Posts Tagged ‘juninho’

Last week, Palmeiras defined the future of centre-back Juninho and attacking midfielder Michel Bastos, none of these in coach Machado’s plans for the remainder of the season. Juninho’s destination is Atlético Mineiro (same as recent Palmeiras players Arouca, Erik and Róger Guedes), while Michel Bastos heads to Recife to pull on the Sport jersey. Both players go on loan deals until December. Juninho has a long contract with the Verdão, until April 2022, and might possibly return to the club. We should however not see more of Michel Bastos, as his contract with the Verdão expires by the end of the year.

With the departure of Juninho, Machado’s options for centre lock are Edu Dracena, Antônio Carlos, Luan, Thiago Martins, Pedrão and Emerson Santos. Michel Bastos battled for position against Dudu, Keno, Willian and Artur.

Moisés was in Machado’s starting eleven last Sunday against Atlético Paranaense, but came off already after six minutes, feeling the back of his right thigh. Yesterday, the grade 2 muscle injury was confirmed, leaving the midfielder out of combat for 4-6 weeks. No need to rush things: Moisés will have plenty of time for rehab during the World Cup.

On a more positive note, Guerra is back in full form and available for tomorrow’s Brazil Cup game against América Mineiro. Also Jean should be at Machado’s disposal any day now: the midfielder/right defender had surgery done to his right knee in January and recovery has been rather slow, but training has picked up well in the last few weeks.   

Against Alianza Lima and Atlético Paranaense, attacking midfielder Hyoran showed personality and development, the best indicators that Palmeiras’ patience with the kid should pay off. Some six kilos stronger, Hyoran has started to claim his space in the squad and is expected to become an ever more frequent piece in future starting-elevens.

Gustavo Scarpa‘s situation remains unsolved, all parties awaiting the court ruling regarding the validity of his rupture with Fluminense. Palmeiras president Galiotte has been in touch with the carioca team, expressing his readiness to facilitate things (e.g. compensate Fluminense financially), but so far, the situation seems locked. Curious how the otherwise so efficient Brazilian labour tribunal in this case moves so slowly: it’s been more than two months since Scarpa last set foot at Palmeiras, training on his own in Hortolândia, his home town.

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Late March, Palmeiras unveiled the new home kit for the season. The club’s crest is back, instead of the antique “P”, and a red star has been included as a reference to the World Club Cup title of 1951. The overall design is very clean and to the liking of supporters.

Yesterday, the new away kit was used for the first time and, according to reactions on social media, also this model was well received. Again, a clean, stylish design. Apparently, Adidas has been saving the best for last.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!


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After defeating Grêmio 1-0 last Saturday, Sunday was all about resting. Today Monday, only a light training session in the morning before heading off to Ecuador, where Barcelona de Guayaquil await on Wednesday. The Libertadores matchup for the group of 16 is illustrated below, with the second leg taking place in a month’s time.


Ten days ago, CONMEBOL announced they were changing the rules regarding how many players a team could swap in their Libertadores squad – funny enough only hours after River Plate saw seven of their players fail a doping test. At the wave of a wand, the limit went from two to six players. Palmeiras today swapped four: Bruno Henrique, Juninho, Luan and Mayke replaced Rafael Marques, Vitor Hugo, Vitão (only still at Palmeiras) and Alecsandro.

The additional two swaps Palmeiras can (and certainly will) do up to 48 hours ahead of the second leg. One spot is dedicated to Moisés, who is in the final stages of recovery from his knee surgery. The last spot will probably go to a forward in Mattos’ crosshairs. Could be Diego Souza, currently at Sport. Before the weekend, we will know.

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Palmeiras appealed and CONMEBAL revised the absurd rulings following the debacle in Montevideo: Felipe Melo’s ban has dropped from six to three games, and the three-game ban on Palmeiras supporters during away games has been reduced to one game (which will be the one against Barcelona on Wednesday).

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Alberto Valentim is back at Palmeiras as assisting coach, after a brief spell at Red Bull. He left Palmeiras in December of last year, after it became clear he was not taking over after Cuca’s exit. Everyone celebrated his return, although Valentim himself recognises he is taking a step back in order to advance two steps in the future.

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Someone on the verge of taking a major step is 19-year-old attacking midfielder Vitinho. Seems Barcelona are close to finalising a loan move with an option to buy. Cuca has publicly given his approval: “Good for the player and the club if he goes to Barcelona B. He’s training well but, unfortunately, he can’t get the necessary minutes with us. At the moment, he needs to play”, Palmeiras’ coach recently stated.

