Posts Tagged ‘frizzo’

In the last match of the group stage in the Copinha, Palmeiras beat Barueri 3-1 and advanced to the knockout phase together with 31 other teams. Tomorrow night, it’s do or die – as it obviously will be all the way to the finals – against Desportivo Brasil from the city of Porto Feliz in the interior of São Paulo. In case of a draw, penalty shootout.

So far, centre-back Luiz Gustavo has made the strongest impression on me.

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From tears to all smiles, Marcos Assunção signed a one-year contract with Santos at the end of last week, making the veteran midfielder the seventh player to arrive at Santos pre 2013 season. Assunção certainly accepted a smaller pay check than what he demanded from Palmeiras a week ago, but such is life. He gambled a bit, hoping that Palmeiras would reward him for previous achievements, but stepped on a mine. With Santos immediately being responsive, Assunção decided to “return home” after 14 years. It will certainly feel a bit strange eventually watching the charismatic player setting up the ball against our side.

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It’s no secret that coach Kleina’s biggest need right now is for more centre-backs, as only Henrique and Maurício Ramos are available. While awaiting the Torres negotiation to conclude, Kleina has promoted 21-year-old Marcos Vinícius from the second team. The kid is tall, 190 centimetres, and has frequently been in the second team line-up. If Marcos continues to cause a good impression, he might be sticking around at least for the São Paulo Championship that kicks off the 20th of this month.

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While the Palmeiras youth are busy with the Copinha, the first team have a couple of friendlies on their schedule. The first one took place yesterday – gates closed – against São Caetano and Palmeiras won 2-1 after penalties converted by Barcos and Maikon Leite. After the game, the São Caetano coach told reporters that the impression he had of Palmeiras was a tactically disciplined team with a solid defence and fast counter-attacks.

What the São Caetano coach thought of messieurs Tirone and Frizzo – also present at the game – we will never know. I prefer not voicing my opinion, for more than obvious reasons. Thank God the countdown for the ending of their turn is in the single digits.
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Palmeiras today received a call from Riquelme’s agent Daniel Bolotnicoff, but not with a yes or a no. The Argentine midfielder requests a (second) visit to Buenos Aires from a high-level Palmeiras representative to once again be assured that Palmeiras have serious intention both in regard to his own future and in forming a competitive squad for 2013. According to the agent, Riquelme “is inclined” to accept Palmeiras’ offer.

Tomorrow Tuesday we’ll know what step Palmeiras’ directors will take. Stay tuned on twitter (@anypalmeiras) for latest news and gossip.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!


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A Brazil Cup title – the club’s first national in 14 years – entitling Palmeiras to a Libertadores Cup spot in 2013. The New Arena under construction, on schedule, and under management of über-competent WTorre and AEG. Palmeiras supporters again and again showing their unconditional love for the team: at innumerous “home” games far from São Paulo; through several top-level book releases about the club’s history; by organising the most genuine and passionate series of events in honour of one of the greatest goalkeepers in the history of Brazilian football, São Marcos. Club statutes under modification, setting the foundation for direct election of the president and a progressive instalment of transparency, accountability and professionalism.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? And yet…

2012 goes to the history books as one of the worst years ever for Palmeiras, the year when the glorious Verdão for the second time were relegated to the second division. But what truly stands out is the never before reached levels of incompetence by Palmeiras’ directors. Sure, Palmeiras are known for being a political powder keg and more often than not in the hands of people who place football far down on their list of priorities. That being said, in 2012, our directors made us feel ashamed like never before.

Ashamed for the pathetic attempt to purchase midfielder Wesley through crowd funding, several times lying the Palmeiras supporter straight in the face about the feasibility of the project.

Ashamed for the silent abandoning of a project – initiated under former president Belluzzo – to build a US$ 14 million worth new training centre for the youth academy, all paid for by tax breaks pre-approved to any participating private enterprise.

Ashamed for president Arnaldo Tirone’s complete lack of commitment, brains and leadership, which included the absurd visit to Copacabana beach the day after Palmeiras’ relegation.

Ashamed for vice-president a.k.a. director of football Roberto Frizzo’s senile ways, forgetting to attend important meetings and making untimely jokes that even have players think twice before signing with Palmeiras.

Ashamed for judicial director Piraci de Oliveira’s inability to minimally defend Palmeiras in the Sports Tribunal, but splendid ability of using social media to make passes on young girls or boast about his level of drunkenness on Christmas eve.

2012 has been an embarrassing year for us palmeirenses. We who thought 2011 was bad.

