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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 we would all prefer Bragantino to go down, right? Thanks to Red Bull they went to sympathetic to unlovable in the blink of an eye. And Fortaleza have changed a lot, and I dare say that the clubs from Ceará have pulled down the pants of a lot of big guys recently

@Jxgsaw_ well, I don't expect the lads to be focused on the second leg after winning the first 7-2 away from home

and yes, things came our way really quickly, thanks to - guess what - serious work and planning

@Maxporto well, about that...


VII. Eternal Glory

Season 2: Redemption (Part 7)

We have arrived at the final stages of Copa Libertadores. Only four clubs have the chance to lift the trophy most dreamt by 422.5 million South Americans: Grêmio, Palmeiras, Santos, and Junior.

The Brazilian trio all seek the record to be the first Brazilian club to win the Copa Libertadores for the 4th time, as all of them figure amongst the five clubs in Brazil that conquered La Gloria Eterna three times (São Paulo and Flamengo are the other two).

The latter is an intruder of all sorts: after knocking out Internacional at the second round and The Strongest (from Bolivia) at the quarter finals, the Colombian club repeats their best ever Copa Libertadores campaign, by reaching the semifinals for the first time since 1994. Other Colombian clubs have done much better than Junior: Atlético Nacional has won the Copa twice, Once Caldas once, and América de Cali played 4 finals (losing every single one of them).

With all contexts given, let’s get started!

Semifinals vs. Palmeiras

Leg 1, São Paulo
Palmeiras (5-2-3): Weverton; Gabriel Menino, Gustavo Gómez, Adonis Frías, Bremer, Renan; Patrick de Paula, Danilo; Dudu, Borja, and Wesley
Grêmio (4-2-3-1): Brenno; Vanderson, Chávez, Martínez, Matheus Reis; Villasanti, Thiago Maia; Kenedy, Torres, Ferreira; Igor Paixão

We would be facing a top challenge against the one club we haven’t beat in the Série A. More than that, we lost the two matches against Palmeiras in our victorious campaign. Although we usually have a hard time against the Alviverde, we have never been knocked out by them in Copa Libertadores, beating them twice, both of them full of weird facts and odd circumstances.

A brawl erupted with 15 minutes of football at the 1995 Copa Libertadores. Grêmio ended up winning that match 5-0. Palmeiras won the second leg 5-1, which became the highest ever score suffered by a Copa Libertadores winner in their winning season. Ph: Júlio Cordeiro / Agencia RBS

Palmeiras came up with an unusual formation with 5 in the back, clogging my channels of communication and suffocating our creation, especially because we usually train to start from the back.

And the first blood was ours. Weverton kicked the ball from his goal, Chávez failed the interception and Borja got the best of him, dribbling Brenno before filling an empty net. With 25 minutes in, we already got hurt by our top scorer in 2022.

What seemed to be awful became worse in the 35th minute: Dudu took the corner from his right flag and Gómez headed her in to make 2-0. Just like that.

A mix of hopelessness and despair took over my players. Our only chance to get something from this game came in minute 57’, Igor Paixão had the chance, face-to-face with Weverton from a beautiful through ball by Torres. He did well to dislodge the goal-keeper, but the ball painfully hit the post. Apart from that, the 5 in the back formation proved itself worth it and we started off the semifinal 0-2 down and without scoring any goals away from home.

Leg 2, Porto Alegre
Grêmio (4-2-3-1): Brenno; Vanderson, Bruno Fuchs, Martínez, Guilherme Guedes; Thiago Maia, Matheus Reis; Kenedy, Torres, Ferreira; Igor Paixão
Palmeiras (5-2-3): Weverton; Gilberto, Gustavo Gómez, Adonis Frías, Bremer, Renan; Gabriel Menino, Danilo; Dudu, Borja, and Wesley

Five weeks had passed between the first and the second leg, and of course Palmeiras would come to Porto Alegre again with 5 in the back. They had absolutely no reason not to. On our end, we couldn’t make too many changes, as we have a best XI well defined by now. The only changes came with the injury of Villasanti, making me advance Matheus Reis to the midfield and alotting G. Guedes at the left-back position.

