Opinion – Tostão: São Paulo and Fluminense are close to success and failure


Flamengo, with a huge advantage of four goals, will confirm their presence in the Libertadores final today. On Sunday, Dorival climbed the reserves, for the Brasileirão, in the 1-1 draw with Ceará, and now he puts the holders. He should have done the opposite. With that, the chances of approaching Palmeiras decreased.

Dorival Júnior and other coaches want to establish the concept that players cannot play two games in a row within three or four days, even if they don’t have any physical problems. This posture diminishes the quality of the game, the conquest of more titles and disappoints the fans, who pay dearly to see the best players. In Europe, coaches change much less, and there are not two teams, as in Flamengo, one for each competition.

Rogério Ceni re-scaled the reserves in the draw with Cuiabá, and São Paulo maintained the terrible campaign in the Brasileirão. São Paulo runs great risks of being eliminated in both cups and of not getting a spot for the next Libertadores, via Brasileirão. It would be a great failure, even more so since the club has hired, in recent years, before and during the work of Rogério Ceni, a large number of expensive players, none special, at the level of those who have other great Brazilian teams. São Paulo has the fourth salary sheet in the Brasileirão.

Even if they win the Copa Sudamericana, it will be a consolation achievement, as the dreams of the mighty club and self-sufficient coach Rogério Ceni were to win bigger titles.

I also disagree with the many lineups and substitutions and the way São Paulo plays, divided between two blocks, one defensive and one offensive. The team is intense, presses, but has little lucidity and little construction of plays in the midfield, in addition to abusing crosses from above, to the area.

Rogério Ceni, for his obsession with details, technical knowledge and self-sufficiency in interviews, and Fernando Diniz, for the peculiar way in which he organizes Fluminense in the field, are two highly praised young coaches, who run the risk of getting stuck in the middle of the dispute for good placements and titles at the end of the season.

São Paulo and Fluminense, even considering that they don’t have squads as good as those of the main Brazilian teams, are close to success and failure.

Football has many “almosts”. For very little, for moments, for fleeting moments, for chance, we don’t get many things we want. We win and we lose.

I almost didn’t go to the 1970 World Cup, because of a detached retina, and I almost was a reserve, since Zagallo, initially, wanted a classic striker. I was hardly a doctor. It wouldn’t have been if I didn’t have the eye problem, which forced me to end my career so early, at the age of 26.

I almost played for Milan, which was not possible because it was forbidden to hire foreigners. I almost became world champion in 2022, as technical director, which would have happened if I had accepted the invitation from CBF, before hiring Felipão, who, at the time, would also be my choice. “Life is a continued carelessness.” (Rose Guimaraes)

The cruise is back

If Cruzeiro keeps the squad for the first division, what will the team’s campaign be like? There’s no way to know. The businessman Ronaldo, the directors of the SAF, who work daily at the club, the coach Pezzolano and his coaching staff, the delighted players and fans who fill the stadiums, deserve the applause.

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