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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 that's the beauty of playing a 77-game season, there's not really any time to dwell on the recent tragedies

V. The destiny and the irony

Season 3: Eternal Glory (Part 5)

Before you can dream of winning the Copa Libertadores de América, you have to reach the final.

You have to defeat every rival in your way. You cannot slip, you cannot trip, you cannot fluke. The smallest hesitation means game over, try again next year from square #1.

2024 Copa Libertadores de América

Second Round vs. Unión La Calera

With all due respect to our rivals, the draw has been gentle to us. ULC is not a club that would intimidate anyone aiming for the title, and to be honest, they are quite the opportunity to advance without hiccups, especially considering that giants as Santos, River Plate, and Independiente were part of this same pot.

Leg 1, La Calera
So we advanced without hiccups. Thiago Maia got us ahead in the 4th minute of the match, and in spite of a tough rest of first half, in the second half we got ourselves comfortable and built a whopping 4-0 victory, enough to give some of the lads a rest for the second leg.

Leg 2, Porto Alegre
With an “alternative” line up, Ricardinho scored the only goal of a very uninteresting affair.

Argentinian fans have all reasons to be concerned: out of the 5 Argentinians in the second round, only Boca advanced to the quarter-finals. In fact, only 3 countries will be represented in the next stage: Brazil (with 5 clubs), Ecuador (2), and Argentina (only 1).

Quarter finals vs. Independiente del Valle

The draw is yet to throw greater hurdles in our way. Although Independiente del Valle have a solid footballing project and have surged among the powers in Ecuadorian football, even becoming runners-up of the 2016 Copa Libertadores, and eliminating Grêmio in the preliminary rounds of the 2021 edition, they are not contenders this season.

Leg 1, Quito
Payback for 2021 is paid. Thank you for doing business with us, you owe us nothing anymore. At the altitude of Quito, we had a magical 35 minutes and then we controlled the match to save our breath.

Leg 2, Porto Alegre
If we could just agree by not having a second leg, we could have spared humanity from this match.

The other Ecuadorian side has also been eliminated. In the other match-ups, we had great matches in Palmeiras vs. RB Bragantino and Boca vs. São Paulo.

Semi Finals vs. Boca Juniors

It finally came to a time when it was just impossible for the draw to be nice to us. With Boca, Palmeiras, and Santos still alive, we and Palmeiras were the clubs with the least Libertadores titles in the contest, with 3 each, for a total of 16 nametags in the trophy across this semifinal.

Leg 1, Buenos Aires

Knowing that this was no occasion to toy around, I decided to go to La Bombonera with our conservative tactic, in a 4-1-2-3, replacing Facundo Torres with Victor Bobsin. Playing in La Bombonera is regarded as one of the toughest things to do in South America (not only football-wise), as the Bosteros, as Boca Juniors fans call themselves, create a tense atmosphere intimidating like few other stadiums in the world.

One thing we couldn’t do: silence the Bosteros Ph: Diario As

With 5 minutes in, Victor Bobsin opened up to Gabriel Pec, who brought the ball to his left foot and got the defensive line on the back foot. With a low cross, he then found Brenner, who just fused the ball to the back of the net.

No more activity in the first half. Early in the second half, however, we got to our second, with Zaracho getting to the tip of the penalty box and rolling a back pass to Thiago Maia, who got the second from a violent hit. This goal would have made any fan silent, but this is Boca we are talking about. They kept singing despite the major setback.

In the 72nd minute, Zaracho found Ferreira, who sent an awkward header towards the middle of the box. The awkwardness of the play confused the defender Zenón and Torres, who replaced Gabriel Pec at the 66th minute, sneaked himself in between Zenón and the keeper to tip the ball to the back of the net.

With the 3-0 victory, not much would stop us from going to the final. The Bosteros, seemingly unfazed, kept singing and jumping and waving their shirts.

Leg 2, Porto Alegre

If you’ve been around long enough, you already know protocol. And if you know protocol, you know this game ended 0-0. Even if we had a xG of 1.98, nothing made our strikers interested to score. As Boca hasn’t harmed us in any way, we had a tranquil path towards another Copa Libertadores Final.

Sometimes, destiny pulls you by the arm and says: I’ll give you the chance you seek.

