Cups will be
League often takes second place
he calendar of
Brazilian football is
a constant battle to
fit three litres into a
bottle that can only
hold two. Something
has to give. With the games coming thick
and fast, priorities need to be established
- and the league pays the price.
Top of the wish-list is the Libertadores
Cup, with the Sudamericana Cup less of
a distraction until the closing stages. The
domestic cup is also a very big attraction.
There is plenty of prize money on offer
and it is seen as a short cut to winning
some major silverware, as opposed to
the 38-game slog of the league.
As a consequence of all this, key
players are often rested for league games
- which clearly favours those clubs with
the resources to maintain a squad with
plenty of options.
Defending champions Palmeiras are a
case in point. With wealthy sponsors and
a successful new stadium, they went on a
spending spree last year and appeared to
have more players than they could use.
But things suddenly made sense after
Luiz Felipe Scolari was appointed coach.
He essentially divided the squad in
two: one for cup games and one for the
league. They fell short in the cups, their
main priority, but put in a second half
spurt to win the championship.
This has clearly been adopted as a
model by their closest challengers last
April 27, 2019
December 7, 2019
February 5, 2019
September 11, 2019
Success...Palmeiras’ Marcos Rocha (left) celebrates with Felipe Melo in this year’s Libertadores Cup