Posts Tagged ‘jaílson’

Sold out, pulsating, but not for long; lions turned into cubs before halftime.

Palmeiras, seven men short, turning in the A game true Cuca 2016 style.

Souza? Zipped up and pocketed by Santos, alpha of the midfield.

21 games undefeated with Jailson; hero of the masses hardly broke sweat beneath the crossbar.


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Playing before 40.986 spectators, a new attendance record at the Allianz Parque, Palmeiras were Palmeiras like throughout most of 2016: confident, in control, sufficiently efficient to secure the three points against Chapecoense and the 2016 Brazil championship title. The only goal was right-back Fabiano’s, and what a beautiful goal. His first for Palmeiras, one that will be remembered forever.


Who contributed the most to this title, arriving after 22 long years of waiting?

Jailson, the 35-year-old who had never played a first division game in his life and stepped up in August, when Fernando Prass was injured in late July, to support an 18-games-streak of invincibility?

Dudu, the hotheaded forward who matured after receiving the captain’s armband to become the player with most assists in this year’s edition of the Brasileirão?

Tchê-Tchê, who last year seriously considered abandoning football for the lack of opportunities, today a given on the midfield on any Palmeiras starting eleven?

Moisés, “hidden away” in Croatia, ridiculed upon arriving, today considered the greatest surprise of the championship?

Gabriel Jesus, who’s splendid first half of the championship set the pace for the title race?

Jean, the experienced, polyvalent, hard-working leader?

Yerry Mina, who went straight into the starting eleven, scored, was injured, came back to score more and form a massive centre lock with Vítor Hugo?

Zé Roberto, the living myth, at 42 the heart and soul of the squad, always reminding us of the GIANT called Palmeiras?

Cuca, the prophet, the professional, the father, who knows how to create a family not through external enemies but common aspirations?

Alexandre Mattos, the director of football who contracted all the aforementioned pieces and then some?

Paulo Nobre, the club president who in four years took Palmeiras from rags to riches?

Palmeirenses near and far, tirelessly reinventing the art of supporting the team, standing ground against everything and everyone, including friendly fire?

None. All. That is what is so special about this campaign: it is a truly collective effort like seldom seen. And unbelievably well deserved.
I still need to come down. Pictures and videos of the magnificent celebration – all over São Paulo and all over the world – only in a day or two.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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tables_16.08.08Unless Corinthians today beat Cruzeiro by more than two goals, Palmeiras finish the first half of the Brazilian championship in the lead. A few weeks back the lead was rather comfortable, but today the upper half of the table is more compact than ever, with at least seven teams in the title race. It is also worth noticing that five out of the six direct contenders entail away games for Palmeiras, Flamengo being the only exception. No easy task ahead.

Good news is Palmeiras seem to be recovering from the recent dip in performance. Having lost to Atlético Mineiro at home than Botafogo away, last Thursday’s away draw to Chapecoense was not reassuring, Vagner again being the major question mark. Coach Cuca certainly felt the keeper’s nerves on a shake and yesterday, against Vitória, opted for promoting Jailson between the posts. The 35-year-old has been at Palmeiras since 2014, but only made four appearances, and never in a first-division game. Never, as in never for any club. Palmeiras supporters let out a sigh of relief as Jailson proved his worth, undoubtedly earning a position in Cuca’s starting eleven as of now.

Dudu, yesterday wearing the captain’s armband, was back in old form, challenging defenders and making crucial passes while also working hard defensively. Also Moisés and Erik showed pace and determination, while Cleiton Xavier, for the second game in a row, was awarded a penalty after being taken down – in addition to scoring the winning goal. Bad news is both Leandro Pereira and scorer Barrios had to be taken out due to injury: Pereira with a knee discomfort and Barrios feeling his groin. Hopefully nothing serious in any of the cases, but likely we will see Róger Guedes back in the starting eleven against Atlético Paranaense on Sunday.