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English football magazine “World Soccer” annually lists their Top 500 in the World, and the 2017 edition sports six Palmeiras players, more than any other Brazilian club: Felipe Melo, Dudu, Borja, Guerra, Mina and Tchê Tchê.

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Saturday, the Allianz Parque hosted Ariana Grande. Already on Sunday, pictures showed the stadium in shape to receive a game, with the pitch apparently intact. For the first time, stadium management had used a technique to anchor the stage not on the ground but using the ceiling, resulting in considerably less strain on the pitch and much shorter disassembling time. Not a day too early.

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The Allianz Parque, as first stadium in Brazil, has received the “Guiaderodas” seal of approval. The seal is given to venues that has proven fully accessible to wheelchair users and people with other physical disabilities. Unlike the old Palestra, the Allianz Parque was designed with full accessibility in mind from the start: parking lots, stands, restrooms, snack bars… There are 15 elevators and 26 escalators, and staff have been given specific training to meet the needs of disabled visitors.

As palmeirense wheelchair user Renan Barreiros commented: excellent news; will be even better once Palmeiras implement mechanisms that assure only disabled persons are able to reserve the specially designated seats at the stadium, as well as secure the same discounts that non-disabled, enrolled in Palmeiras’ supporter membership programme, enjoy for certain sectors. Seems Palmeiras are working on solutions; this is something worth keeping an eye on.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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A well-conducted transfer if you ever saw one. Yesterday, centre-back Vitor Hugo held his last press conference (for now) at Palmeiras, before moving to Europe and Fiorentina. The Italians had been eying the 26-year-old for some time, but Palmeiras managed to hang on to the player, a central piece of the 2016 champion squad. In total, Vitor Hugo played 131 games for Palmeiras, finding the net 13 times – one short to make the club’s top 10 list for scoring centre-backs.

With the aid of sponsor/partner Crefisa, Vitor Hugo was brought to Palmeiras from second division side América Mineiro in 2015 for €1.5 million for 50% of his economic rights. Now sold to Fiorentina for €8 million, Crefisa recovers the initial €1.5 million, with the remaining being split between Palmeiras and other stakeholders – a neat little revenue indeed.

Crefisa actually chose not to cash in, but to redeploy the €1.5 million into the acquisition of promising 22-year-old centre-back Juninho, from Coritiba. Prior to Juninho, Crefisa also helped in the acquisition of Luan, the 24-year-old Olympic gold medallist, previously at Vasco da Gama. Palmeiras’ medium to long-term planning is clear: Vitor Hugo just left, Edu Dracena might retire in a year or two and Yerry Mina will move to Europe after the 2018 World Cup. In their place, we have Antônio Carlos (24), Thiago Martins (22), Luan (24) and Juninho (22).

Anything Palmeiras wishes Vitor Hugo the best of luck overseas: this talented, hard-working and charismatic lad deserves it like few others!

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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vitor-hugo-palmeirasPalmeiras supporters are likely to have seen the last of Vitor Hugo. Coach Cuca today confirmed the centre-defender is heading for Fiorentina, in return for € 8 million. Out of these, € 4.5 million go to Palmeiras, who in turn will pass on € 1.75 million to Crefisa – the amount corresponds to what the sponsor paid for the athlete in 2015. Thus, Palmeiras’ net revenue are € 2.75 million. The remaining € 3.5 million belong to Tombense, the other holder of the player’s economic rights.

The European transfer windows only opens in June, but Vitor Hugo is likely to be released from his obligations as of now. For Palmeiras, he played a total of 131 games, scoring 13 goals. Anything Palmeiras wishes the humble, charismatic, talented and hard-working 25-year-old the best of luck on his new endeavour. Avanti, Vitor Hugo!

As an immediate response to Vitor Hugo’s exit, Palmeiras are set to sign Juninho, a left-footed 22-year-old currently at Coritiba. The youngster is expected in São Paulo tomorrow Saturday to undergo medical and sign the contract, price tag locked at € 3 million. I have a good feeling about this one.

Speaking of Coritiba: the club from Paraná yesterday confirmed the signing of Alecsandro, beating Bahia for the contract. Palmeiras will continue to pay the forward’s salaries throughout the year in an arrangement reached to settle an unresolved balance linked to Raphael Veiga’s transfer to Palmeiras earlier this year. The experience 36-year-old leaves through the front door after 62 games for the Verdão.