But we needed a different mentality. I made it clear that I wanted my players to be the bravest versions of themselves out there. They have to be decisive. Cruel. Ruthless. Make everything from every single chance they’d have.

And it seems to have worked! At the 19th minute, our secret weapon Guilherme Guedes threw a long ball in. Martínez managed to win the ball in the air, but Torres had to steer her to the back of the net. In the following minute, Matheus Reis crossed, Renan cleared it poorly and Thiago Maia had the rebound with some yards to advance. Even though he was far from the goal, he didn’t think twice before yeeting the ball past the keeper. Not even 20 minutes had elapsed and we had already tied up the semifinal.

Palmeiras, however, had a possibility that we didn’t have anymore: score a goal away from home. And when it looked like we were going to make history, Dudu made a run by the right-wing and crossed to Wesley, who beat Vanderson in the air and made a very, very complicating goal right before half-time. There would be no penalty shoot-outs; we would kill or we’d die. And we needed two goals to kill.

I know that I needed to give the speech of my life to get out of this alive. Ph: Grêmio TV

Guys. I was not happy in the dressing room. I don’t remember exactly the words I pronounced, I think it had something to do with getting something together and stop defending like a something something as they were doing something over the job they had already done and now they needed to do the something job all over again. Something like that.

In the first minute of the second half, our strategy to use G. Guedes to throw the ball in directly to the box seems to have worked much better than I’d expect, as he found Martínez again and this time he didn’t need anyone to make it 3-1. With a whole second half in front of us, we were very much alive.

But as the time ran out, we didn’t have an entire second half to find our winning goal anymore.

So I took my tactic sheet, crunched it and threw it away. Torres was advanced to play as a deep-lying forward. Kenedy came off for Fernando Henrique in the middle, and Ferreira came off for Ponce. We were in a 4-3-3 now.

And with 8 minutes to go, we could finally breathe. Igor Paixão opened up with Ponce in the right-wing. He took the ball to the end of the pitch and passed it to Thiago Maia in the right corner of the penalty box. Thiago Maia adjusted his body and took a beautiful curling shot, but what really made the ball hit the net was the desperate intervention from Gómez. 4-1. With just a few minutes to go, we turned the semifinal on its back. Sure, Palmeiras could try to strike back. But with 5 in the back and no substitutions remaining, good luck with that.

We did it. We will play the final.

And we would play it against Santos.

Finale vs. Santos

Interestingly enough, the Grand Finale would be played in Barranquilla, Colombia, which means that had they not been eliminated by Santos in the semifinals, Junior would play the Final in their own stadium.

Single match, Barranquilla
Santos (4-2-3-1): João Paulo; Velázquez, Luiz Felipe, Kaiky, Felipe Jonathan; Sandry, Léo Baptistão;  ngelo, Lucas Lourenço, Marquinhos; Lucas Braga
Grêmio (4-2-3-1): Brenno; Vanderson, Chávez, Sabino, Matheus Reis; Villasanti, Thiago Maia; Kenedy, Torres, Ferreira; Igor Paixão

After the thrilling qualification to the final, I expected the lads to be 200% motivated for this Final. There was a lot at stake, after all: the eternal glory, as exhaustingly repeated by me throughout this campaign, and to be the single Brazilian club with the most Copa Libertadores. Becoming the greatest Libertadores winner is something pretty much out of reach for Brazilian clubs, as Independiente has won the Copa 7 times - other four clubs have won the Copa Libertadores more than any other Brazilian club: Boca Juniors (6), Peñarol (5), River Plate, and Estudiantes (4) - but being the greatest Brazilian is something worth of bragging rights.

But we didn’t even have two minutes on the clock when the first red alert button was pressed: Sandry profited from a low cross by Felipe Jonathan and scored the first goal of the match, which was thankfully overwritten by the VAR.

