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Grêmio FBPA - Season 3: Eternal Glory

After a humiliating relegation, an obscure young manager takes charge of his favorite club. In this story, he plans to lead his Imortal Tricolor back to glory; showing all that he'd do differently
Started on 1 December 2021 by Tango
Latest Reply on 3 February 2022 by Harleygator
@J_ames well, the money that we made covers a lot of ground, be we are still going to be missing around 70M at the end of the season because of the missing Série A TV revenue, so there is a long way to go

@TheLFCFan since the beginning we had a far superior situation in comparison to anyone else in the league. It is just unfathomable how this club managed to get relegated

With Vanderson on fire, Grêmio knocks Inter out of the Copa do Brasil

Victory allows Grêmio to recover a little bit of the pride that was lost in the last few seasons

Vanderson got two assists to his name to crown his man of the match performance. Ph: Lucas Uebel/Grêmio

For the first time since 1988, we had a Clássico Grenal at a knock-out stage of a National tournament. This damned derby is well known for its turntables, for how it can suddenly shift what seems to be going to be a good season for a club and turn into a nightmare. For the opposite side, the win usually brings a lot of confidence, as it can equally hide all the problems that may show up in the future. It doesn’t matter which side of Grenal you are, it often means damnation.

The two clubs that played tonight knew about that, but they had no alternative other than going for it. Internacional hasn’t won anything other than a State Championship since the Recopa Sudamericana in 2011, and a Copa do Brasil with single leg rounds was their best chance to get something this season. On the other hand, Grêmio found a bizarre relegation immediately after one of the best eras in their history, and this Copa do Brasil encounter was their only chance to beat their deadly rivals in 2022.

After kick-off, Grêmio looked like the only ones to be awake, as only the offside flag could deny Miguel Borja of the opening goal at the 5th minute. It took only two minutes, however, for Vanderson to get a long throw into the penalty box, a pin-point cross for Salcedo to head her in and make it 1-0.

The goal was a wake up call for the Colorados, who then proceeded to balance out the actions of the game, despite not being able to harm the goal defended by Brenno. Schwartz’ strategy of playing 2 volantes with a deep-lying playmaker seemed to work, also helped by the lack of creativity usually applied by Aguirre’s physical team.

Back from the dressing rooms, the early stages of the second half looked a lot alike those of the first one. In the 53rd minute, Vanderson recovered the ball back and gave it to Villasanti, who turned to Victor Bobsin to find the same Vanderson open at the right flank. The powerful right-back ran to the last fourth of the pitch and delivered a quick low cross to Douglas Costa, who only had the job to find a good grip with the ball and bury the second from a right footed effort.

Bad would only become worse for Inter at the 68th minute, after the ref blew a soft penalty on Geromel. The VAR was ok with the ref’s decision and Borja made 3-0, much to the appreciation of the Gremistas who are confident that their club will be back stronger next year.

Aguirre tried his last attempt to change anything by subbing Heitor and Thiago Galhardo in. It partially worked, as Guilherme Guedes tripped Galhardo in the penalty box, awarding Inter a penalty kick that Edenilson converted in the 82nd minute. After scoring, however, Inter simply didn’t do what one has to do to get a comeback, or anything better from this match.

The elimination raises a lot of concerns in the days that precede their first leg against Boca Juniors at the quarter-finals of the Copa Libertadores, to be played in Buenos Aires next Wednesday. Until then, they will have to show something better against Bahia this Saturday.

Grêmio will go back to their dystopian reality Monday, when they will face Remo for the Série B. Their next Copa do Brasil match will take place on August 24th, against the almighty Flamengo, who knocked Grêmio out of the same competition last season with a 6-0 aggregate. This time, however, as it will always be the case this year, both teams will play just once for a spot in the semifinals.

The other matches of the quarter finals will be:

CSA vs. São Paulo
Chapecoense vs. Bragantino
Operário Ferroviário vs. Vasco da Gama

The winner of each match-up will be awarded R$7.29M (€1.16M) for the qualification to the semifinals.
tá, mas o gremio caiu kkkkkkkkkkkkk, vai jogar a série b hahahahahaha
I always find it so satisfying to beat a rival club in the game, so I've no doubt that this was even more special for you, as a supporter of Gremio. Well done, although drawing Flamengo was quite possibly the worst possible outcome!