Another forward expected to leave any day is Rafael Marques: seasoned, still hungry, but with oh so little space in Palmeiras’ numerous squad. Cruzeiro is a possible destination, with a player from “the Fox” likely to be involved in a swap.

Finally, a piece of news we nourished hopes not having to declare, but was confirmed tonight: the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) sentenced Felipe Melo to six games of suspension for throwing a punch while chased by numerous Peñarol players after the final whistle in Montevideo late April (recap here and here). The original three Uruguayan aggressors received five games each. The Peñarol player caught on tape knocking Willian down seconds before the final whistle goes unpunished. It is a disgrace, it is a scandal, it is CONMEBOL in a nutshell. Palmeiras have already challenged the sentence, seeking it reduced to the minimum three games of suspension. Good luck with that.

In weeks, CONMEBOL will also rule on the responsibility of each team for what happened in Uruguay. Nothing good can come out of this. At Anything Palmeiras, we stand our ground: should CONMEBOL slap a significant punishment on Palmeiras for being ambushed at the Campeón del Siglo, Palmeiras should walk out on the tournament altogether.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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Dorival Júnior promoted five changes to the starting eleven we saw last week against Fluminense: Deola substituted Fábio between the posts; Lúcio returned from injury to compose the centre-lock with Nathan; 17-year-old João Pedro made his debut on the right flank; Cristaldo and Mouche up front with Henrique.

Pressure was on already before kick-off, as a couple of bad results were pushing Palmeiras down the tables: Fluminense lost to Vitória (goals by former Palmeiras players Dinei and Vinícius) while Criciúma were beating Figueirense.

31-year-old Deola had not played a game since March, but he was not to blame for the disastrous first half. Palmeiras had no creativeness on the midfield and the use of the flanks was easily neutralised by Flamengo, easily approaching the Palmeiras box. With six minutes, Juninho, on the midfield instead for on his usual right flank, was booked. At ten minutes, he almost saw his second yellow. At twelve minutes, he screwed up while trying to clear the ball, and Flamengo open up the scorecard.

Diogo failed in everything he tried. Flamengo withdrew slightly, clearly awaiting those mortal opportunities to counter-attack. At 32 minutes, Lúcio didn’t move in harmony with the offside trap, leaving two Flamengo players clean with Deola, who rushed out to clear the ball, which bounced up on the Flamengo attacker hand before he passed it on to Alecsandro – in offside position – to increase the lead. Nightmare.

At 42 minutes, Palmeiras were denied a clear penalty as Henrique was dislocated in plain flight, in excellent scoring position.

In half-time, Dorival swapped Henrique and Mouche for Allione and Valdivia, the only question being why he waited so long.

Kick-off and full speed ahead. With 2 minutes on the clock, Diogo scored his first goal in twelve months. We saw a completely different game, it was night and day in relation to the first half. Valdivia was instrumental, as he normally is when on the pitch.

Palmeiras dominated the following 15 minutes completely, then Flamengo started to adapt to the new scenario. But it was Valdivia, exchanging quick passes with Diogo and Victor Luis, who allowed the latter to whip in the equaliser with 23 minutes on the clock. The 21.500 at the Pacaembu exploded: our supporters never stopped chanting – not even during the most dreadful moments of the first half of the game – and now they were rewarded for their loyalty.
Palmeiras looked as if winning the game was possible, pressuring Flamengo hard, but that changed in the 37th minutes when man-of-the-match Valdivia did what he does best: leaves everyone flabbergasted with his immaturity. This time he STEPPED on a lying opponent, deservedly being sent straight to the showers. Unbelievable. The man is a mental case. When he doesn’t get injured, he does something incredibly stupid. Valdivia is an idiot. A complete idiot. This must be dealt with. Internally.

With the results from this 22nd round, Palmeiras are back in the relegation zone with 22 points, ahead of Criciúma (22) and Vitória (21). Above, we find Botafogo (22), Bahia (23), Coritiba (23) and Chapecoense (23). Nice and intimate.