In the 7th minute, Santos had us on the counter-attack and Lucas Lourenço hit a beautiful volley from a Marquinhos’ cross, and Brenno had to make a formidable save.

Our first reply came from a corner in the 17th minute, but João Paulo didn’t have problems stopping Sabino’s header. In the following attack, Thiago Maia attempted another shot from outside the box that narrowly missed the target.

Later in the 34th minute, Villasanti found a nice through ball to Igor Paixão, who failed to control the ball and made a complete blunder in front of the goal-keeper, wasting a very good chance.

We went to the dressing rooms with two big zeros in the scoreline, and I felt that something was off with my players, especially in the finishing aspect. I knew back then that I had to use my skills as a leader to steer these lads to the right direction (goalwards). I had a conversation with Igor Paixão, delicately (not delicately) telling him that he cannot miss such chances.

With 55 minutes, ngelo found Lucas Lourenço after a quick exchange of passes, and he found Lucas Braga, who rolled the ball between Brenno’s legs and went off celebrating until he saw the offside flag being raised by the linesman.

It took a long while for the game to be restarted, though. It was a tough call, and VAR were checking. And checking. And then…

Goal allowed. We were 1-0 down with 35 minutes to go.

What came after that was embarrassing, humiliating, demeaning, horrifying, petrifying, enraging. We just didn’t reply. We haven’t found our way back to the game, as our legs were shaking and our chests were frozen. After the sensational turn-around in the semifinals, I thought the guys would be eager to beat a team that I honestly think was not as good as we are. Instead, we bottled it.

That’s the word: bottlejob. We bottled it.

And we will advance to the next season without the trophy I wanted the most.
Tango's avatar Group Tango
1 yearEdited

VIII. Wrap-up 2023: Mbappé, finally

After the controversial decision to award Haaland the crown of the best player in football in 2022 despite of France’s World Cup title, 2023 has finally seen justice for the French star

Mbappé celebrates being awarded the best footballer in 2023 ©Reuters

Not a lot can be said about who is the best in the world in a year without a World Cup, and France, who renewed their title in 2022, will carry on with the bragging rights for another 3 years.
What’s left for us, avid to point someone as the best of the world in something, are the individual awards. And there, finally justice has been made as Mbappé, the star of the French national team, was not voted the best in the world - the fact that Haaland, the winner, did not go far in any competition neither by nation or club only added to the controversy.

The continental realm, however, left us something to talk about.

CAF 2023 Africa Cup of Nations

As the pandemic has just - hopefully - ended, we are yet to untie the kerfuffle that unfolded over international football and, because of that, we had an Africa Cup of Nations right after another.

Morocco came as favourites after the 2022 title, but if you think that anyone can be appointed as a clear favourite in the ACN, you know nothing about African football. Not that Morocco did badly, on the contrary: they came close to renewing the title, only to be beaten by Nigeria in the Finale. David Okereke scored the goal that took Nigeria to the highest step in the podium in the 84th minute.

Credit also to The Gambia, who achieved the quarter-finals after a whooping 3-0 victory over Guinea in the second round, and the Central African Republic, who got an amazing result by qualifying to the second round, knocking Burkina Faso out of contention in the group stage with a 2-1 victory. Their journey came to an end only against the DR Congo, with a comfortable 3-0 win.

2023 AFC Asian Cup

It may not sound as surprising to say that South Korea won the AFC Asian Cup, but it was a long time coming: they ended a 63-year taboo, as their last triumph had come only in 1960!

After the dramatic defeat against Australia in the 2015 Finale, this time the South Koreans won after a dramatic game, goalless from minute 1 to 120, only solved at the penalty spot.

Syria also had a campaign worth mentioning, reaching the semifinals after leaving the powerhouse Iran and Lebanon behind. Lebanon itself, alongside Thailand, overcame the expectations over them by getting to the quarter finals.