And if you don’t know that, destiny has a sister. A weirdo, fan of punk rock and covered in tattoos with no meaning: irony.

When destiny and irony combine, you are put in a crossroads, in a situation of duality that is simultaneously delicious and painful.

Once again, the Copa Libertadores final will be decided between Grêmio and Santos. This is an immediate chance to avenge last season’s tragedy, inflicting them the same pain they inflicted to us exactly one year ago.

The duality of it all is to meet up so early with a pain that is yet to be healed, meeting again with our tormentor and giving them the chance to hurt us again. Be hurt once and it is part of the game; be hurt twice in a row and you’re subjugated.

But if we win… Oh, dear, if we win…

2024 Copa do Brasil

As you may have seen yesterday (or today, if you are reading it all in one shot), we got knocked out by our rivals in the Copa do Brasil. Here, I bring the outcome of this competition after we were shot down.

Inter hasn’t got too far after knocking us out, being immediately eliminated by Fluminense, the future champions. Fortaleza, the sensation of the last few seasons, got to the final this time, but unfortunately it wasn’t their moment.
77 games is still so 'nuts' to me tbh! You've done magnificently in the Copa Libertadores, and to beat Boca along the way is some feat. It was quite pleasing to see Internacional knocked out by the eventual winners, because although you didn't win the Copa do Brasil: at least Internacional didn't either!

Looking forward to the next update :)
@J_ames it was indeed a relief to see them out right away. And I'm sorry to disappoint, but I think it's the next update that you crave xD


VI. A victorious era

Season 3: Eternal Glory (Part 6)

The difference between a good season and a victorious era is sheer repetition.

Even though the fans got quite upset about us being knocked out of the CdB by our mortal enemies, the environment around the 2024 season remained optimistic. It certainly helped that Inter got crushed by Fluminense in the very next round; had they won the thing, we would be under a lot of pressure.

But as we had a comfortable amount of points ahead of Flamengo, and then Santos (Flamengo had a horrid second semester), the Gremistas were confident that at least this trophy would be in the bag. As there is no reason for mystery: it was.

2024 Brasileirão Série A

Fixtures - Second half of the season

We have not beaten not even once! But we did tie a lot. Despite not having the greatest run, with a lot of close matches and no spectacular performance whatsoever, 11 victories and 8 draws were more than enough to guarantee us a second league title in a row.

Fun fact: we tied against all six representants of the state of São Paulo: Bragantino, Santos, Corinthians, Palmeiras, São Paulo, and Ponte Preta.

Final Table

And there it is. With 1 point less than 2023, we are the champions of Brazilian football once again. Flamengo had a ridiculous second half-season, collecting a mere 23 points in 19 matches, while Santos kept up the pace with us, but not enough to shorten the gap built in the first half-season. By the rest of the table, Palmeiras missed out on the Copa Libertadores at first glance, but they will be included given that both the finals of the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana will be played between Brazilians.At the bottom, Cuiabá got enough draws to keep themselves in Série A, whereas Atlético Mineiro, the champions of 2021 and 2022, will play the Série B in 2025 after their rapid decay. At the depth of the abyss, Juventude crushed Chapecoense's record of worst campaign in the Série A since the round robin format by 9 points.

There is only one match left for us to show, as the next episode will focus solely on the match that will happen at the Estadio Nacional de Santiago (fun fact: the stadium is not exactly in Santiago), in Chile, as we’ll play Santos for the Copa Libertadores title.
Congrats once again! That was one amazing second half of the season. To be fair Santos did well to finish 'only' 8 points behind! Good luck with the final!
Well done, again. I'm wondering what your next step is, given that you've kinda achieved what you set out to do, bringing consistently glory back to your team.
@Maxporto yeah, depending on the calculations, they even got to score one point more than us in the second half of the season

@Harleygator as this is a club-based story, I'll not manage any other club. As I do recognize that this challenge got way too easy way too soon, I'm gonna raise the bar real high and make some changes to the storytelling for the next seasons


VII. Kings of America

Season 3: Eternal Glory (Part 7)

As revenge is a topic that we have already tackled, I will spare my words on it. Let’s recap our last 7 years, 3 of which I have been managing this club.