Things are going well atm, and I think the haters have suddenly lost their voices!
Dominating in the league already, love to see it! Flamengo is going to be an interesting game for sure, with a lot riding on it as Gremio seek high-reputation success in the cup. This could be the beginning of a defining era for the club!

@J_ames if you play a coin toss against your rivals, you play for death. Otherwise you lose. And yes, giving the other match-ups, face Flamengo was quite annoying

@Jack everytime a giant is relegated, people say that it is an opportunity to learn from your mistakes and come back stronger, so be it

The match that changed my life

Written by Marco Schwartz

Borja celebrates the first penalty in the penalty shoot-outs. Ph: Lucas Uebel / Grêmio

Do you know when you are eating chicken or fish, and there’s this little fragment of bone that you ate without realizing it was there until too late? And then it gets stuck across the throat for a handful of seconds before you can clear it? That indescribable annoying sensation until all is OK?

Those are my feelings towards Flamengo. I believe many Gremistas feel the same. A fish spine across my throat that I can digest, this lingering feeling that they’ve done us and we won’t be able to get back at them so soon, that what they have done to us will remain unavenged for a long time, maybe ever.

Ever since they shifted to an aggressive position towards the market, signing a lot of expensive players with the hopes that they will compensate the spending with income, we’ve shown no sign of being able to answer it. Since then, Palmeiras and Atlético Mineiro have replied, whereas we went only down, completely unresponsive to the changes in the national scope.

Right after we were “The Thing”, they became “The Thing”.

And whenever we met from 2019 onwards, they made it clear. 6-1 aggregate defeat at the 2019 Copa Libertadores semifinal. 6-0 aggregate defeat at the 2021 Copa do Brasil quarter final. That if you ignore when they marginally beat us 2-1 on aggregate at the 2018 Copa do Brasil quarter finals.

So if we could win this match, just one leg, in another Copa do Brasil quarter final, it would mean the world to us. And more than that, limited to our differences and adapting to context, it could be our revenge. Our humble, little revenge

Once again, I decided to take a rather conservative approach towards this match. Not only would Campaz be swamped by their two talented defensive midfielders in Daniel Alves and Willian Arão, we needed someone marking Georgian de Arrascaeta at all times. For that, the attacking mid Campaz was benched for the defensive mid Darlan Mendes.

It couldn’t have started better. In the 11th minute, Douglas Costa found a nice pass to Kenedy at the left flank, already inside the box. Kenedy turned on his marker and rolled it to Jean Pyerre, who came from behind and had only the keeper to beat. 1-0 up with 79 minutes to go. From now on, it’s guerrilla.

We managed to defend well from the rest of the first half. Brenno was brilliant in goal, and the post saved our asses when Everton Ribeiro almost got the best of us. We went to the dressing rooms with the lead, but Flamengo was asking questions.

So many questions that the equalizer came soon in the 47th minute. Everton Ribeiro sent a floating corner kick to the second post, Daniel Alves hit the crossbar and the ball came on Sabino over the line. As the ball rolled off Sabino, it remained over the line until David Luiz slided to nudge her in. In one moment of bad luck, we were back to equality.

At the 56th minute we lost Douglas Costa to injury. Campaz was subbed in with clear instructions: hold on to the ball. We need to make sure that his ball will not hover our goal for too long. And it didn’t. The ref blew the final whistle and we went straight to penalty kicks.

In the very first kick, Pedro was going to open the series for Flamengo. He took a half-hearted effort towards the middle and Brenno made an easy save. 0-0

Borja took his penalty towards his left hand side. Diego Alves went for the correct corner, but failed to grasp it. 1-0

Daniel Alves banged it to the roof of the net, right in the middle. 1-1

Jean Pyerre chose his right hand side. Once again Diego went for the correct corner, and once again didn’t get to reach her. 2-1

Filipe Luís took his right hand side. Brenno got the corner right, but didn’t save it. 2-2

Sabino kicked to his right, and sent the keeper to his left. 3-2

David Luiz got a low driven kick to the right side that Brenno couldn’t reach. 3-3

Campaz did the same. 4-3

From now on, we were on “match point”. Either a penalty miss from Flamengo or our goal would see us through to the semifinal. This was the make or break point of this match, and we had the upper hand.

The experienced Everton Ribeiro, left footed, went to the ball and hit it awkwardly. The ball came off his foot with a weird spin, hit Brenno’s left post and then slowly crawled in. 4-4

Our last kicker would be Victor Bobsin. Very promising at the beginning of his youth career, the expectations over him are becoming dimmer and dimmer. This kick was his chance to enjoy some moments of glory, although I recognize in hindsight that this was such a big pressure over him.