European Club Football

Fans of underdog stories came out disappointed on the 2022-23 season in European football, as no surprises struck any of the main leagues: PSG became the champions of France, Bayern in Germany (zzZzzzZzZZZZZzz), Liverpool in England, Real Madrid in Spain, and Porto in Portugal. Italy didn’t see exactly a surprise, but Milan finally got back to their winning ways to lift the Scudetto.

As bizarre as it is, the billionaires of Manchester City lifted the Uefa CONFERENCE League. You didn’t read wrong. Conference. Internazionale won the Europa League and Real Madrid became the champions of Europe for the 14th time after beating Barcelona in El Clásico.

South American Club Football

A season of downs and lows for Grêmio, after finally ending their 27-year run without winning the league, but it was Santos who beat them to the Copa Libertadores. The franchise RB Bragantino became champions of the Copa Sudamericana after beating Argentinos Juniors in the final.

In the national leagues, Boca won again in Argentina, Peñarol ended Nacional’s 3-year title run, and Universidad de Chile bounced back from their obscure days and got back to the top of the table. Surprise came in Colombia, where the club of the insurance company La Equidad became national champions.
Oh my, devastating :( At least there's a chance for redemption next season, though I doubt that makes the loss in the final any easier to accept. It is what it is, and we go again! I'm sure you'll be hitting the transfer market with a renewed vigour, and culling anyone who isn't performing to the standards required. It's the type of ruthlessness you need in order to create a dynasty.

I think Grêmio are in a pretty good place at the moment, and it's only a matter of time before they're dominating South American football.
My heart was in my mouth when i was reading the semifinal report, so much tension so many plottwists! A shame you didn't make it all the way but you've already taken them a long way to being the best team in South America. Now it's time to see if you can keep it up!

Also, if you manage to win the Libertadores, what are you gonna do, since you've then reached all that you can reach right?
@J_ames well, I didn't have anyone to really dispose of. Even our main striker, who disappointed enormously in the Final, deserves some credit for the year he had

@NTBgaming that is an excellent question! As Brazil and South America are tanks full of sharks wanting to bite off chunks of each other, trophies don't count as much as domination do. Even if we win everything we'll still have a lot to fight for, as there are a lot of bragging rights at stake.

For example, some clubs in Brazil have won the league 10 times, whereas we've just won our 3rd, and I do intend to catch Independiente's record of 7 Libertadores wins. I just hope I can keep you guys entertained in the mean time


I. Back to square one

Season 3: Eternal Glory (Part 1)

I was still heartbroken by January. I have to confess that taking some time off during the vacations didn’t help a thing with how I feel regarding what could have been. It is sad, so sad to see such a glorious moment escape through my fingers…

But I also know that if I dwell in the past too much, past will end up being all I have. Despite the tragic end we have a lot of reasons to celebrate 2023, especially for a league title right after returning to Série A! This has to be worth something.

So we have all indications that show that we are moving at a fast pace towards the right direction, and I am eager to keep pushing until we are inevitably ahead of everyone else.

Speaking of everyone else, it is interesting to see how things are panning out for our rivals. As Palmeiras, Atlético and Flamengo have been dominating between 2020-22, from 2023 onwards it seems that we may be onto some changes: Flamengo botched many of their transfers last season, and ended only 5th even though they spent more than us; Atlético Mineiro couldn’t keep up with their spending and are now being administered by a courthouse. Palmeiras are the only ones among the three in a stable position, but they are not fond of taking big risks.

On the other hand, Corinthians seems to have found a pace and they are striking back after some years in mediocrity. Santos and Fluminense have been growing exponentially thanks to their talents produced in their youth facilities. Santos, well, has even a 4th Libertadores to show for it.

