Catching up on last week’s events is a more than joyful exercise, as Palmeiras’ engine is running smoothly on so many levels. It’s been many years without such apparent tranquillity in the squad, backstage, even [sic] in the press.
Palmeiras 2-1 Bragantino
Last Friday, Palmeiras bagged another three points after a convincing display against hard-hitting Bragantino. The opponent came determined to wreck Palmeiras’ creativity with all means available, but a more than inspired Valdivia – who, if he keeps his current form, soon will again deserve his nickname El Mago – found the holes: masterly serving Kardec who with plastic perfection bent it past the keeper; then himself taking a surprising shot with exceptional precision. With 2-0 on the scorecard, Palmeiras slowed down, allowing Bragantino to reduce and almost level: a common but unforgiving attitude that Kleina must deal with within the squad. Still, and with the last 20 minutes included, Palmeiras of last Friday performed much more convincingly than against Icasa the Tuesday before, even though the 4-0 score against Icasa might have you think differently.
Fernandinho extends his contract
It took a while, but Palmeiras finally announced the extension of the contract with left-winger turned midfielder Fernandinho. As compensation, Fernandinho’s club Oeste received 20-year-old Diego Souza: both players will remain at respective new club until the end of the year.
Fernandinho suffered a serious knee injury soon after arrival and has yet to prove his worth after almost nine months parked in the medical department. Coach Kleina has faith in his potential. Oeste wanted to negotiate him definitively, but Palmeiras’ lack of funds was a major obstacle. After rounds of negotiations the situation was solved with the Souza swap and a small salary raise for Fernandinho.
Patrik, the Sport
Midfielder Patrik had supporters on the brink of nervous breakdowns in 2012, Scolari insisting on using him time after time. He wasn’t able to convince Kleina and the athlete ended up leaving for South Korean club Gangwon, where he didn’t remain long. Just back at Palmeiras – enough to provoke a minor storm of protests on social media – within a week his new destination was settled: Sport of Recife. Another lending deal. Could have made that one a permanent.
Blue and I like it
All these players being sent off to gain experience at other clubs are not only reducing Palmeiras’ oversized squad, but also the number of monthly pay checks. The month of June was the first one since July 2012 that closed with a positive balance and, consequently, also the first one during Nobre’s mandate to do so: some US$ 250.000. With roughly US$ 10 million of accumulated deficit January-May, this is a small but important step in the right direction. And, mind you, without yet having signed a major sponsor.
Several measures have led to the financial turnaround, not only the swapping and lending of players: the extinction of Palmeiras B has been fundamental, so has the hibernation of all of Palmeiras’ professional Olympic sports genres that weren’t able to maintain themselves through sponsorships. Times are rough and rather drastic measures have been taken; justified when you’re US$ 2 million short month after month.
Lapidating the jewel…
Last week new aerial photos of the Allianz Parque were released: with 65% of the construction underway, almost all of the supporting structure is in place.
Yesterday, 4 August, the greatest Palmeiras keeper of them all turned 40. Congratulations, Saint Marcos!
Loves me, loves me not
The Barcos poll was rather inconclusive: 57% wouldn’t have him back, 43% would. Something tells me had the negotiations regarding his exit been better handled, numbers would be the opposite.
Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
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