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Posts Tagged ‘adalberto román’

Last Thursday we learnt that five players will not see their contracts renewed at the end of the year: left-back Leandro, midfielders João Vítor and Daniel Carvalho, and forwards Betinho and Obina. In addition, Palmeiras put another eleven players out on the transfer market: keepers Pegorari and Carlos; defenders Capixaba, Luís Felipe and Gerley; centre-backs Leandro Amaro and Wellington; midfielders Tinga and Patrik; forwards Daniel Lovinho and Tadeu.

As of yesterday, four more players can start looking for work elsewhere: right-back Artur, centre-backs Adalberto Román and Thiago Heleno, and midfielder Correa.

What about arrivals? Well, the only signing so far is right-winger Ayrton, currently at Coritiba but belonging to Londrina. In addition, defensive midfielders Souza and Wendel are returning after a season on loan to Náutico and Ponte Preta respectively. Anything else, and especially involving goalkeepers, is pure speculation.

— ooo —

You will certainly have heard that former Palmeiras coach and 2002 World Cup-winner Luiz Felipe Scolari has replaced Mano Menezes as the new coach of the Brazilian national team for the 2014 World Cup. Carlos Alberto Parreira, who led Brazil to its fourth world title in 1994, has been named technical director. In case you’re looking for insights on the rather surprising swap – including the rumours on Guardiola as a candidate – I can nothing but recommend this text by the always excellent James Young.

On an ending note, Luiz Felipe Scolari lost his mother yesterday. Our thoughts go to our former commander and his family.

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The always excellent Instituto Palestrino de Estatística has given us a run-down of the foreigners that have been invited to serve in their national teams while playing for Palmeiras. Barcos is joining an exclusive group now composed 13 names, displayed below in reversed chronological order.

Note that there are many Palmeiras players that have called up either before or after having played for Palmeiras, but not during their contract with the Verdão (as for example the Paraguayan keeper Benítez and the Argentines Echevarrieta and Luiz Villa. It’s worth remembering that way back, it was not common to invite to the national squad players that weren’t playing in the national league.

The 14, from the most recent to the oldest:

1) Hernán Barcos – Argentina, World Cup qualifiers 2012

 

2) Adalberto Román – Paraguay, World Cup qualifiers 2012

 

3) Armero – Colombia, World Cup qualifiers 2009

 

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4) Jorge Valdivia – Chile, America Cup 2007 & 2011

 

5) Carlos Gamarra – Paraguay, World Cup 2006

 

6) León Darío Muñoz – Colombia, friendlies 2004

 

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7) Francisco Arce – Paraguay, America Cup 1999 and World Cups 1998 & 2002

 

8) Faustino Asprilla – Colombia, World Cup qualifiers 2000

 

9) John Lozano – Colombia, America Cup 1995

 

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10) Freddy Rincón – Colombia, World Cup 1994

 

11) Victor Diogo – Uruguay, World Cup 1986

 

12) Carlos Aragonés – Bolivia, World Cup qualifiers 1981

 

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13) Luís Maidana – Uruguay, friendlies 1967

 

14) Alberto Gallardo – Peru, friendlies 1966

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Scolari did the right thing and opted for observing a large batch of the prospects from the youth academy against Ponte Preta (obviously not wanting to risk his best players due to this coming Wednesday’s Brazil Cup final against Coritiba). We saw Deola; Luiz Gustavo, Leandro Amaro, Román (Wellington, 20′/1st H) and Fernandinho; Patrik, Márcio Araújo, João Denoni and Felipe (João Arthur, 28′/2nd H); Maikon Leite and Patrick Vieira (Caio, 9′/2nd H).

The kids are alright. Those who disappointed were the few “veterans” on the pitch: Marcio Araújo, Leandro Amaro and Patrik. Not to mention butter-fingers Deola.

Second negative aspect: both Román and, worse, Maikon Leite were taken off the pitch due to injuries; most likely none of them will be at Scolari’s disposal on Wednesday. Talk. About. Bad. Spell.
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A little over a week has passed and, as usual, there’s been lots of water under the bridge. Still, old news don’t really interest much, so today we’ll just do a quick debriefing allowing you all to focus on the upcoming clash against São Paulo on Sunday.

Since the last post on this blog Palmeiras have played twice: Guaratinguetá 2-3 Palmeiras on 17 February and Palmeiras 1-1 Oeste yesterday (23 February). The Verdão currently rest at third place, behind Guarani and Corinthians (one and two points respectively) but three points ahead of Santos and São Paulo. Highlights from the two games available below.