And then, of course, there we are. We made a shitload of money from sales last season, and we have a bigger budget for 2024. On top of that we have other two big departures at this season kick-off:


Don’t take me wrong, Gabriel Chapecó is a great lad and a fantastic professional. But I’d never expect a club of the sorts of Tottenham to come for our reserve goal-keeper, who I don’t consider having the potential to succeed at such a high level, even if playing for losers. But I won’t complain, those are some welcome bucks. The other big sale, of course, is our top scorer Igor Paixão, who became impossible to hold. Sporting came with huge money and they got him, outbidding clubs from France, Spain, and other clubs from Portugal.


Given that competition in our squad is already at a high and we haven’t lost that many pieces, I just went for replacements. Julián Aude will replace Matheus Reis, and Brenner comes for the vacant spot left by Igor Paixão, for a much lower value but a much higher wage. The other player is a very promising kid.

Julián Aude, left-back, 21 years old: the talented left-back is another great revelation from Lanús, an Argentinean club who’s been developing great players recently, even becoming runners-up at the 2017 Copa Libertadores (losing only to us hehe). Decent on support, good on defense, great team player.

Brenner, striker, 24 years old: Brenner will be returning to Brazil after an unsuccessful stint in the French league. After being a rising star in São Paulo, he went to the MLS before being rescued by Monaco. In a year in Europe, he played 11 times and scored 3 goals.

Kauã, defensive midfielder, 17 years old: the third addition to our squad is not exactly a recent signing, but a young volante that I poached from Palmeiras at a young age. After a loan spell at Remo, he’s now prepared to take a more important role in our squad.

Preseason Competitions

This time we won the Supercopa! Of course Coritiba is not the greatest adversary ever, but it still counts as a trophy.

At the State Championship, we waltzed by it, as one would.

Preseason Expectations

Last year’s triumph in the league has put us into an expected condition of clear favourites, followed by Palmeiras and Flamengo.

Regarding the title that escaped through our fingers in 2023, our group in Copa Libertadores will hold a lot of tradition: with us, Independiente from Argentina, Peñarol from Uruguay, and Caracas from Venezuela, our group will bear a total of 15 Copa Libertadores, 7 from Independiente, 5 from Peñarol, and 3 from us, plus the most successful club in Venezuelan football, not really glorious yet still worthy of some regard tradition-wise.
I'm really impressed by the signings you've made, and the way that you smashed the State Championship was mighty impressive too! I certainly understand your feelings regarding the Copa final loss, but a new season is a new opportunity to 'right that wrong' so to speak. I've no doubt that we'll see Grêmio in the final again, and hopefully this time we see the desired result.

You've got this! :D
@J_ames well, it is... but we have to do the good work all over again... and then right that wrong!


II. Unlike Sisyphus

Season 3: Eternal Glory (Part 2)

My biggest challenge in the second attempt of winning the Copa Libertadores this season is to fend off the thoughts that could hinder the focus of our lads. For example, one could remember that all the work that took us to the final in the last Copa went down the drain and now we have the burden of making it all over again.

If you let this thought take over your mind, you’re bound to feel exactly like Sisyphus, as if you are performing a task that will not ever be completed, just to have to start all over again. We have to avoid at all costs the thought that we missed our golden opportunity last season, and we must believe that we are more than capable of creating another.

Because we are.

2024 Copa Libertadores - Group Stage Matches

Porto Alegre | Grêmio 3-0 Independiente
We have got to a point in which everyone who plays us, plays to defend. Our excellent performances throughout 2023 made us the team to beat, and when it happens, you may have to rely on not exactly beautiful football to win. This game, for example, was decided by Bruno Fuchs’ height and his two heading goals. Brenner scored the third to close the 3-0 victory.

Caracas | Caracas 1-3 Grêmio
As the Venezuelans are expected to be the weakest in the group, I expected some goal difference to be built. And started well, with Brenner scoring twice and Gui Azevedo once within the first 26 minutes. But that was it. Guilherme Guedes even scored an own goal in the second half to close the 3-1 victory. The silver lining is that we haven’t come close to dropping points.