The important thing is that he remained calm, collected, and placed her in the left hand corner. Diego Alves, who stopped penalties from Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, didn’t stop Bobsin. The ball was only stopped by the net, and we are through to the semifinals, where we’ll play Vasco da Gama, another Série B side.

In fact, Bragantino is the only Série A side remaining, as CSA eliminated São Paulo to meet them at the other semifinal.
What an emotional roller-coaster that game must've been! I imagine you must've been quite nervous when you saw Victor Bobsin taking the decisive penalty, and what a moment it is for him to have scored it to secure a massive result for the club. Maybe this will be the catalyst for his career getting on track and meeting the projections that people made of him early on.

Absolutely brilliant that the other results went your way, and it's looking more likely that triumph in the cup is a real possibility. Best of luck in the next round!
@J_ames well, I really hope a moment like this can get the kid to be what he's promised to be

And yeah, I though it would be a stretch to even think about getting near the title at the CdB, but the circumstances made it quite achievable!

V. Back to where we belong

2022: The Calvary, part 3

Apart from the fight for the Copa do Brasil title, we had a league to play as well. And although we had it pretty much in the bag by the 14th round, a slip up would be incredibly costly for Grêmio’s long run. Costly not only for the loss of prestige and the embarrassment, but also literally costly: Grêmio made an average of R$100M per season with TV revenue during the last few years, whereas the expected TV revenue this season would be around R$6M.

For comparison, the last positions in the Série A reward a club with R$11.9M, and the champion of Série B gets a mere R$400k. There is an abyss between the two tiers.

Such an abyss deserves attention, and even our large advantage is no excuse for a loss of focus. Pride is also at stake, and if we want to keep mocking Inter for not winning the 2017 Série B, we have got to make sure we win it now. Furthermore, we are on the way to beat Corinthians’ 2008 record, so there is that.

Brasileirão 2022 - Série B

Results - second half of 2022

And although this wasn’t the biggest challenge to ever be in front of this club, I can say I am proud of these guys. They remained serious and focused throughout the competition, as shown by the 12 consecutive victories in the last 12 matches.

Final standings

And the record is beaten! By a large margin, for that matter. We have only dropped 18 points throughout the whole competition and we get ourselves a nice consolation prize to show for it. The three clubs that are promoted alongside us have also interesting stories to tell:

Náutico: they have participated in a lot more Série B seasons than they wanted to. I don’t know any other club that has bottled as many promotion opportunities as Náutico. In 2005, when we were in Série B for the last time, they had the chance to get promoted in our place: they had a penalty to take, 4 players more on the pitch (yes, we had 4 players sent off) and 10 minutes remaining with the score 0-0. Instead, we won it 0-1. This time around, however, they showcased excellence, and even managed to get close to us some rounds before our amazing 12-match sequence.

Chapecoense: you all probably know Chape’s recent tragedy. What you may not know is that they also hold the infamous record of least points in a Série A season, after they only scored 15 points in 2021. Nice to see them bouncing back.

Vasco da Gama: it came as a shock when Vasco failed to get promoted in 2021. In 2022 they almost failed again, scooping it away from Ponte Preta at the last round.
You've done exactly what was expected of you, and called the club presidents bluff to perfection in the process. What an incredible season for everyone involved with Grêmio FBPA, though I've now doubt that Marco is already planning ahead to secure survival next season. I'm pleased to see Chapecoense and Vasco da Gama earn promotion, but I'll admit to being surprised by Náutico being promoted.

Well done!

@J_ames honestly? I'll plan for a Libertadores spot, if not the title. Despite the relegation, we still have talent and structure. We can aim higher.

And about Náutico, it wouldn't be that much of a surprise had they not bottled it so many times!
Tango's avatar Group Tango
1 yearEdited

VI. Redemption

2022: The Calvary, final part

If there is one thing you should know about Grêmio, it’s the passion for cups. There is something special that attracts this club to knock-out matches, and the club is no stranger to the “to kill or to die” environment.

Much so that Grêmio carries a rather unusual mark: winning the Copa Libertadores more times than the National league. In global football, I can only remember Nottingham Forest as a club that has achieved this same mark. In our case, we won the Libertadores 3 times, against only 2 national leagues.

