(Ben W) #1

Cups will be

given priority

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


League starts
April 27, 2019
League ends
December 7, 2019

Cup started
February 5, 2019
Cup ends
September 11, 2019

Success...Palmeiras’ Marcos Rocha (left) celebrates with Felipe Melo in this year’s Libertadores Cup