Montevideo | Peñarol 2-2 Grêmio
Again a good start with Brenner scoring twice before the 15’ minute mark. And again, there died our attack. We missed a lot of opportunities to score a third and Máximo Alonso’s 66th minute goal was no use to wake us up. Peñarol, on the other hand, switched up their gears and pressurized us until they got the equalizer at 83’, with Máximo Alonso scoring his second to end things up at 2-2.

Porto Alegre | Grêmio 3-0 Peñarol
Although they are not as glorious as they were until the 80s, the Uruguayan clubs are well known for their toughness, and Peñarol, who gave us a tough time away from home, almost spoiled the party in Porto Alegre. After Brenner finally got the opener, however, things started to flow better and Bruninho, followed by David Martínez, scored to close the match at 3-0.

Porto Alegre | Grêmio 3-0 Caracas
I’ve got to say that our striking force hasn’t started 2024 as overwhelmingly as it started 2023. We had a miserable 1-0 lead until the 70th minute, when Ricardinho was subbed in and scored twice for another 3-0.

Avellaneda, Buenos Aires | Independiente 0-2 Grêmio
After missing a penalty in the 20th minute, Brenner redeemed himself in the 31st, opening the score in a match that presented itself tough away from home against the greatest Copa Libertadores winners ever (although the last title came in the distant 1984). After soaking up the pressure really well for the rest of the match, David Martínez got a second with 2 minutes to injury time.

2024 Copa Libertadores - Group Stage Standings

As it is becoming repetitive in Libertadores, Brazil and Argentina took over the group. Peñarol tied way more games than they should, and Independiente profited from their incompetence by beating Caracas twice and Peñarol in a crucial match in Montevideo. Peñarol will be going to the Copa Sudamericana.

In the other groups, plenty of surprises: Unión La Calera took it to the goal difference to knock the three-times champion Nacional out of contention, Bragantino dominated a group with River Plate and Fluminense, Colo-Colo eliminating Racing and Atlético Nacional, Alianza Lima almost making it to the second round, and Santos, again, finishing second in their group, this time losing the top spot to Tigre.

Santos however, is not to be underestimated. They finished their group 2nd last year as well and we know how it ended...
Very straightforward in the group stage, despite the draw to Peñarol. It's going to be fun watching how you navigate the knockout stages :D
@J_ames I hope I can have fun as well =p


III. Continuous Improvement

Season 3: Eternal Glory (Part 3)

After ending the 27-year drought of league titles, one could feel satisfied. Yeah, lay back, enjoy the success, become an icon, go make a career elsewhere and come back some years later to dip your feet into concrete outside of the stadium.

But for a club like Grêmio, 3 league titles in 63 Série A participations are really too few to be proud of. After all, we have just as many relegations. I have a table to show you all that I think will display exactly what I am trying to say:

Brasileirão Série A: 1959-2023 Performance Ranking

We can’t just settle for a single title, that’s just not how you respect your own greatness. We had to drop blood, sweat and tears last season only to tie up the amount of league titles and league relegations at 3. This club spent too much time and resources on Cup competitions, and as a result, even though being the club with the 2nd most top 4 finishes, Grêmio lies only 11th at the title table.

So no, I am not satisfied. Grêmio already dropped the ball once, and then ended up relegated a few years later. I have to do everything in my reach to make sure that we don’t do it again, and the only way to guarantee it is by continuous improvement.

2024 Série A - First 19 Fixtures

We have been showing our strength in the league from our starts. As we did last season, we profited from our only few months in which we can concentrate only on the league to make sure we can jump ahead for when the calendar becomes rough on our legs. Only two defeats in the first half of the season, and the two of them in the city of São Paulo.

2024 Série A - Partial Standing after 19 Rounds

Half season gone and we have pulled away nicely, with 8 points ahead of Flamengo, who are not looking as fierce as they did in the first years of the decade. The clubs from São Paulo are coming strong, as 3 of them follow Flamengo closely. Then comes Náutico, making the season of their lives since their golden age in the 1960s.