While Palmeiras learn to live without Gabriel Jesus and Prass, Brazil’s Olympic team is going from bad to worse. The initial goalless draw against South Africa was yesterday followed up with another, this time against Iraq. Palmeirenses all over the world are secretly (or not so secretly) hoping for a third strike and Brazil’s premature elimination: such a disaster would not only carry the potential to provoke substantial change within the CBF (7-1 was not nearly enough) but also return Gabriel Jesus to Palmeiras. Should Brazil fail to beat Denmark in the last game of the group stage…

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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Scholars of chaos theory sometimes make reference to “the butterfly effect”, in which a small change at one place in a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state. The name of the effect was coined by Edward Lorenz, who claimed that a hurricane could have its origins in something as humble as the flapping of the wings of a distant butterfly weeks back in time.

In chaos theory, the mathematical models are absurdly complex and, infallibly, most factors that should be taken into consideration are not even known to the scientist. Even so, these brilliant minds come up with rather astonishing models.

That being said, I dare any of them to explain football.

After the 2-2 draw against Flamengo, Palmeiras’ ability to react – even under severe pressure – seemed to point in the right direction. Dorival Júnior might not have the best of squads in his hands, but enough material do work with – physically and mentally – to rebuild something that would resemble a team.

On the Sunday against Goiás, Palmeiras’ momentum of evolution was to be confirmed. But Palmeiras were beaten to a pulp. 6-0 are shocking numbers against any team and, with all due respect, even more so against Goiás. After a defeat like that, and with Palmeiras finishing the round in the bottom of the tables, obviously the President steps up to face the music. Well, not our president: 48 hours after the disaster, Paulo Nobre was still nowhere to be seen. Journalists were instead treated to 19-year-old Nathan – who made his first team debut against Fluminense on September 13 but didn’t even come on against Goiás – to quench their thirst. Apparently, the kid trembled like a leaf during the press conference but nevertheless stood his ground: “I’m only 19 but I speak for Palmeiras. I’ve waited for this opportunity and I’m ready”.

Nathan was found on the bench the following game against Vitória. Against a direct contender for relegation, Palmeiras did well at the Pacaembu and won 2-0 after goals from Lúcio and Henrique, one in each half. The three points did not lift Palmeiras out of the relegation zone, but close enough to relight hopes amongst supporters.

Hopes trashed the following Sunday, as Palmeiras let an odd goal away victory over Figueirense bizarrely slip away in the last 15 minutes, the game ending 3-1.

Yesterday, it was once again all or nothing against another direct contender for relegation: Chapecoense. Palmeiras came on guns ablaze and we could have had 2-0 within 15 minutes. Instead, the action slowly levelled and then, just before halftime, Chapecoense took the lead. With ten minutes of the second half, not a soul at the Pacaembu stadium was believing the scorecard was still 0-1, Chapecoense having blown three clear opportunities to drive it home. Everything spelled disaster and relegation when Wesley – in the starting eleven enjoying the confidence of coach Dorival, who worked with him at Santos – equalised. Jaws then dropped all over the universe as Henrique quickly followed up with a legitimate hat-trick, before Chapecoense made it 4-2 in the dying minutes of the game.

The three points lifted Palmeiras out of the relegations zone, regardless of other results in this 26th of 38 rounds taking place this weekend. Henrique is currently top scorer in the 2014 Brazilian championship. Our next adversary are crisis-stricken Botafogo, and another victory could put Palmeiras at a distance of no more than one or two points from the upper half of the tables. Suck on that, professors of chaos.

— ooo —

Today the national transfer window closed and Palmeiras brought in two second-division players: keeper Jaílson from Ceará and defensive midfielder Washington from Joinville (although negotiations were conducted with Penapolense). Jaílsons contract with Palmeitras runs until May next year. He was second option between the posts at Ceará, but that might very likely be better than Palmeiras current first and second option. Washington was a regular in Joinville’s starting eleven and should be able to fight for a position also at Palmeiras’. He has three months to make a lasting impression. More on these two later.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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