In 2017, we saw ourselves in the same situation as we are right now. South American football was abruptly different back then, despite the short time gap of our recap. It was a time when money was not that concentrated and we could see surprising clubs reaching the final stages of the Copa Libertadores. The previous Copa Libertadores final, for instance, had been played between the Colombians of Atlético Nacional against the Ecuatorians of Independiente del Valle. You won’t see a final like that one anytime soon.

You may wonder why am I talking about this subject right now. It was the first year ever that the Copa Libertadores would be played throughout the whole year (finals used to be played in August), and it was the pinnacle of Grêmio’s last golden era. So many players for our memories: Marcelo Grohe, Geromel, Kannemann, Arthur, and Luan were playing the season of their lives, as Edilson, Cortez, Jailson, Ramiro, Fernandinho, and Lucas Barrios had been decent in support.

We would play the final against Lanús, holders of the Argentinean title who had eliminated River Plate in the semifinals after an unbelievable comeback, being even 0-3 down on the aggregate during the second leg. No surprises rose to the top of that edition, however, as we won both legs of the final and brought the trophy home.

Luan chips the keeper in a Copa Libertadores final. F---ing legend. Ph: unkown

Then, we had 2018 with a promising start, beating Independiente after penalty shoot-outs at the Recopa Sudamericana, but the team took too long to get the grips with the Série A and our Copa Libertadores run ended in a tragic elimination against River Plate at the semifinals, after getting to the 85th minute of the second leg with an aggregate advantage of 2-0. I will never forget the moment when I lied down in the middle of a bar's sidewalk and just stayed there for minutes, staring at the abyss of what had just happened.

In 2019, Brazilian football changed. Flamengo spent millions with very clever signings and built a squad that we didn’t manage to keep up with. Again our Copa Libertadores campaign was halted in the semifinals, but this time after a whooping 5-0 defeat, inflicted on us by the same Flamengo. Our only shot of a title was the Copa do Brasil, in which we were knocked out one more time at the semifinals, after a game in which we fell victims of both bad refereeing and incompetence against Athletico Paranaense, who came to become champions.

As we obviously failed to keep up with the changes, we turned to a rapid downhill descent. In 2020 we had a shot at the Série A title until we had a dismal run towards the end of the league that saw us finish a mere 6th. In the Copa do Brasil we got to the final, but we never competed against Palmeiras, who lifted both cups in 2020. From 2021 onwards, well, you know the story. If you don't, go back some pages.

Palmeiras live the dream whereas we go only down. Ph: The Canadian Press

It was our chance to put ourselves back onto the place we most love. The throne of America. To once again rule our continent.

Tactical wise, both clubs went up with the same formation. Weirdly enough, both teams had a striker of origin lending a hand on the right-wing of attack. Our squad is definitely better, but they have a consistent defense that managed to stop us a year ago. The presence of Léo Baptistão in their squad, however, is embarrassing.

Last year, our lads became more and more nervous as time went by and we couldn’t score. We didn’t have this problem this year, as Nino took a header from Torres’ corner kick and got us ahead with only 3 laps completed around the clock.

Being 1-0 down so early, Santos had to rely more than on their backline this time. But for crying out loud, they had Léo Baptistão for a starter.

Instead, we kept up the pressure. A bit before the 20 minute mark, Zaracho took a free kick close to the penalty box and scored our second.

From there on, we could just lay back and control the match, right?


A little before half-time, Torres made a great individual effort on the left flank and crossed to the keeper’s box, where Brenner only had the job to anticipate João Paulo and send us to half-time with a 3-0 lead.

I don’t know what kind of adrenaline injection the lads received, as right back from half-time the first minutes of the first half repeated themselves. Corner, from Torres, to Nino. From Nino to the net. 4-0.

Funny enough, the central defender Nino had the chance for a Copa Libertadores Final hat-trick in the 55th minute, but João Paulo saved the penalty.

By then we could easily say that this game was done. We were on fire and they didn’t have human capital to get back to life. We even had the time to score another one around the 90th minute, when Lacava profited from a beautifully constructed counter attack to chip the keeper and dive into the crowd.

We are the Kings of America. Without a shadow of a doubt, we are!

What challenges are left for us, you may wonder. Well, building a dynasty and doing it all over again is one of them. The other involves a challenge that Europeans often neglect.
Hm, a challenge that Europeans often reject... Club World Cup, perhaps?

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