Opinion – Renata Mendonça: Brazilian had absolute Palmeiras, charming Flu and disappointing Rooster

Opinion – Renata Mendonça: Brazilian had absolute Palmeiras, charming Flu and disappointing Rooster

The Brazilian Championship came to an end with an undisputed champion. Palmeiras won their 11th title unquestionably and with an impressively consistent campaign. There were only three defeats in 38 rounds, six in the entire 2022 season. That’s for a team that had 72 games from January to now (not counting the World Cup, which was still part of the previous season).

Abel Ferreira reaches his third season in Brazil winning the titles he still lacked – Paulista and Brasileiro. Two Libertadores and one Copa do Brasil came before. And it’s only been two years here. Your team’s tactical evolution is clear.

He managed to make Palmeiras find solutions in difficult games with Scarpa’s powerful set piece, turned Mayke into a winger, made Dudu one of the stars of the championship and accomplished the goal of any coach: a solid team in defense and aggressive in attack. His team led these two items in the championship.

Second in the table, a surprise. Whoever made the predictions for Internacional before starting the championship – when Inter had a disastrous start to the season – did not put the Colorado team in the fight for the title. The best of projections, put Inter in the fight for a spot in Libertadores. But Mano Menezes arrived in April and changed the level of the gaucho team, which ends up as vice-leader, surpassing all expectations.

In third place, the other surprise of the championship. Fluminense came at times to threaten a fight for the title. But above the results that classified the Tricolor carioca for the Libertadores are the performances on the field. A team that consecrated the top scorer Germán Cano, but that was far from functioning for individuality – the best Flu of Fernando Diniz has always been the collective.

Under the regency of conductor Paulo Henrique Ganso, returning to its best phase, Fluminense played and delighted. With the exception of the left side, which has been a chronic problem in Flu for some time, Diniz found good solutions in all positions. The second best attack in the championship, the second team with the most wins, the third place in the table. Just as Mano did with Inter, Diniz made Flu exceed expectations.

Corinthians, in fourth, fulfilled what was expected of them in the championship: the direct classification for Libertadores. Flamengo gave up fighting for the Brazilian title, but won the two other cups it disputed, so the balance for the fans is more than positive. Athletico Paranaense confirmed that they arrived to be among the main teams in Brazilian football and once again guaranteed a direct spot in Libertadores – after having returned to the final of the main competition on the continent.

Finally, the biggest disappointment and the best overcoming of the championship. Atlético-MG did the least and qualified for Libertadores. Fortaleza did the most and came out of the bottom in the second round to guarantee a spot in the tournament for the second time.

The Rooster of Turco Mohamed was criticized for yielding less than expected in terms of results and football on the field. Cuca returned, and Atlético’s stellar team continued to have a campaign far below what its fans expected. He ran the risk of spending the year of the inauguration of his stadium without playing in the Libertadores – and he only qualified for the preliminary stage, he will still have to confirm his place in the group stage.

Who would have thought that, four months after his presentation – when the main topic was the chance of the coach leaving to take over the Brazilian team at the end of the year –, Cuca would end his time at Galo in such a melancholy way?

Goodbye, Brazilian! It was good, thanks! Now it’s World Cup time!

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