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Posts Tagged ‘sub-17’

Early afternoon, and there’s the first indicator that Palmeiras would be swimming against the tide. Whiz kid Gabriel Fernando opened up the scorecard for Palmeiras in the U17 São Paulo championship final against Santos, but the “Peixe” equalised then reverted the score. As the referee chose to ignore a scandalous penalty committed by Santos’ keeper in the dying minutes of the game, the title slipped out of reach. Our boys played a fantastic championship through and through: 21 victories, 3 draws and 2 defeats, conceiving only 17 goals while scoring a whopping 97 in total, 37 bearing the mark of Gabriel Fernando.

Meanwhile, for the first time in the Club’s history, members were casting their votes in the presidential elections. Ballots were still open when Palmeiras entered the pitch at the Beira-Rio stadium in Porto Alegre, determined to wrestle at least a point from Internacional. The Verdão, with Allione substituting Valdivia in a playmaker/attacker role in an otherwise defensive line-up, supported well Inter’s initial blitz, compacting the midfield and patiently awaiting the right opportunity to launch counter-attacks. Nevertheless it was Internacional who took the lead after 20 minutes, a harmless shot being deflected by Marcelo Oliveira, leaving Prass completely hapless as the packed stadium exploded in celebration: Inter were securing a spot in next year’s Libertadores Cup.

At that very same moment, it was announced that sitting president Paulo Nobre had been re-elected by a 60-40 per cent margin: 2.421 votes against 1.611 for opposition candidate Wlademir Pescarmona. Out of the 10.500 members, a little over 4.000 turned up to vote.

Back at the Beira-Rio, Palmeiras equalised after a splendid cross by Victor Luís, met by defensive midfielder Renato’s forehead: his first brace for Palmeiras (not counting goals as a junior player in lower divisions). Minutes later, the half-time break. The second half looked much like the first, until Inter’s coach Abel Braga decided to make a few adjustments, bringing more speed and mobility to his attack. The payoff came immediately and Inter, in a natural way, took the scorecard to 3-1 before the final whistle.
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With our players leaving the pitch, attention shifted to Vitória’s away game against Flamengo. Sighs of (relative) relief as Flamengo with authority constructed a solid 4-0 victory, keeping Vitória parked in the relegation zone at 38 points, one point behind Palmeiras.

With one round to go, Palmeiras secure a spot in the first division if beating Atlético Paranaense at home. In case of a draw, fingers crossed Santos manages at least a draw, away, against Vitória. In case Palmeiras suffer a defeat, neither Vitória nor Bahia (playing away against Coritiba) can be allowed a victory. Nerve wrecking.

With the current state of affairs, on the surface of things, it is rather surprising Paulo Nobre was re-elected. The opposition calls him “the worst president in Palmeiras’ history”, and yet they were unable to put forward a candidate strong enough to take him down. Palmeiras, on the pitch, have deteriorated, with Nobre personally responsible (as highlighted repeatedly here at Anything Palmeiras). Still, there seems to be an understanding among a majority of the Club’s members that Nobre’s administration has brought institutional solidity to Palmeiras for the first time in decades. The coming two years is the time to cash in on the sacrifice made. “Nobre has paved the way. Now we’ll see what he’s truly made of”.

Nobre himself knows that if he has been given any slack at all, it’s because Palmeiras were in dire straits when he grabbed the steering wheel. Now that the financial course has been corrected, there are no excuses for not employing top executives, managers, football directors, and assembling a strong team. Nobre says structural changes will be implemented only after the end of the Brasileirão, but he has indicated the way: either a vice-president or a contracted Director of Football will be in charge of the team. Let’s desperately hope so: mind you, Nobre made the same promise two years ago, to no effect.

What shouldn’t take long is the extension of Gabriel Fernando’s contract: the kid has expressed his wish to stay and his manager this week said that all details had been agreed upon and that, for the sake of ethics, they were only await the results of the presidential election before signing. I admit I didn’t quite get the “for the sake of ethics” part, but as long as pen is put to paper, I’m cool.

“Cool” is not what you would call the reaction from some of Nobre’s most virulent critics after the election result had been made official. The traditionally complicated political climate at Palmeiras has been further fuelled by the meagre results on the pitch during the club´s centenary, stirring what can only be described as hatred. Hatred and rage, transformed into verbal and physical abuse. Yesterday, I received my share of the former, with promises of the latter, due to my [sic] “two years of unrestricted support to the Nobre administration”.

If these people actually read Anything Palmeiras, I conclude they never hit the refresh button. Or they couldn’t care either way: anyone not equally revolted as they become “the enemy”, and is attacked as such.

