Libertadores x Estaduais: who hinders who? – 04/01/2024 – Sandro Macedo

Libertadores x Estaduais: who hinders who?  – 04/01/2024 – Sandro Macedo


In the Brazilian football world in which we live, we have reached the height of outrage this week that begins with the following question: would the Libertadores be disturbing the state championships? Or could the state teams harm the start of the Libertadores?

Just the fact that doubt exists means something is wrong. The most obvious and sensible answer is the usual: the Brazilian football calendar is shit.

Last year, Palmeiras already sacrificed the first continental round (they sent the reserves to beat Bolívar 3-1) to win two from Paulistinha, against the intrepid Água Santa.

This year, with the strength of the new rival, Santos, it is expected that something similar will happen (talking about saving starters, not the beating on debut).

Flamengo was luckier, who only competes in a local friendly tournament worth a cup, called Carioquinha. This scribe has never witnessed a state as dull as Rio-2024. And Flamengo is not to blame for the badness of its opponents (it’s not to blame, it has money). I’ve seen Ramón de Carranza or Teresa Herrera more competitive.

Yes, in other years the red and black was already the money team, the love team. But his crazy board always found a way to balance the game. This time, Tite didn’t let him.

In the Libertadores, Fla can send the main team to face Millonarios, in Bogotá. And a Millionaires will never be a match for a Billionaires, as the character Bobby Axelrod would say. “Ah, but there’s the altitude”, someone thoughtful would complain. Because I heard, on April 1st, that Marcos Braz made a proposal to buy the altitude, which will be red and black from next season. It’s great to be one of the Billionaires. Even Nova Iguaçu’s main striker has already signed with Billionários.

In total, seven Brazilian teams are in Liberta. But only four are involved in finals over the weekend: in addition to the aforementioned Flamengo and Palmeiras, Atlético-MG and Grêmio.

This means that São Paulo, Fluminense and Botafogo failed miserably in local territory and are being rewarded for it. Congratulations to the trio, who will have maximum strength in the continental debut round.

Grêmio and Atlético-MG are the only ones from Series A that compete in the state final against a rival from Series A — Juventude and Cruzeiro, respectively. Worse still, neither the team from Rio Grande do Sul nor the team from Minas Gerais has an advantage on the scoreboard in the second leg, as they drew the first leg — and, just like Palmeiras, Atlético cannot draw in the second leg. In Mineiro regulations, a draw gives Cruzeiro the title, without penalties.

And what would the fans prefer: a good debut in the main tournament of the year? Or defeat in the continental with a state title? Years of local rivalry tell me that the overwhelming majority want the trophy at the weekend and the start of the Libertadores be damned.

In the other state finals, there is another Series A clash: in Baiano, Bahia-City faces Vitória, who took an advantage in the first leg after a dramatic turnaround at the end, 3-2. But the return is at Fonte Nova.

In addition to Paulistinha, there are three more decisions between series A and B: Goiano, with Atlético-GO having an advantage against Vila Nova; Catarinense, with Criciúma at an advantage against Brusque; and Cearense, with a draw between Fortaleza and Ceará in the first leg. Just like Santos, Ceará is the B team with a real chance of winning the title.

No team from Series C went to the final against rivals from Series A, but there are two other teams from Series D (the same as Nova Iguaçu). Maringá challenges Athetico-PR in Paranaense, while União Rondonópolis faces Cuiabá in Mato-Grossense. Both already lost on the way.

Good luck to everyone involved.

And even the Premier League has a round this mid-week. The exciting English Championship continues with Liverpool (67), Arsenal (65, hooray) and Manchester City (64) separated by just three points. On Sunday, Arsenal and City proved that even a bad Premier League game is good. It will be a noble Tuesday (with Wednesday and Thursday as well).

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