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A few comments regarding performance as of late:

a) Barcos fits like a glove

b) Maikon Leite and abovementioned Barcos seem tighter by the day.

c) Román made his debut yesterday and I liked what I say; good positioning and serious play.

d) Deola better watch out: there’s healthy competition named “Bruno” just around the corner.   

What else s there?

# Wesley has not yet signed, but things seem well in order; Werder Bremen patiently await while Palmeiras get the details sorted out with a co-financer. Wesley yesterday passed the medical exams and today even showed up at the grounds, pulled on the Palmeiras training gear and went to the gym. True, there’s nothing signed yet but in this case I’m sticking my neck out: Wesley is Palmeiras and the last piece of the puzzle in order to form a truly competitive squad.

# Chael Sonnen… As you remember he won his last fight and is now expected to fight Anderson Silva for the title. Stepping up his strategy of annoying his future opponent a bit further, Sonnen recently filled up his twitter account background with the Palmeiras badge (Silva is Corinthians). However, the big mouth can expect no official support from Palmeiras: president Tirone has made it clear that Palmeiras have no interest in sponsoring the athlete.

# Carnival has come and gone and the Mancha Verde samba school (linked to the Palmeiras supporter group with the same name) did well, finishing in fourth place. Idols like Edmundo and Marcos were found among the components of the school. Below, a few of the highlights from the Mancha Verde parade.
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— ooo —

And finally we’ve arrived in the present. On Sunday Palmeiras face São Paulo. The main question mark is in regard to Valdivia, still in the late stages of recovery from a muscle injury in his thigh. I believe he’s game and will make all the difference.

AVANTI PALESTRA!

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Transfer market update
Paraguayan defender Adalberto Román has arrived. He comes as a loan for US$200.000 until the end of the year and is already training with the squad. If Palmeiras in 2013 would like to permanently release the 24-year-old from his contract with River Plate they need to put an additional US$3.5 million on the table.

Román will be the third Paraguayan defender to pull on the Palmeiras jersey; Rivarola and Gamarra have passed through here before.

One more foreigner arrived in São Paulo today: Argentine centre forward Hernán Barcos. Barcos leaves LDU after Palmeiras having offered the Ecuadorian club US$4 million for 70% of the player’s economic rights. Destined to sign a three-year contract, 27-year-old Barcos seems in good shape, eager and confident. Let’s see if Scolari finds the right place for him on the team – up there in the penalty zone where his 1,89 meters and 81 kilos make a difference.

Then there’s Jonas, the right-winger from Coritiba who was negotiating with Palmeiras but in the end preferred Santos (and clearly spelled it out in an interview). Turned out the deal with Santos didn’t materialise and Jonas… Well, the 24-year-old might, to Scolari’s delight, end up at Palmeiras after all. Seems as the deal involves roughly US$1.2 million to Coritiba and that Jonas and Palmeiras are already agreed on salaries. If the deal goes through, Jonas would be the fifth reinforcement in 2012 (after Barcos, Román, Daniel Carvalho and Juninho).

Not only are players arriving, but a few are leaving as well. Striker Dinei is returning to second division club Vitória, where he played in 2008 before being transferred to Spanish Celta de Vigo. Dinei never got it right at Palmeiras, scoring only once in 21 appearances (although we must admit that most of the games he would come on in mid/late second half).

Another player seemingly on the move is Vinícius. The young striker has for some time been targeted by Udinese (what IS it with these guys at Udinese; they’ve already snatched Danilo and Gabriel Silva) but now it seems a Spanish club have entered the scene. Palmeiras – owner of 80% of the kid’s economic rights – are keen to let him go if the price is right. I must say I think it’s a shame: in 2009 when Vinícius was only 16, he became the youngest player in history to play an official A-team game for Palmeiras. Is this the end of what could have been a beautiful story for Vinícius AND Palmeiras?

New Arena
Yesterday Marcos made his debut as promoter of the New Arena, doing a tour of the construction site together with legend Ademir da Guia and a group of 40 visitors. When Marcos returns from his holidays WTorre intends to sign him up as the “ambassador” of the stadium. Marco’s future attributions are not clear, but WTorre has made it clear that it involves much more than just the use of Marcos’ name and image.

WTorre is also negotiating the naming rights of the New Arena. Ajax’s main sponsor, insurance company Aegon, has made an offer of US$210 million for 20 years. WTorre has signalled interest, but believes the same amount could be had for a 15-years contract. WTorre is in no hurry to close the deal; in the words of director Rogério Dezembro the more one can show of the actual Arena, the easier it gets to negotiate the naming rights. WTorre is talking to several others and a deal could be closed in 30 or in 180 days, he says.

AVANTI PALESTRA!