So be it. As far as ”Anything Palmeiras” goes, I have but one commitment: write as truthfully I can about the way I see and experience Palmeiras and palmeirenses. I get but one thing in return: feedback. And feedback is my fuel.

It has been two difficult years. I believe the two coming years will be better, much better. But only if Palmeiras beat Atlético Paranaense to remain in Série A. Today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, every hour up until kick-off on Sunday, the only thing on my and everybody else’s mind must be VICTORY, and ON THE PITCH.

SCOPPIA CHE LA VITTORIA È NOSTRA!!!

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Previous Monday and in several cities, the Mancha Verde supporter group protested against the current state of S.E. Palmeiras by displaying large banners at strategic places. The message was clearly addressed: “Directorship, the cancer of Palmeiras”. Below, examples from the Federal District, Goiania, Piauí, Maranhão and Paraná.
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On Wednesday we witnessed a small but important step toward a more responsible and transparent transition process, taken we have elections coming up in January: the three main presidential candidates from the opposition – Décio Perin, Paulo Nobre and Wlademir Pescarmona – met with current president Arnaldo Tirone. The sequence of meetings to follow will serve to level available information on the financial situation, marketing, current and future procurements, transfers, you name it. In addition, the talks serve to approach candidates with Palmeiras’ technical staff: all in all a very good initiative that will hopefully promote mutual respect and jumpstart the presidency of whoever is elected.

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What doesn’t need jumpstarting is the list of dismissals, apparently already crafted and ready for Thursday’s announcements. Most if not all players have already been made aware of their status. All players with contracts ending in December, for example Betinho, João Vitor, Thiago Heleno, Leandro and Daniel Carvalho, will leave. Those on loan until the end of the year – the likes of Correa, Artur and Obina – most probably idem. Even players on a longer contract, like Leandro Amaro and Maikon Leite, are at a serious risk. Journalist Alex Müller speculates as many as 23 players might have to walk the plank.

Not the Pirate, though: Hernán Barcos is one of the few there’s a positive consensus about and that Palmeiras are doing what they can to keep. Marcus Assunção (knee permitting), Wesley and Henrique are also invited to stay, as are the lion’s share of the recently promoted kids from the youth academy including Raphael Alemão, João Denoni, Patrick Vieira and Bruno Dybal.

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Speaking of the kids: several of them played and lost yesterday against Atlético Goianense: in addition to the ones mentioned above (minus Denoni), we had Bruno Oliveira, Wellington, Luiz Gustavo, Diego Souza and Índio alongside the usual suspects like Obina, Correa and Juninho. Less than 5.000 spectators at the Pacaembu. Game highlights below. I wouldn’t know what to expect from a bunch of young guns totted together at the end of the championship, so I prefer not read too much into the result or individual performances. Actually, I won’t read anything at all. But I liked the offensive spirit.
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Final round is against Santos, on Saturday. I’ve no clue to how coach Kleina will set up his squad but I would assume he’ll keep to the formula of giving the youngsters more experience – even considering the pressure of a derby and all.

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Results from the sub-categories of the on-going São Paulo Championship:

Sub-20: Both semi-final games finished 1-1, results which qualify Santos for the finals against São Paulo (Santos finished the earlier qualifying rounds ahead of Palmeiras and tournament regulations defines that as the tiebreaker).

Sub-17: After losing the first leg in the semi-finals against Desportivo Brasil, Palmeiras drew the second leg 2-2 and are eliminated.

Sub-15: first final leg against Audax was a goalless draw, with the second (away) leg taking place this coming Saturday at 9am (Brasilia time). Only a win will do, as Audax finished the qualifying rounds ahead of Palmeiras.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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While things go not so well with the A-team, the youth divisions are doing actually surprisingly well, Palmeiras being the only team to have reached the semi-finals in all the ongoing São Paulo youth championships: sub-15, sub-17 and sub-20.

The sub-20 start their climb towards the finals this Saturday, playing the first leg of the semi-finals against Santos in Americana, the return game scheduled for 24 November (Vila Belmiro). The sub-17 last week lost their first semi-final game 3-0 to Desportivo Brasil and face the difficult task of reverting the situation this Saturday.

The sub-15 are already in the finals, having yesterday beaten Corinthians 2-0 after a 1-1 draw in the first leg. The grand finale is against Audax, scheduled for 24 November and 1 December. One of the Palmeiras players to watch is forward Tiago Pará, a likely star in the making. Stay tuned for further updates on the progress of our “Verdinhos“.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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Only a few weeks back, palmeirenses had nothing to look forward to and 2011 was a lost cause. The arrival of Cesar Sampaio and the exit of Judas30 provoked changes, with the away draw against Grêmio serving as a first indicator of possibly better days. The subsequent and convincing win against Bahia distanced Palmeiras from any risk of relegation and brought the team well into next year’s South America Cup zone.