There was the miracle of young José Erasmo, but unfortunately the little soldier didn’t make it in the end, passing away a few weeks ago. Our thoughts go to his family.

2013 is around the corner, and so are the presidential elections at Palmeiras. Perin and Nobre battle it out. We have another 21 days of Tirone and Co. 21 days. Counting them down, one by one.

To all the rest of you, TRUE palmeirenses: a very Happy New Year. Stay safe, stay sane. Stay optimistic. And find joy in your hearts every single day. Because, in the end, we know that victory is ours.

Hope to see a lot of you all in 2013. Abraço!

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With age, I’ve naturally come to expect less from Santa. Less actually translating to nothing. Santa’s a great concept when you’re a kid, but with age comes responsibility and the understanding that anything that’s given comes at the price of somebody’s labour. The bigger the present, the harder somebody worked for it.

That’s why I’m not even bothering to sneak a peek in Palmeiras’ stocking this Christmas. Palmeiras have not been good and our directors have certainly not worked hard or competently enough to deserve any last-minute signings. While our competitors are negotiating players and preparing for the coming season, Palmeiras are throwing out the occasional bait (Riquelme) or ungratefully keeping one of last year’s MVP on hold (Assunção).

In addition, the absurd Palmeiras calendar presents us with a General Assembly – complete with elections for club President – on 21 January (more on this and candidates shortly). Ideally, in late January a squad should already be formed and in training. Palmeiras will be chasing leftovers.

Palmeiras’ three wise men Tirone, Frizzo and Piraci are exiting in 2013. Not a bloody second too early.

Merry Christmas, palestrinos.

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What a week. Palmeiras yesterday topped the club’s worst ever campaign in a Brazilian championship with a 3-1 defeat to Santos: that’s a total of 22 defeats out of 38. Not a single victory in any of the six classicos.

Well ahead of yesterday’s game it was announced that the directorship would be promoting drastic change to the squad. We’ve been through this a thousand times: it’s not the squad that has been Palmeiras’ main problem this year (or any of the last ten years, or the last decades for that matter), but there’s even so a rather broad understanding, almost consensus, among supporters in regard to which players must be asked to clean out their lockers. Indications had journalists speculating in as much as 20-something dismissals…

The list was presented on Thursday night and didn’t even remotely look like the much anticipated spring cleaning. Of the more or less regularly utilised players, out are left-winger Leandro, midfielders João Vítor and Daniel Carvalho, and forwards Betinho and Obina. In addition, a few players rarely seen will say their goodbyes: keepers Pegorari and Carlos, wingers Capixaba, Luís Felipe and Gerley, centre-backs Leandro Amaro and Wellington, midfielders Tinga and Patrik, and forwards Daniel Lovinho and Tadeu. Absolutely no surprises so far.

Now, what about centre-backs Román and Thiago Heleno, who like right-winger Artur are having contracts expiring as of 31 December? No definition. And highly questioned (even in some cases despised) players like Márcio Araújo, Luan, Vinicius, Maikon Leite, Mazinho and cherry-on-the-cake Valdivia? Nothing. Alarming.

FrizzoConfiaAt the beginning of the week we announced that an important step toward a smoother transition between presidents had been taken. Turns out the “one step forward, two steps back” have never been truer, as vice-president a.k.a. director of football Roberto Frizzo first postponed the second meeting then cancelled it altogether, refusing to meet with the gathered three candidates, football manager César Sampaio and coach Kleina. The five, while waiting for president Tirone to arrive, even contemplated conducting the scheduled meeting elsewhere but where explicitly prohibited by Frizzo to do so. After a couple of hours’ waiting, the whole thing was called off. “Directorship, the cancer of Palmeiras”.

The one piece of good news that reaching us this week came straight from the source and addressed the Palmeiras supporter: Barcos put up a home-made video making it clear that he would stay and play for the club unless someone made an irrecusable offer (i.e. paying the full US$ 25 million fine) for his transfer. Practice your “portunhol” watching his short declaration below. The man surely doesn’t lack a spine. Nor courage. I desperately hope he won’t look back on 2013 and think “what I lacked was brains”.

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…at the hands of our directors! As soon as the game against Millonarios was over, president Tirone, vice-president Frizzo and legal director Piraci de Oliveira gave conflicting statements regarding Palmeiras’ next “home” game against Botafogo: one confirmed while another denied the game had been transferred from Saturday to Sunday. One claimed it would take place in Presidente Prudente, while another confirmed it in Araraquara. It took a day before the final verdict: Sunday, Araraquara.