Instead, our go-to trophy is the cup. Even though the Copa do Brasil started only in 1989, we have already 5 of them. For years we held the record of the biggest champions until Cruzeiro got their 6th in 2018. Cruzeiro later almost went bankrupt because of the amount of money that they have (not*) spent on building the squad that stole our crown.

*Tip: the cheapest way to build a strong squad is to promise everyone a lot of money for their players and then never pay.

In opposition to cups around the globe, Copa do Brasil has a fairly privileged position: it gives a spot to the Copa Libertadores’ group stage, it pays really well - as I mentioned a couple of times - and is comparable in prestige to the league, being considered a title that is worth the year.

Semifinals x Vasco da Gama

Vasco surprised us and delivered a tight match. Ph: Rafael Ribeiro/Vasco

Our semifinal started with Vasco showing that we can never take them for granted. Unlike in our 4-0 win at Série B, they showed up with a braver posture, typical of a team that had a shaky start but is now picking up the pace. Goals would take a while to appear, but after the first they appeared a-plenty:

In the 36th minute, Guilherme Guedes found Igor Paixão in the penalty box. He lost hold of the ball after trying to control her, so he had to restart the play with Jhonata Robert, who was substituting the injured Douglas Costa. Jhonata then whipped a slow cross to the other side of the box and Kenedy headed the ball down and in to open the scoreline.

As we were accepting the idea of taking a tight win to half-time, we conceded a penalty in the 45th minute. The everlasting Nenê took it and we went to the shower with an equal score.

The game didn’t slow down in the second half, and we got back in front when Jhonata Robert with another cross, this time far away from the box, found Kenedy once again. This time, Kenedy was far from the goal, but with an awkward head movement he managed to lob the goalkeeper. Incredible stuff and we are 2-1 up.

And in the 61st minute, once again it was Jhonata Robert! This time, he received a pass from Jean Pyerre and found a beautiful through ball to the diminute Igor Paixão. He, who’s been developing amazingly this season, would just not miss in front of the keeper. 3-1 and the sensation of a job well done.

But in the following minute Sabino missed a pass where he shouldn’t, and Cano sent a mid-height pass to Nenê, who, classy as he is, found a beautiful karate chop to reduce the damage for Vasco. 3-2.

Despite the scare, we held off well after that and got home with the victory and a spot in the finale against Bragantino, who got a calmer 3-0 triumph over CSA.

Finale x Red Bull Bragantino

Tradition against money at the Copa do Brasil Grand Finale.

Tradition met modernity at the grand finale. Although Grêmio has 5 titles, the titleless Bragantino is the clear favourite for the cup, as they have a stronger squad and a better position in the league (8th in Série A).

But when Léo Ortiz pulled Kenedy’s shirt during the first corner kick of the match, it was tradition who opened the scoreboard from a penalty kick taken by Borja two minutes into the match.

15 minutes later, it was Vanderson who found Sabino inside the penalty box, and the centre back barely had to touch the ball to make it 2-0 with 18 minutes of football at Joinville (what a random place for a cup final!!?).

After half-time, Bragantino finally found some gear and brought some attitude. In the 55th this attitude was rewarded by Morato, who beat Brenno after a nice play in which 5 Bragantino players exchanged passes until finding a space in the left flank of the defense.

But their pressure backfired. In the 66th minute, Kenedy intercepted a pass from Aderlan and sent a long through ball from our half for Borja to run for it, who beat the defenders and buried the ball alongside Massa Bruta’s hopes of a turnaround.

As the match went goalless from then on, we lifted the Copa do Brasil for the 6th time and got back together with Cruzeiro at the top of the winner’s table.

Notwithstanding being in the second tier of Brazilian football, Marco Schwarz emerged from the backstaff to bring Grêmio back to greatness. A Copa do Brasil win was everything this club needed after the terrible 2021 we had. Moreover, Romildo Bolzan didn’t have too much to celebrate as he has finally been replaced as the club’s president after 8 years, 4 of them building this club and other 4 destroying it.

And we go back to where we belong with our heads up high and a Copa Libertadores to play. More than a trophy, we found dignity today.
So after Marco called his bluff, Romildo has now departed the club and gone into obscurity. What a season it's been for Gremio, and I can't wait to see how the club handles the jump back to Série A. I'm choosing to manage my expectations for now, but I'm hopeful that next season will be as successful as this one has been!

PS. Delighted to see you beat the franchise that is RB Bragantino.
Back into continental competitions despite the recent failures in Gremio's history, what an achievement!

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