Yesterday, act one of the Grand Finale was delivered to stunning effect as Palmeiras beat São Paulo Futebol Clube 1-0 (watch the highlights below) and dramatically reduced the enemy’s chances of qualifying for next year’s Libertadores Cup. Simultaneously Corinthians beat Figueirense 0-1, while a last minute goal from Vasco sealed their 2-1 away victory over Fluminense, postponing the title decision to the very last round and propelling Palmeiras’ status from extra to lead supporting role: Corinthians need at least a draw against Palmeiras to secure the title; a loss combined with Vasco beating Flamengo would hand the title over to the Maltese crusaders.

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It’s in moments like these that Valdivia stands out. Not only does he cope well with pressure, tension and provocations: he feeds from it. He’s the kind of player you love to have on your side and loath when playing for the enemy. Yesterday he was on fire, playing well and driving the opponent insane with his cocky attitude. Thankfully, the referee was in a good mood; he could have chosen to show Valdivia the yellow card, taking him out of the final game against the skunks. No such (bad) luck: Palmeiras will come armed and ready. Any corintiano claiming to be calm and confident is a liar.

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The weekend proved a source of joy also for all of us who have been following the Palmeiras sub-17, or the “Verdãozinho”. On Saturday, they played Santos for the second leg of the Paulista Championship title. The 2-1 advantage from the first game was enough to secure the novel title, as the youngsters lost by the same score but had the advantage due to a better overall campaign. And what a campaign! 32 games, 25 victories, 3 draws and 4 losses – a total of 86 goals scored and only 26 suffered. Congratulations to everybody involved in this great achievement, not least upcoming stars like Bruno Dybal, Luis Gustavo, Hugo Ragelli, Bruno Sabiá and goalkeeper Vinícius; for sure these kids and others will attract even more attention as from now on.

The pictures below are courtesy of the “Instituto Palestrina de Estatística – IPE”. Even further down, game highlights and post-game commemoration courtesy of Antena Verde.

  

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Before anything else: forgive me for leaving you in the dark in relation to the first leg of the sub-17 São Paulo Cup final that took place last Saturday. My post-weekend post was so focused on the mathematical escape from relegation and the following and sudden dismissal of the entire Palmeiras press office staff that I entirely forgot to mention that we were victorious against Santos. 1-2 was the final score, and Palmeiras can now afford to lose the second leg by the same score at home (due to a better overall campaign we have the benefit of the draw) and still raise the trophy. The kids did more than alright; they played excellent football and showed that there are indeed good things happening at the base. The second leg is being played this Saturday, at 10 am. Stay tuned!

Looking ahead to the coming two games against São Paulo and Corinthians respectively, president Tirone has promised that players will receive an extra bonus if winning. Marcus Assunção and others quickly minimised the impact of this measure, claiming that if salaries were being paid on due dates, players should get on the pitch and to their best always, not depending on bonuses to boost performance.  He is of course right, not least considering the disappointment that was/is Palmeiras of 2011.

Looking further ahead, the São Paulo football federation recently released the schedule for next year’s edition of the Campeonato Paulista. The regulations remain the same: first eight teams progress to the quarter-finals. Both quarter and semi-finals are played in one game only; in case of a draw, penalty shootout. The final is a two-legged affair.

Below, with courtesy of the always excellent Blog do IPE, behold the dates of Palmeiras’ games:

Round 1: Bragantino x Palmeiras, 22/1 (Sun)
R2: Palmeiras x Portuguesa, 25/1 (Wed)
R3: Catanduvense x Palmeiras, 29/1 (Sun)
R4: Palmeiras x Mogi Mirim, 1/2 (Wed)
R5: Santos x Palmeiras, 5/2 (Sun)
R6: Palmeiras x XV de Piracicaba, 8/2 (Wed)
R7: Palmeiras x Ituano, 12/2 (Sun)
R8: Americana x Palmeiras, 18/2 (Sat)
R9: Palmeiras x Oeste, 22/2 (Wed)
R10: Palmeiras x São Paulo, 26/2 (Sun)
R11: Linense x Palmeiras, 29/2 (Wed)
R12: Palmeiras x São Caetano, 4/3 (Sun)
R13: Botafogo x Palmeiras, 11/3 (Sun)
R14: Palmeiras x Ponte Preta, 18/3 (Sun)
R15: Corinthians x Palmeiras, 25/3 (Sun)
R16: Paulista x Palmeiras, 28/3 (Wed)
R17: Palmeiras x Mirassol, 1/4 (Sun)
R18: Guarani x Palmeiras, 8/4 (Sun)
R19: Palmeiras x Comercial, 15/4 (Sun)

EDIT: IPE informs that the exact dates are not yet decided – the list above indicates order of games and approximate dates (for example games scheduled for a Sunday can be moved to a Saturday). The final list will be compiled in the next few weeks.

