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During WWII, Brazil sided with the Allies. Soon, any reference to the Axis powers was prohibited. These were difficult times in Brazil for persons and institutions of German, Italian or Japanese descent.

On the day preceding the São Paulo state championship final, the Verdão was forced to change name, from Palestra Italia to Palmeiras.

On game day, 19 minutes into the second half, Palmeiras were beating São Paulo FC 3 goals to 1. A penalty was marked in Palmeiras’ favour and to general astonishment, the opponent abandoned the pitch, ending the duel and confirming Palmeiras’ championship title.

Poetically, Palestra died a leader and Palmeiras were born a champion. The feat became known as “Arrancada Herócia”, the Heroic Jolt.

This season’s 3rd uniform is dark green, featuring gold details on the sleeves, collar and sides.
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Palmeiras today launched the 2nd jersey for the 2017/2018 season, inspired by one of the club’s most iconic achievements: the São Paulo State Championship title of 1942. It will be first used against Cruzeiro, on 9 July, at the Mineirão stadium.

The white jersey sports green, vertical stripes and a badge bearing resemblance to the classic emblem used in 1942. On the back of the jersey, under the neckline, the phrase “and the champion Palmeiras is born”, a reference to the forced name change the club was submitted to in 1942.
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During WWII, the Brazilian government demanded that clubs and other institutions linked to the Axis countries Italy, Germany and Japan change their names in case they were referring to any of the aforementioned countries. Thus, Palestra Italia, founded in 1914, changed into “Palestra”, keeping only the single word of Greek origin as the club’s name.

The change did not soothe political and sporting pressures. Under the threat of having to forfeit all the club’s assets in addition to being expelled from the championship that they currently led, Palestra had to change their name a second time. The night before the final game of the State championship, scheduled for 20 September 1942, the Palestra board of directors held a heated meeting. Dr. Mario Minervino took the floor and asked club Secretary, Dr. Pascoal W. Byron Giuliano, to note in the minutes: “They don’t want us to be Palestra, so then we shall be Palmeiras – born to be champions.”

The following day, tension flared as Palmeiras played opponent São Paulo Futebol Clube – a club linked to the current political elite of São Paulo which was laying claim to the assets of the former Palestra Italia. Palmeiras were soon winning 3-1 and when a penalty was called in Palmeiras’ favour, SPFC pulled their side off the field, proclaiming the Palmeiras squad “an enemy of the homeland”. With this, Palmeiras were crowned champions.

The new jersey has been very well received by supporters, sales will certainly soar.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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Coach Cuca and the squad Monday afternoon left for Atibaia, some 70km outside of São Paulo, where the men will remain until Friday afternoon. Cuca explained the transition: “There, it’ll be just me and the players. Morning, afternoon and night, nothing but interaction, knowing each other better. There we’ll work two daily session and is where my ideas will be presented, worked on, and understood by the players”.
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Judging by the picture, the squad is not yet using the new training uniform launched a few weeks back. Perhaps they are waiting for the start of the Brasileirão.
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The coming and going of players continues, as Cuca tweaks the little universe to his liking. Victor Luis and Régis are not with the squad in Atibaia, having been negotiated with Botafogo and Bahia respectively.

Just a month ago, 19-year-old Róger Guedes signed with Palmeiras and is already a frequent starting eleven player under Cuca. Today, in a test match against Guarani, not only Guedes but also Tchê Tchê – with the club as of this week – went into the starting eleven. Tchê Tchê (yes, seems like his nickname stays) was elected the revelation of this year’s São Paulo championship, his former team Audax losing the final to Santos by the difference of a goal. Róger Guedes was elected the revelation of this year’s edition of the Santa Catarina championship, playing for Criciúma. The Palmeiras squad already contains last year’s Brazilian championship revelation Gabriel Jesus, and the previous year’s as well in Erik. No doubt, Palmeiras are looking at today with an eye on the future.

The test game ended 6-2 with braces by Jean, Matheus Sales, Barrios (2), Rafa Marques and Cristaldo. Three assists by Gabriel Jesus.   

Speaking of Jesus, the forward is closely coaching his friend Vitinho, an 18-year-old midfielder recently given the opportunity to integrate the main squad. The promising player is fast and light, with a technique that is easily noticed, something which rendered him a Bellinzona “player of the tournament” award in the Swiss competition won by Palmeiras’ U20 squad last March. This kid will be interesting to follow in the years to come.

Today, Colombian Yerry Mina signed a five-year contract with Palmeiras. The player also visited the Allianz Parque for the first time, slowly walking barefoot on the grass, apparently taking it all in. Mina is the sixth Colombian to wear our jersey and the first fullback: before him, there has been Rincón (1994, 1996-1997), Lozano (1995), Asprilla (1999-2000), Muñoz (2001-2004, 2006-2007) and Pablo Armero (2009-2010). The 21-year-old joins the squad as soon as the international transfer window opens in mid-June.