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While the signing of Carlos Alberto on Sunday took an unexpected turn, then crashed and burned (officially the player’s salary demands were incompatible with Palmeiras’ offer but it’s widely known that a possible/probable chronic injury was confirmed in his pelvic region) we yesterday had the first glimpses of Daniel Carvalho in Verdão’s training gear (to the left, with also newly contracted Román on the right). A bit out of shape, the attacking midfielder was involved in a swap with Atlético/MG where the Belo Horizonte team were allowed to keep Pierre provided that they also presented an undisclosed amount of money in addition to handing over Carvalho. While Pierre signed a three-year contract with Atlético, Palmeiras are taking it a bit slower with Carvalho: the contract runs until December with the option of a two-year extension.

28-year-old Carvalho is a good player, skilful. His best moments so far were while playing for CSKA Moscow, where he won eleven trophies between 2003-2008. He’s served the Brazilian national team. Let’s see if he’s capable of resurrecting in the hands of Scolari and in the Palmeiras jersey.

— ooo —

Palmeiras. Eight times Brazilian champion. One of the “Big Four” in São Paulo.

If we’d look only at national titles won the last 15 years, sustaining that Palmeiras is still “big” would prove impossible. While the three other major teams in São Paulo compile 25 titles in the Paulista, the Copa do Brasil and the Campeonato Brasileiro since 1997 (Corinthians 11, Santos 7, SPFC  7), Palmeiras have won 2 titles: one Paulista and one Copa do Brasil (which, important to stress, eventually led to the Libertadores Cup title in 1999). Still, the last decade and a half has not been much to brag about for any palmeirense.

Fortunately Palmeiras are still “big” because they remain in the top division; because of their glorious past; because of their large supporter base. But the brand is deteriorating, i.e. losing value, by the day. It’s no coincidence that drafting new players has proven an ever more difficult task. No coincidence that Palmeiras are starting up the season without a major sponsor. No coincidence that results on the pitch are disappointing to say the least. The club is run by amateurs and their legacy – decades of mismanagement – is starting to affect the very core of the institution.

A few weeks back, Marcelo Santa Vicca made convincing arguments in an article posted on Verdazzo. The article is based on recent research carried out by leading market analysts. Below you find key points taken from Vicca’s article – with a few comments of my own interlaced – illustrating the problems that Palmeiras are facing.

GFK Custom Research Brazil
People were asked to judge a team’s correlation with 13 different qualities listed, including intelligence, authenticity, trustworthiness, education, honesty, sophistication, charm, bravery, etc. Palmeiras ranked low, almost bottom low, in ALL categories. Out of the teams surveyed, only Vasco da Gama had a score comparative (i.e. equally low) to Palmeiras’. This shows that Palmeiras are bad at unveiling and spreading knowledge about the club’s past and present, which is packed with outstanding examples of positive, brave and ethical conduct.

BDO/RCS yearly study on brand value
The company uses 18 variables to measure and rank football brands. Ever since the first survey in 2004 Palmeiras have held fourth position, but the problem is that the gap to lower ranking teams is closing in while the top three are moving further away. It’s also worth noticing that teams with considerable weaker brands (and with less revenues) in the last years have succeeded in assembling stronger teams than Palmeiras.

Pluriconsultoria’s study on player value
Here it gets really ugly: of the teams that remained in the first division after the end of last year’s Brazilian championship, Palmeiras’ squad showed the worst appreciation index of them all: less than 0.5 per cent. In comparison, Vasco’s squad appreciated 23 per cent, Corinthians’ 17 per cent and SPFC’s 5 per cent. Santos’ squad is valued at a little over US$180 million: three times that of Palmeiras’. And when we take into account that Santos have inferior revenues and a much lesser supporter base than Palmeiras…

BDO/RCS study on club income
In 2010 Palmeiras cashed in US$78 million, the fourth largest revenue among Brazilian clubs. We could compare this to Vasco da Gama’s US$46 million (comparing with Vasco is good; they are a team with roughly the same number of supporters and also on the Rio/SP axis). Palmeiras’ revenues were 70 per cent higher than Vasco’s and the Palmeiras brand has an estimated value of 178 per cent of Vasco’s. Even so, Vasco in 2010/2011 put a team together that in the end was worth 49 per cent more than the Palmeiras squad, won the Brazil Cup and finished as runner up in the Brazilian championship.

Football business in Brazil is underdeveloped: a recent study conducted by the Getúlio Vargas Foundation found that in 2010, football generated US$6.1 billion in revenues. However, if the administrative structure in Brazil would resemble the European, a whopping US$34.4 billion could have been generated. In addition, the study concludes that Brazilian football teams on average generate only 29 per cent of their potential revenues. That being said, it is clear that a process of professionalism is happening in Brazilian football but that Palmeiras, as highlighted by the studies presented above, have failed to connect.