And there he goes, surely to make Grêmio’s supporters miserable. Kleber, Gladiator, K30… Or, as preferably called by most palmeirenses for the last few months, Judas. He didn’t leave a day too early. And I must admit that a smile came across my face as I saw the pictures (courtesy of his rotten-to-the-core agent Giuseppe Dioguardi) of him signing the 5-year contract with Grêmio, apparently boosting his salary to nearly double the amount he was receiving at Palmeiras. Suckers. Perhaps I also should try offending my boss and then fake injury in order to get a raise?

Grêmio paid Palmeiras roughly US$ 2.8 million for a 50% share in the player (the other 50% belong to Cruzeiro), which must be considered reasonable – for Palmeiras, that is. My smile grew even bigger when I saw the ridiculous little doll in blue and white stripes. Poor gremistas… I give them six months: K30 will be out the back door faster than you can say “traitor”.

AVANTI PALESTRA!

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Sonar pings #29

Bahia are expecting a full house against Palmeiras on Sunday and it seems likely supporters will correspond: by Thursday night close to 20.000 tickets had been sold already. Bahia are in a similar situation as Palmeiras and could, depending on the results of other games taking place on Saturday and earlier on Sunday, even settle for a draw. The one point would also secure Palmeiras’ spot in the first division next year, while three points would dramatically increase possibilities to also snatch a South America Cup spot, transforming 2011 into something not utterly useless.

An additional incentive is that anything but a win would sacrament Palmeiras’ longest lasting run in the Brazilian Championship without a win in the club’s history. In the last ten rounds Palmeiras sum up five draws and five losses, exactly the score back in 1985. God help us.

Or Valdiva help us, perhaps? The Chilean midfielder has been training regularly after returning prematurely from the gathering of his country’s national team and should be available for Sunday’s game. It would be exciting to test him out with Patrik or why not Carmona by his side.

In parallel to the day-to-day activities, preparations for 2012 are under way. Everything indicate that Luiz Felipe Scolari stays with Palmeiras also next year. He has submitted a “wish list” to the directors and negotiations are apparently happening with a number of players, some of them currently playing abroad. Staying in line with this blog’s policy, a minimum of speculation will take place: you’ll read it here when papers have been signed or at least are about to be.

Finally, a wish for good luck to the Palmeiras sub-17 team in their first leg final against Santos, taking place at 10am tomorrow Saturday! Go, Verdinho!

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Grêmio await
Palmeiras are off to Porto Alegre, facing Grêmio and chasing those few points that would allow us to release a sigh of relief. Scolari has been experimenting with different line-ups during the week and also promoted specific training sessions for defensive and offensive players. The main novelty for Sunday’s game is the presence of 20-year-old defensive midfielder Didi. After having played well at Palmeiras B, only two training sessions with the A squad was enough to receive Felipão’s approval. Vinícius José Ignácio, as is his real name, is thrilled with the opportunity. At 184 centimetres and 75 kilos, he will carry the number 26 on his back.

Sub-17 progress to the finals
The sub-17 team consist of players that are still too young and inexperienced to join the main squad, but perhaps the future spine of Palmeiras is to be found among these kids who today Saturday beat Desportivo Brasil 4-1 and secured their spot in the final of the São Paulo Cup. Santos are the opponent. Anything Palmeiras will follow the preparations of the team and keep you updated on events.

Happy Birthday!
On Wednesday, Luiz Felipe Scolari celebrated his 63rd anniversary. On Friday, players covered him in flour and eggs, as tradition calls for. The coach was all smiles beneath the pancake in the making; perhaps a good sign that there is still space for spontanious outbursts of comic relief. Whatever helps bringing these men together is welcome.

Nothing magical
Also on Friday, but less amusing, was the breaking news that Valdivia had been punished with an additional suspension of two games by the Superior Sports Tribunal (STJD) because of his bookings against Atlético Mineiro. This means that the Chilean will be available for only one more game this season: the last round against Corinthians. What a year for Valdivia, what a year for Palmeiras…

AVANTI PALESTRA.  

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