On the negative end, Palmeiras and Internacional had a shaky start, especially considering that Palmeiras was the runner-up in the two last seasons. Cuiabá are keeping themselves alive thanks to the fact that ties award 1 point, allowing them to currently stay ahead of Atlético Mineiro, who are looking a lot like they are going to get a lot worse before they start to get better. At the bottom, finally, Juventude are cruising towards the worst Série A campaign ever.

2024 Copa do Brasil - 4th Round

I’ve been impressed by Vasco’s bravery in our recent Copa do Brasil encounters, although we always end up winning. They gave us a fight in Rio, forcing us to find a remontada in what turned out to be a very entertaining match. At home in Porto Alegre, we opened 2-0 and they only found a consolation goal.
The league table is quite a surprise [apart from you being top!], with Fluminense, Internacional, and Palmeiras being much lower than I'd expect them to be. I think it's safe to say that Juventude are already relegated, and tbh: I'd forgotten they even existed! I used to sign Diego Marangon from them in the early editions of FM, but his career didn't pan out irl like it did on the game for me!

You're having a great season already, but it's the Copa Libertadores that is the true 'measuring stick' for a season.
@J_ames Juventude spent some years in obscurity, spending even some years in Série D

and yes, as remarked often in South America, ¡Libertadores es nuestra obsesión!


IV. Players they come, they go

Season 3: Eternal Glory (Part 4)

There is a great inconvenience about being a successful club in South America: harassment.

If you want to build a great squad and dominate the South American scenario with players that will stay with you for years, forget it. You won’t. Europe won’t let you. You can do whatever you want to try to keep your most talented players, but a European rando will just flash a pile of cash in front of them and they’ll be gone in the blink of an eye.

Given that our titles last season have brought a lot of attention towards our squad, our campaign to finally lift the Copa Libertadores this year can end up being hampered by interest from elsewhere. If we don’t play our cards right, it means that our own success can be our demise.

As in South America it often is.

They go

A mixture of good sales with unavoidable ones, as we managed to release some unused players for reasonable fees on Darlan, Bruno Fuchs, and Elias. Rubinho, a talent that we poached from Cruzeiro, didn’t even have the time to develop here: he’s off to Napoli at the age of 18. Kenedy, Villasanti, and Vanderson will embezzle our squad, being the latter, although unavoidable, a hard pill to swallow. At least Vanderson will be leaving us 50% of our biggest sale ever.

They come

I think we did great this transfer season. All players brought are capable of good football and to accrue value throughout the next few years.

Gabriel Pec, right-winger, 23 years old: although he is not quite yet where Kenedy was, the agile dribbler can be a formidable asset for us. He’s still got some years ahead of him and I see him developing nicely.

Busanello, left-back, 25 years old: funny story: as the Arabs came offering a shitload of money for our second left-back on Guilherme Guedes, I already considered him gone and went to the market for a replacement. But he refused the big pile of cash and now I’m stuck with three left-backs.

Khellven, right-back, 23 years old: with the imminent departure of Vanderson, one of the greatest players to leave our youth facilities, we had to find suitable replacement. And I think we did a good job. Khellven was sidelined at Bergamo, but I think he’s still got a lot to give.

Matheus Nascimento, striker, 20 years old: funny story: you’re right, we have Brenner. But deals like that cannot be ignored. The youngster from Botafogo got somehow tricked by his agent into thinking that moving to Mexico while being a sensation in Brazilian football was a good idea, and it took him sometime to realize his mistake. Glad we saved him. I’m such a good person.

The arrival of Matheus Nascimento creates a little problem for us. How to adapt such two prolific strikers in a tactical system accostumed on playing with wingers? One solution came from the fact that Matheus can play as a RW, which ends up being a waste of his greatest abilities as a striker.

Given that Matheus is better than both our wingers, I tried to make use of a centralized 4-3-1-2 formation, which cost me some points and I gave up on making drastic changes mid season. Moving to a 4-2-4 would be too offensive for my liking (and we would have to find something else to do with Torres, a player who’s being so great for us), so in the end moving Matheus Nascimento to the right-wing ended up being the best among bad options.

