, making the game look like your average Paulistão round. With opportunities a plenty, the only difficulty was finding someone to push the ball into the back of the net.
Zé Rafael became the solution in the 50th minute through a precise free kick that Athletico keeper Santos couldn’t reach. And although Athletico weren’t really threatening Weverton’s goal for the remainder of the game, there was always the risk of an unlucky ball taking the match to extra time. Danilo ended that possibility in the 89th minute, assisted by Atuesta to put final numbers to the game.
The title elevates Abel Ferreira even further in the gallery of Palmeiras’ greatest coaches ever. Although the Recopa is more of a celebratory event to initiate the South American football season, this is a novel trophy in our cabinet and the first title Abel has bagged with supporters crowding the stands at the Allianz Parque.
The still lingering debate whether Palmeiras play “beautiful football” or not seems inadequate, as the team just can’t stop winning. Opponents were trashed in the group stage of last year’s Libertadores, but there were also tough games, were Palmeiras looked for that one ball to secure a good result. These are extremes, but it seems clear to us that Palmeiras always play to win, no matter the importance of the tournament or the quality of the opponent.
The Abel Ferreira era is already one of the most important ones in Palmeiras’ history. Somebody please award the man with a lifelong contract!
And speaking of lifelong contracts, guess who popped the question yesterday night at the Allianz Parque, as the team lifted the trophy? Ladies and gentlemen, meet the future Mrs. Oazi!
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.