A quick mention before we sign off: the TV Palmeiras youtube channel this week reached the impressive number of 400.000 followers, reinforcing its position as Latin America’s biggest. Congratulations to everyone involved! If you haven’t yet subscribed, here’s the link.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra! 

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As of today, Palmeiras’ 2016-2017 first kit is available in stores. The new jersey features five vertical stripes in shades of green, and the characteristic three Adidas stripes have been moved from the shoulders to the side of the uniform. On the collar, an Alviverde Imponente inscription, a direct reference to the club anthem. On the sleeves, discrete details in white and red in tribute of Palmeiras’ Italian origins.

Our players will wear the new uniform on 14 May, in the first round of the Brazilian championship, at the Allianz Parque against Atlético Paranaense.
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Palmeiras, together with financial institute Crefisa and the Faculdade das Américas (FAM) today announced they are renewing their partnership for one more year. This was expected. After all, the owner of Crefisa and FAM, José Roberto Lamacchia, and his wife/director/president Leila Pereira have never hidden they are palmeirenses, dreaming of seeing Palmeiras a champion with their brand logos on the uniform. That dream came true a little more than a month ago, with the 2015 Brazil Cup title.

While the renewal was expected, the numbers were not. Palmeiras are landing nothing short of the largest uniform sponsorship in the history of Brazilian football. Crefisa and FAM are, together, scooping up every available space on the garments, pushing out Prevent Senior and TIM in the process: R$ 58 million for the jersey and R$ 8 million for shorts and socks, totalling R$ 66 million (US$ 16 million).
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Absolutely brilliant, of course. But looking at the pictures, I keep wondering if it hadn’t been wiser of Crefisa/FAM to reign supreme not by covering up every single square centimetre of fabric they are entitled to, but rather on the contrary, by keeping the jersey uniquely clean.

The current layout guarantees the logos are exposed at whatever angle, close cropped or far. Maximisation, in the most rudimentary understanding of the concept. But sometimes, or rather often, less is more. And as humans, we are prone to take in what pleases the eye. This is no less true for sports jerseys, where supporters will treasure brand logos that become one with the jersey and that harmonises in style, colour and positioning. Logos that becomes part of the identity of the team for a certain era, of certain trophies and glories.

Certainly studies have been made, expensive consulting firms have given advice. Nevertheless, my gut feeling – and I know I’m not the only one – is for Crefisa/FAM to reconsider their “occupy every space” approach for a clean and stylish look. A look that will please the eye of the beholder. Evoke positive feelings among the millions of Palmeiras supporters who acknowledgedly go out and buy heaps of jerseys. Now THAT is visibility, merchandising, money well spent.

Speaking of money: supporters of rival clubs are everywhere on social media, questioning Palmeiras’ signings and where “all that money” is coming from. The math is simple: R$ 66 million for the uniform, R$ 19 million from Adidas, R$ 45 million from the Avanti supporter programme (2015 figures), R$ 50 million from ticketing (idem), R$ 137 million in TV rights. That’s R$ 317 million (USD 77 million) right there.

Palmeiras have been doing the right thing – financially speaking – ever since Paulo Nobre assumed control in 2013. After years of hardship, Palmeiras are today one fat, happy pig. Albeit a bit patched.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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As predicted, Sunday’s away game against Atlético Mineiro proved a hard nut. Palmeiras got the early goal, Andrei Girotto bagging his first for Palmeiras putting his forehead to a perfectly timed cross by Lucas. As we’ve seen before, the goal stopped Palmeiras dead in the tracks and Atlético dominated the rest of the first half completely, going into halftime with a 2-1 lead after two goals by Lucas Pratto.

Marcelo Oliveira promoted change already at halftime and again with ten minutes on the clock: Egídio (again terrible) gave way to Robinho, who did a good job in the middle while Zé Roberto took over the left flank. In another offensive move, Gabriel Jesus replaced Girotto. Palmeiras gradually increased ball possession and pressure, which culminated as Barrios replaced Alecssandro. Unfortunately, and in spite of many chances, Palmeiras were unable to equalise.
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Palmeiras are parked fifth in the tables, now twelve points behind Corinthians and eight behind Atlético. Grêmio are six points ahead, Fluminense two. Some palmeirenses are chucking in the towel, forgetting the title and refocusing on the Libertadores spot (awarded to top four teams). Too early, in my opinion: Palmeiras have every possibility to win upcoming games against Joinville and Goiás, before receiving Corinthians at the Allianz Parque. Nine points won, and anything can happen.

Lucas Barrios seems to understand this. Yesterday, we learnt that he asked Paraguay national coach Ramón Díaz not to call him up for a friendly against Chile in two weeks’ time. Barrios explained he preferred fine-tuning at Palmeiras and be available for the derby, and his request was duly granted by Mr. Díaz. Now that’s how you make an impact.