In the end, I think we have a great set of players. The Matheus Nascimento debacle, although problematic, also shows that we have flexibility in case of a missing piece and tactical versatility, which can render great results upon training.

This season may be good. very helpful to know that exists!
Ohh man! Sorry to hear about the Libertadores. Things are already looking very good this season, so hopefully you can become the 2nd Brazilian team to get the trophy for the 4th time! Best of luck!
@Harleygator cheers to everyone who develop cheap tools for the lazy

@Maxporto well, we are looking sharp this season. Let's hope we can overcome all hurdles and arrive strong in the final!


Inter gets one over Grêmio after penalty shoot-outs

Matheus Peixoto’s 87th minute equalizer is proven worth it as Gabriel Pec misses crucial penalty, knocking Grêmio out of the Copa do Brasil

Inter is more competent on the shoot-outs and will advance in the Copa do Brasil Ph: Lance!

These have been some tough years on the Colorado supporters, as Grêmio has been overpowering Inter in the Clássico Grenal, reaching to a point in which Grêmio beat Inter 13-1 in the aggregate of last year’s Gauchão.

So the 0-0 tie at the Arena do Grêmio in the first leg came as a grateful result for the Colorados, who could finally catch a break and most importantly dream about defeating their rivals again. The goalkeeper Daniel was the man of the match, receiving a 8.8 score from our data analysts.

The second leg at Beira-Rio would come as an unique chance for Inter to at least get one back over Grêmio. And with this objective in mind, they started strong: Nuñez found Matheus Peixoto alone in the penalty box, and the strong striker wouldn’t miss it: Inter 1-0 with 12 minutes in.

Grêmio, however, would not be intimidated by an early goal. In the 30th minute, Zaracho found a nice spiked ball towards Matheus Nascimento, who didn’t even wait for her to bounce, poking the ball in with the tip of his boot to score the equalizer. The clubs went to the dressing rooms with 1-1 on the score.

In the second half, Grêmio managed to turn the game on its head. Matheus Nascimento had the shot, but as he waited too long for it, Kanu got a foot on it. The deflection off of Kanu’s foot didn’t help much: Gabriel Pec took the second ball and tapped it in with the keeper already beaten.

When it looked like Grêmio had everything under control after the initial scare, Heitor found Matheus Peixoto inside the box. The striker fended off his markers and placed the ball on Brenno’s bottom corner. With the match equalized, the match-up would be decided on the penalty spot.

On the penalty shoot-outs, Inter triumphed Ph: Copyrights holder not found

Competence is not exactly the right word to describe the penalty session. In the first 4 kicks, Matheus Nascimento and Khellven missed for Grêmio, whereas Matheus Peixoto scored the first and Mansur missed the second for Inter. When the penalty takers finally got their feet to aim the target, Allan and Otávio scored for Inter and Zaracho and Victor Bobsin scored for Grêmio, and Inter would still lead towards the final round of kicks.

It was match point for Inter: any penalty whose outcome went in favor of Inter would put the Colorados in the semifinals of the Copa do Brasil. The man of the our would be the Colombian left-back Ángelo Martino, but he was stopped by Brenno.

As Grêmio had the chance to get back to the shoot-outs, however, Gabriel Pec missed the last kick for the joy of the men in red.

Inter will play Fluminense for a spot in the Grand Finale. Fortaleza and São Paulo will take part in the other semifinal. Both matches will take place next week, in Fortaleza and Porto Alegre.
There's no 'good' way to lose a game of football, but to lose on penalties: it's [undoubtedly] the worst. It's quite the kick in the groin, but maybe it'll spark the team back into life in the coming games. Worst case scenario... it could derail everything. Things just got a bit more interesting, and I can't wait to see how you handle this.

I think you'll be okay, as I trust the process ;)

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