Barcos – the bright shining star in Palmeiras’ squad – recently has been rewarded with opportunities to pull on the Argentine national jersey: something likely to happen again as the superclassico between Brazil and Argentina has been rescheduled for the 21 November at the Bombonera stadium in Buenos Aires. Barcos is a serious, hard-working professional, dedicated to his career and to Palmeiras. President Tirone should have thought twice before hinting that Palmeiras might contact the Argentine Football Federation requesting that Barcos stays in Brazil for the remainder of the Brasileirão. When a player is having his break of a lifetime, his shot at stardom, you can’t do that. And Barcos promptly let the word out that he wouldn’t consider giving up his chance of playing for Argentina. Hopefully, no major damage done. But again Palmeiras generating their own little tornados.  

More from president Tirone: yesterday it was announced that Rodrigo Geammal is the new manager of marketing at Palmeiras: for how long and at what price has not been revealed. I know nothing about Geammal and his skills, but apparently he’s been in the sports’ marketing business for approximately ten years. That Palmeiras needs professionals in the area is a well-known fact, but that doesn’t make the timing of the closure of the deal any less awkward. Tirone has a little more than two months left of his mandate as president.

Thursday was crowned by vice-president Frizzo’s absence from the São Paulo Football Federation’s meeting held to define the regulations for next year’s edition of the State Championships. 20 chairs with 19 representatives from competing teams. And then the one, empty seat. Frizzo, called up by a journalist, first seemed puzzled then asked if the meeting was already over. He proceeded with claiming it wasn’t that important, then recalled he hadn’t seen the invitation but believed the meeting was in fact scheduled for this week.

Can you believe all this took place in less than 48 hours?

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Last week Alex, the former Fenerbahçe star with glorious periods at Palmeiras and Cruzeiro, announced that he will sign a two-year contract with Coritiba – the club of his heart that raised him as a professional and to which he had promised to return to end his career. I believe there was little Palmeiras (or any other club for that matter) could have done to have him change his mind, perhaps tempting him into signing a one-year contract before ending his splendid career at Coritiba. But one cannot help but wonder how things could have played out if Palmeiras were in the top half of the tables and had good directors. Heck, not even good but average would suffice. Perhaps even lower than average… Anything but today’s.

Anyway: no doubt Alex made the right choice. He also kept his word, which is something rarely seen these days – particularly in the world of football and big money. It will be joyful to watch him up close again, although in the “wrong” jersey. Good luck, Alex!

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At the beginning of last week, Palmeiras’ mission was difficult: close the gap – then at six points – to the first team out of the relegation zone (Coritiba) and win at least six out of the remaining ten games. Now, after Thursday’s highly frustrating display against Coritiba and yesterday’s shortcoming against Náutico, nothing but a miracle saves Palmeiras from spending quality time in the Serie B next season.

With the slipknot around our neck and drumrolls filling the air, Palmeiras now leave for Salvador, state of Bahia. Wednesday, 7:30pm at the Pituaçu stadium, the Verdão throw their last chips in the pot as they take on Bahia – the team of former Palmeiras interim coach Jorginho (substituted by Muricy Ramalho in mid 2009, remember) and one of the best performing squads in the second half of the Brasileirão. It’s Bahia’s position we need to take, and beating them on Wednesday means closing the gap to six points with seven rounds to go. Mathematically possible. But is it even sane to believe in a resurrection of the Palmeiras squad?

The squad… What’s left of it, that is. Against Náutico, Kleina was without Valdivia, Barcos, Henrique, Maurício Ramos, Marcos Assunção, Maikon Leite and Daniel Carvalho. Some of these should be back against Bahia (Henrique and Maurício Ramos at least) while others continue vetoed by the medical department or suspended (Thiago Heleno and Juninho). Absentees, absentees…

President Tirone has been more absent than ever. No, absent doesn’t quite cover it: he’s actually gone into hiding. The weekend at the Palmeiras Club House was tense to say the least, with several verbal clashes – some of which escalated to a physical level – taking place between members of political opposites. We saw smaller groups of younger members walking the grounds and forcefully demanding changes; many a conseglieri – and especially those loyal to the current administration and/or tied to former president Mustafá Contursi – came under heavy fire. “Acabou a paz” (Peace is over) was the slogan: no counsellor or director can expect to enjoy a quiet moment at the club if perceived as part of the problem and not the solution.