Today was the first of six crucial games against direct contenders for relegation: Flamengo (home), Goiás (away), Vitória (home), Figueirense (away), Chapecoense (home) and Botafogo (away). We’re not off to a good start, although today’s draw admittedly carries a certain air of victory due to the circumstances. Watching the team react was actually a relief. Deola played well. So did João Pedro – just a kid – in his debut.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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With players back at Palmeiras after two weeks of holidays, Argentine Ricardo Gareca has officially been installed and is now exercising his coaching duties. Things have been going smooth these first couple of days, with a focus on low-intensity muscular training and the carrying out of some physical evaluations. Gareca is addressing all players by their names and the language barrier has apparently not been an issue.
Defensive midfielder Tinga is not in the group commanded by Gareca: on loan at different clubs since 2012 – the last one being Avaí – Palmeiras has negotiated the players’ economic rights with Japanese club Jubilo Iwata, putting an end to Tinga’s four-year spell at Palmeiras.

mateusmullerAttending a request from Gareca, Palmeiras have promoted four players from the youth academy that will train with the first squad: defenders Léo Cunha and Mateus Müller, midfielder Juninho and striker Erik. These are all good names: Müller (pictured on your right) was on the Brazilian under 20 national squad that won the international “Panda” Cup. The group of four will join the rest of the squad this coming Monday, for the training period in the city of Atibaia, interior of the state of São Paulo. Gareca is known for keeping a close eye on the youth academy.

Palmeiras also continue scanning the transfer market for reinforcements. Argentine centre-back Fernando Tobio is said to have reached a verbal agreement with Palmeiras and is expected to sign a five-year contract in July. Forwards are also a priority, with former Boca Juniors striker Pablo Mouche reportedly close to signing. Both these players are on Gareca’s wish list; an invasion of hermanos, it seems.

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The World Cup today features three clashes:

At the moment of writing, David is doing rather well against Goliath, Australia putting pressure on the Dutch and sustaining a 1-1 draw in group B.

At 7pm local time, the last game of the day features Cameroon and Croatia, both teams looking to bounce back from their initial defeat in Group A, where Brazil and Mexico sum four points each after yesterday’s goalless draw.

It’s however the game in the middle, at 4pm, that attracts the most attention: Chile take on current World Champions Spain, the latter desperately needing the three points after having lost in the opening round to van Persie, Robben and Co. At William Hill world cup betting, Chile is the natural underdog at 5 to 1, but if Palmeiras’ playmaker Valdivia finds the space for those precise cut-through passes while counter-attacking, the Spaniards might be in for an unpleasant surprise.

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Yesterday, the never-resting Eduardo Luiz of Palmeiras Todo Dia gave us an update on the so far frustrated attempts to find a new coach for the Verdão. Jorginho was our directors’ first option (and I’d say also that of a majority of the supporters) but he claimed he couldn’t leave Bahia, a team he took over only about a month ago. Dorival Júnior, recently contracted by Flamengo, gave the same reply. Then there was Paulo César Carpegiani, the man responsible for placing Vitória at the top of the second division. Carpegiani preferred not even enter into negotiations as he considered a transfer inappropriate at this time. Gilson Kleina would consider leaving Ponte Preta but only to sign a longer contract with Palmeiras (at least until the end of 2013); our directors were tempted but got cold feet when internal criticism began to surge. Finally, Falcão also wanting an extended contract in addition to a rather hefty pay check.  

In addition to the fabulous (sic) five officially contacted by Palmeiras in the last few days, other names were contemplate: Cristóvão Borges (too inexperienced), Renato Gaúcho (a joke), Joel Santana (even more of a joke), Emerson Leão (persona non grata).

Would the coming few weeks prove to be the most important weeks in interim coach Narciso’s career?


Today Gilson Kleina signed for Palmeiras until the end of 2013. By paying a fine of roughly US$ 150.000, Palmeiras released Kleina from his contract with Ponte Preta, where he had been since early 2011. The new Palmeiras coach will receive approximately US$ 125.000 monthly for the ungrateful task of saving the team from relegation and reforming the squad for next year’s competitions, including the Libertadores Cup.

With the arrival of Kleina, the last members of the former technical staff leave Palmeiras, i.e. Anselmo Sbragia (physical preparation) and Carlos Pracidelli (legendary goalkeeper trainer). Kleina is bringing his guys to the table: two assisting coaches (Jair Leite and Juninho), Fabinho Xha (physical preparation) and keeper trainer Palha.

Kleina is 44 years old and started his coaching career at the youth academy at Coritiba. He was the assisting coach for Abel Braga, following him to Atlético Mineiro and then Olympique de Marseille before going solo. Kleina passed through a number of smaller clubs before developing decent work at Ponte Preta, for which he has been receiving a certain amount of recognition.

Kleina will have to do more than decent in order to survive the threat of relegation, Palmeiras’ presidential election and the fierce political climate at his new club. From the bottom of my heart: the best of luck to you, Gilson.

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