Who would have thought (this humble scribe wouldn’t) that watching the final stretch of the Brazilian Championship would become one of the coolest things in world sport in these last weeks of 2023.
Even the Dutchman Max Verstappen commented before the Las Vegas GP on the fall of Botafogo and his support for Vasco (yes, the whole phrase is weird, including Vegas). On the other hand, it must be better to talk about this than about the exciting race for vice-president in F1, a bore. In F1, Verstappen started as Botafogo, but he didn’t end up as Botafogo.
Speaking of boring, another FIFA Date is coming. Interestingly, in the past, people complained in Brazil that the CBF did not respect the FIFA Data and scheduled entire rounds during the break for international games (this scribe was one of those who echoed the lack of respect).
Now, all the majority wanted was for the selection calendar to be ignored to continue the exciting Brasileirão. But the CBF has a peculiar habit of making mistakes even when it wants to get it right.
So, instead of four weekends, we will have the last four rounds insanely crammed into 12 days, between November 25th and December 6th. And FIFA Data will help teams with late games to stay strictly up to date. Congratulations to everyone involved.
It seemed that the 2023 championship was a game of War, with Botafogo aiming to conquer 24 territories. But after about 20, the team got stuck and was no longer able to expand. Winning at Tapetinho is more difficult than getting to Kamchatka. Anyway, there are things that only happen with Botafogo (you’ll read this a few more times before the year ends).
But the Brazilian game is now called Resta Um and has been going on for a few rounds. To remember, back in the 30th round, only four points separated second place (Palmeiras, with 53) from seventh (Athletico-PR, with 49). Botafogo led with 59 and the famous game less.
Then came round 31, and Resta Um skipped Athletico (lost to Corinthians) and left Flamengo in the crosshairs after the defeat to Santos — it was also in this round that Palmeiras’ iconic 4-3 comeback against Botafogo took place. .
In rounds 32 and 33, Atlético-MG skipped. Professor Scolari’s team only scored two points in draws with bottom side América and Corinthians.
In the 33rd and 34th, it was Bragantino’s turn to split, with one point out of a possible six against São Paulo and Botafogo. Still in round 34, the last, Grêmio left points at home against Corinthians — yes, Corinthians took points from Athletico-PR, Atlético-MG and Grêmio in the last rounds. In fact, if Palmeiras wins the title, President Leila could send a gift to Duílio.
Let’s say that, if Palmeiras were Don Quixote, Corinthians would have been their Sancho Panza; if it were Batman, the black and white guy would be Robin; If it was a Jedi Knight, Mano’s team would be a Padawan. He picked up?
With everything that happened in recent rounds, it doesn’t seem like it, but Botafogo remains the leader by points lost. The remaining clashes for the teams at the top of the table are scheduled for November 23rd: Fortaleza x Botafogo and Flamengo x Bragantino. After them we will really know who the leader is. And, in Resta Um, Flamengo or Bragantino will say goodbye with the direct confrontation.
Until then, we will have to settle for Brazil’s games against Colombia and Argentina (with all due respect) in the Resta Todos of the South American Qualifiers.
The Corinthians that are worth it
The Paulista semi-final repeated the duel from the Libertadores final: Corinthians x Palmeiras. But there was no drama or a slim victory for Corinthians, it was really big, 8-0. The game also had an audience of around 25 thousand people in Itaquera — more than the 19 thousand in the victory of leader Palmeiras, in the men’s game, against Inter, in Barueri.
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