When will Palmeiras be run like a company and not a condominium board?

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Everything shrinks in proportion to Marcos’ announcing his retirement. Still, a few things from the last two weeks that went by are worth noticing.

Kassab visits the New Arena
São Paulo mayor Gilberto Kassab visited the New Arena construction site in late December together with Palmeiras president Arnaldo Tirone and representatives from the construction firm WTorre. The reason for the visit was convincing the mayor of the importance to dismiss a few bureaucratic formalities that today hinder the expansion of the planned parking lot (from a thousand to roughly three thousand parking spaces) as well as the demolition of a specific part of the old Palestra Italia stands (without going into much detail: today the New Arena is formally a “renovation”, meaning that parts of the old stadium necessarily need to remain; WTorre and Palmeiras wish to redefine the New Arena as a “new construction”).

Kassab promised to study the case and signalled that he could have it solved by February. If that if fact would happen, the final price tag will drop and the Arena could be finished up to four months ahead of schedule.

Players arriving…
In mid November Scolari asked for “steak and shrimp” in 2012, meaning some quality players to work with. Let’s see what’s arrived on Palmeiras’ menu so far, shall we?

Marcos Paulo – the 19-year-old midfielder from São Paulo-based club Mogi Mirim will start in the Palmeiras B squad. At 1.85 and 76 kilos, the kid seems also to have a good head on his shoulders. It’ll be interesting to follow his development; good luck to him.

Juninho – the left-winger replacing Gabriel Silva (Udinese/ITA) was officially introduced to the squad on the day of Saint Marcos’ retirement. Straight from Figueirense – where he had a very good year and was elected one of the three best left-wingers in last year’s edition of the Brazilian championship – the 21-year-old from Bahia is now on a three-year contract with Palmeiras. Good luck, Juninho.

Adalberto Román – yesterday Palmeiras also confirmed that Paraguayan defender Adalberto Román is arriving. The player is currently with River Plate/ARG but found himself out in the cold after having committed a stupid penalty that sealed River’s relegation to the second division. Román will join Henrique, Leandro Amaro, Maurício Ramos and the recently promoted Wellington, occupying the place left by Thiago Heleno who underwent surgery in both his feet and will not be back until April/May. The contract is for a year, with the option of buying the economic rights of the player at the end of 2012.

Carlos Alberto – apparently everything is set for the arrival of the offensive midfielder currently belonging to Vasco da Gama but on loan to Bahia due to disciplinary problems in the Rio de Janeiro club. Carlos Alberto didn’t do too well at Bahia either, scoring no goals, making no assists and spending half of the championship in the medic’s department.

The funny thing is that the charismatic troublemaker, who in 2008 managed to get himself kicked out of São Paulo Futebol Clube, has a rather impressive CV: in 2004 he won the Portuguese League and the Champions League with FC Porto under José Mourinho before moving back to Brazil and becoming Brazilian champion with Corinthians in 2005. He also won the Brazil Cup with Fluminense in 2007.

Carlos Alberto is 27 years old and certainly an above average footballer when he sets his mind to it. The question is: will he? He might. Who knows he finds joy side by side with Valdivia in 2012. Details on his contract have not been made public, but if the price is right it could be worth a shot, although it’s a long shot indeed.

— ooo —

What bothers me is not so much Carlos Alberto himself, although I do consider him a high risk investment and potentially dangerous for the social environment of any football club. No, it’s the procedure of getting to him that drives me crazy. Would you believe me if I told you that Palmeiras’ director of football Frizzo was chatting away with an old friend in the interior of the state of São Paulo and this friend told him about this other friend, who is a pastor, who had spoken well of Carlos Alberto due to knowing him from church? Frizzo started pushing buttons and shortly after meeting with Carlos Alberto face to face decided to go ahead and contract him (no wait, I’m being unfair: apparently, Frizzo also called his son to check his reaction). End of story.

My friend Ivan Fadel gave me this book, “Moneyball” by Michael Lewis, and it’s currently serving as my bedtime literature. The book tells the story of how science and statistics revolutionised baseball in the USA. Today, and in any sport, the tools available to thoroughly analyze every game component, every player, every kind of strategy can be backed up by tons of data. And should be. The competitive edge that knowledge provides is priceless, especially in times when even mid-range coaches and players are demanding US$ 200.000/month pay checks.

At Palmeiras, Frizzo the football director picks up any player nominated by a friend of a friend…

I don’t know how, I don’t know when, but AVANTI PALESTRA.

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