Leandro Pereira seems to be feeling all this and possibly preparing a move. The current top scorer has not had many opportunities with Marcelo Oliveira as of late and a deal seems close with Belgian club Brugge. Palmeiras hold 50% of the 23-year-old, the parcel purchased for R$ 5 million. If the deal goes through, Palmeiras might make a small profit, something like R$ 1 million. The transfer window closes on 31 August.

Thiago-Santos-Palmeiras-Foto-Divulgacao_LANIMA20150825_0051_52Defensive midfielder Thiago Santos is the 25th athlete to join Palmeiras this season. The idea is for Thiago to suppress the impact of Gabriel’s absence (out for the remainder of the season due to a knee injury). Sporting good numbers playing for América Mineiro in the second division, Thiago is welcomed by former club companions Vitor Hugo and Andrei Girotto. Also worth mentioning: the 25-year-old was brought in with the help of main sponsor Crefisa, who paid the fine to yank him from América and will also pay his salaries. In other words, same procedure as with Barrios. Thiago’s contract ends December 2018.

Speaking of injuries: Cleiton Xavier has come down with a muscular problem and is expected back in playing condition no earlier than late September. Arouca is recovering, but will not face Cruzeiro tomorrow, hopefully being available against Joinville on Sunday.

Palmeiras have released pictures of the new third jersey for 2015: a silvery/gray piece with something resembling a watermark on the chest, displaying an image of the 1915 Savoia Trophy – the first trophy won by Palmeiras/Palestra Italia, beating Sport Club Savoia 2-0 in the team’s first game ever.
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The official launch of the jersey is scheduled for this upcoming Thursday, the day after…

PALMEIRAS 101th BIRTHDAY! Yes, tomorrow Wednesday 26 August marks the first year of Palmeiras’ second centenary!

And what a birthday, with a decisive away game against Cruzeiro for a spot in the quarterfinals in the Brazil Cup. A draw and Palmeiras are through to the next phase.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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No, it wasn’t the start of the Brazilian Championship we were dreaming off, drawing with Atlético’s rotation squad at the Allianz Parque. But Palmeiras were not in their full splendour either:  forwards Leandro Pereira and Cristaldo injured, midfielders Arouca and Cleiton Xavier likewise. Nothing serious in any of the cases, but the impact was nevertheless  felt as coach Oswaldo failed to provide solutions: in the absence of Arouca, Gabriel was overburdened; Robinho – pulled back – disappeared; Gabriel Jesus was of little use with his back constantly against the goal. Palmeiras frittered passes like we haven’t seen so far in 2015, while Atlético Mineiro seemed much more focused. In the end, the draw – Palmeiras finding the equalizer in the very last seconds of the came – could be considered a fair result. And a bit of a relief.
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Yesterday was the first time Gabriel Jesus played the full 90 minutes. Expectations are still high regarding the future of the kid, but perhaps more realistic: he’s had his opportunities but not yet scored and the adaption from the U20 to the major league is taking time. Coach Oswaldo has been devoting special attention to Jesus, often having him stay a bit longer after regular training to work on positioning and finishing touches.

Yesterday also marked the debut of left-defender Egídio. The long-awaited paperwork finally arrived from Ukraine on Friday, just in time for Palmeiras to have him registered and in playing condition ahead of Saturday’s game. Egídio came on in the second half and looked good: I expect him to enter the starting eleven already coming week, either displacing Zé Roberto toward the middle or, more likely, alternating the bench with the veteran.

Speaking of veterans: Palmeiras this week finally reached an agreement to end the contract with centre-back Lúcio, who ever since the end of 2014 has been receiving his wages, although not anymore part of the working squad. The former World Champion has been negotiating with clubs from China and Australia, but without reaching a conclusion. After 47 games and two games for the Verdão, the club and athlete now part ways.

While some depart, others arrive. Palmeiras on Thursday announced having reached an agreement with 29-year-old attacking midfielder Fellype Gabriel, who started his career at Flamengo. The player has previously worked with coach Oswaldo both at Botafogo and Japanese club Kashima Antlers. Fellype’s arrival is one more indication that Palmeiras are preparing for a post-Valdivia experience.

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For months, Palmeiras and Adidas have been negotiating a new agreement, Palmeiras always making clear they are open to new proposals from competitors. And proposals have indeed arrived – the most interesting one from Puma – forcing Adidas to step up its game. Paulo Nobre has recently expressed optimism a new agreement will be reached with Adidas, and leaked photos of a supposedly new Palmeiras jersey, made by Adidas, reinforce the impression. I wouldn’t be surprised if a new agreement is announced within a week or two, where the former R$ 10 million/year (US$ 3.3 million) agreement has been substantially boosted, perhaps reaching R$ 15 million or more. After all, only a handful of teams in the world sell more Adidas jerseys than Palmeiras.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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