The walls of Ninho do Urubu dawned graffiti on November 3, a Wednesday, 24 days before the Libertadores final: “Renato donkey!”. Flamengo had completed four matches without winning.
Forty days earlier, one of the Palmeiras’ uniformed fans released a manifest promoting the countdown for the departure of Abel Ferreira and President Maurício Galiotte.
The defeat to Corinthians was the trigger. A month earlier, an excellent performance resulted in a 3-0 victory over São Paulo and placed the Palmeiras team in the semifinals of the Libertadores. There was no supporting document, except for the shouts of goal.
That derby defeat marked the second in a series of seven games without a win for Abel Ferreira’s team. The third without a win was the draw against Atlético-MG, which classified Palmeiras for the final of the Libertadores, because of the away goal, a 1-1 draw at Mineirão.
In Belo Horizonte, the Portuguese coach unburdened himself in the qualifying goal, was restrained by director Cícero de Souza and responded at the press conference that he only intended to vent against an “annoying neighbor”.
This was followed by the draw with Juventude, the defeat by América-MG and the debacle by 4-2 to Bragantino, which caused graffiti on the walls of Allianz Parque: “Abel, your neighbor is right!”.
Graffiti is not funny.
The sequence of seven matches without a win was followed by another of seven without losing, while Flamengo was battling Renato Gaúcho, for elimination in the Copa do Brasil and defeat at Fla-Flu. On October 28, UOL published: “Renato Gaúcho is no longer able to continue in Flamengo”.
Bruno Henrique’s goal in the 49th minute of the second half against Corinthians, on Wednesday (17), inhibited criticism and produced praise. The tie would provoke reflections on a team with little repertoire, which crosses more than thirty times against a closed opponent. The victory boosted the eyes on the performance of a team that likes big games.
In fact, Flamengo won 22 of the 27 points played against the six best Brazilian teams, and Palmeiras only won a 1 in eight matches against these opponents.
The crowd is special and Maracanã with 48 thousand people is prettier than Christ the Redeemer or Sugarloaf Mountain, which helps to build the stage for the great victory.
The Allianz Parque painted green with 35,000 voices also amplifies the defeat by São Paulo.
The problem is that the two stages coexist with pain and delight and, for three months, they have turned ecstasy into hatred in the interval of a goal.
Someone will say that football has always been like this, but it seems worse with auditorium entertainers dressed up by the pretty name of influencers. Respected and listened to in press conferences with coaches, more than reporters from newspapers, portals, historical radio and TV stations.
That plurality lasts, as long as it is accompanied by responsibility. If it depends on the audience of a single crowd, like some new channel, one of those that participate in the press conferences, it will be able to ponder and say: “Lost, but played well”.
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Our traditional sports journalism has also been searching for its Week of Modern Art for a hundred years, as Paulo Mendes Campos wrote. It also doesn’t help to have leaders who plagiarize, without noticing, old phrases from Absolutism, such as one attributed to Luis 14: “The State is Me!”.
Flamengo is us. The Palmeiras is us.
And what is frightening is that, on the 27th, someone will lose.
This should be the day of the victory cult. You can bet that there will be someone who will make the grand statement to defeat.
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