Conrado Cacace of the Verdazzo is throwing the towel in relation to remaining in the top division and has already refocused on some complicated tasks ahead. How to achieve them he doesn’t know, but among the priorities are:

# the immediate removal of Tirone and the rest of the directors
# the dissolution of Palmeiras’ Deliberative and Fiscal councils
# the formulation of new statutes
# the creation of a transitory governing body
# elections through direct vote taking place in the first semester of 2013.

He continues: “Coupe? Revolution? The name doesn’t matter. Palmeiras can’t wait for the normal turn of events as set out in the current statutes – statutes written up by the same vermin that orchestrated the political scene resulting in the deadlock we’re in today. Out with Mustafá, Frizzo, Tirone, Piraci, Vergamini and all the rest of the responsible. Leave Palmeiras to the palmeirenses.”

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I’m away for the rest of the week, heading into the jungle without any access to communication. As there will be no updates in the following days, here’s a little something for you guys to think about:

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This afternoon the almighty Brazilian Superior Tribunal of Sports (STJD) fined Palmeiras US$ 20.000 for the vandalism – which included a few object thrown onto the pitch – that took place at the Pacaembu during and after the derby against Corinthians a couple of weeks back. Worse, the STJD also ruled that Palmeiras will have to host four home games (against Coritiba, Cruzeiro, Botafogo and Fluminense) at least 100 clicks from the capital. Two options seem most likely: the Fonte Luminosa stadium in Araraquara (288km far) and the Santa Cruz stadium in Ribeirão Preto (336km far). This is all very unfortunate, as supporters were finally having games played in the capital and were showing up in excellent numbers.

In the same ruling Luan was punished with a three-games suspension (due to the red card he received in the derby).

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A lot of the rage exposed during the abovementioned game was mostly aimed at Palmeiras’ directors. A smaller group evens did some damage to vice-president Frizzo’s restaurant a few hours after the final blow of the whistle. Ever since, both president Tirone and vice-president Frizzo have been keeping a low profile (kindly speaking) but Frizzo gave an interview the other day, again missing out on a great opportunity to stay quiet.

I don’t feel I have any blame in what’s happening. I’m working as normal, like I’ve always done. If it didn’t turn out right, it was the team [the team’s fault, my clarification], not Frizzo. I have consciousness of what I’m doing, and because of that, I would never resign at this moment. I was part of the group that was champion in the Brazil Cup. One can’t think that now, everything is wrong.

Seems like Frizzo believes he can have the best of two worlds, much like private financial institutions that pocket the profit only to be bailed out by governments (i.e. us taxpayers) in times of crises. When Palmeiras win, Frizzo claims his part of the glory; when Palmeiras lose, it’s the player’s fault. Nice. No wonder some people think smashing up his restaurant sounds like a good idea.

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Just because things are chronically bad at Palmeiras, at least politically and administratively speaking, one mustn’t believe everything one reads. A certain journalist recently published that Palmeiras’ directors had decided on not giving players any kind of bonus in case Palmeiras escape relegation. This is an outright lie: in fact, leaders of the squad took the initiative and approached the directors and informed them that they would not accept any bonuses and that right now the last thing on their minds is money. A display of dignity from the squad. And one more example of bad journalism, bordering on the criminal.

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Speaking of dignifying: Luiz Felipe Scolari was in Brasilia the other day to meet with the Minister of Sports Aldo Rebelo – a palmeirense body and soul. This time however, the topic was not our Verdão but an invitation by Rebelo for Scolari to promote certain events and activities by the Ministry on a volunteer basis. Big Phil not only accepted, as gave his first interview after having left Palmeiras.

“I believe it was the right moment for me exiting Palmeiras and somebody with capacity and possibility for professional growth – as Gilson Kleina – to take over”, Scolari stated. “It was the right path, both for me and for Palmeiras, and the best thing that could have happened”. On the victory against Figueirense, has said that he “watched, cheered and liked the game”, praising Kleina’s debut and approving of the spirit that the squad was showing. 

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Indeed the spirit is good in the squad, with players smiling and joking during training sessions. Our striker Barcos has yet one more reason to smile as he was yesterday once again called up to join the Argentine national squad, this time against Uruguay and Chile, 12 and 16 of October. Playing in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers is of course great news for Barcos. For Palmeiras, not as great: our main striker will guaranteed be absent against Coritiba and Náutico, very likely also against Bahia. Crucial matches and crucial points on the line.

On the other hand, it does us no good worrying about Barcos and the future: there is one opponent and only one game to worry about: tomorrow’s clash with coach Kleina’s former club Ponte Preta. Three points in the bag and Palmeiras will be breathing down the neck of the 2-3 teams closest to the relegation zone.

Avanti Palestra!

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