Ups and downs (Brazilian perspective)

Ups and downs (Brazilian perspective)

Post by visi.. » Wed, 31 May 2000 04:00:00

                May 29th, 2000


Calendars jam again this week in Brazil. Have a look: Libertadores Cup,
Brazil Cup, state leagues, and then World Cup qualifiers on Sunday. It hurts
to think of those inevitable desert weeks which will result out of this
typical lack of planning.

As with about everything else in the universe, e***ment relates to
contrasts: movement and pause, sound and silence, black and white, etc. Have
each pair of opposites to work simultaneously and you might blow it. Or: mix
too many colors at once and the result is gray.

So in weeks like this the fear is that precious delight and e***ment gets
wasted for matter of excess, aggravated by the difficult companionship
between clubs and national team events.

The surviving attraction is this Tuesday's first leg of what promises to be a
historic Libertadores Cup clash between Corinthians and Palmeiras. The two
arch-rivals then will lend important players to Wednesday's national team
reunion for Sunday's match against Peru.

The national team in fact has produced enough subject this Monday to leave
behind any thoughts from last week's friendlies in the U.K. Roughly speaking,
the only encouragement stemming from the sleepy 3x0 win against Wales and the
still poor job in the 1x1 tie against England was forward Fran?a's positive

In a direct reasoning, it could mean decline for competing lber. But
Monday's list, announced in a fax, reserved surprises. Edmundo was the first
one. Despite his good journey on Sunday's classic against Flamengo, Vasco's
attacker confessed he wasn't expecting to be called in this moment when he's
still getting back after a long injury. Will he finally be convincing with
the yellow shirt ?

Surprise #2 was the absence of Ronaldinho. Following the weight controversy
before the match against Ecuador, coach Wanderley Luxemburgo had verbally
anticipated that the kid was granted for the next list, so to bring down his
frustration. No explanation given for not meeting the promise.

It is obvious now that weight was never an issue, especially since Ronaldinho
has been invariably shining with Grmio, lately saving the team from
disappointing results. There seems to be no plausible version other than that
of a retaliation by Luxemburgo, unhappy because of Ronaldinho's teasing
Corinthians's Edlson for the polemic episode when one's cut opened the way
for the other's first chance.

Last week in England both Luxemburgo and assistant Candinho addressed
unpleased remarks towards Grmio, whose directors had heavily criticized the
coach's conduct. Ironically, Grmio's directors may not be totally unhappy,
since their player is spared for the upcoming important classic against rival

Vasco da Gama in turn will be without Edmundo in Brazil's Cup second leg
against Fluminense. Vasco's already without red-carded Pedrinho and  injured
Romrio. And Flamengo will be again without Athirson in the state league's
round, while the leftback may not even get to play in Brazil's squad should
Roberto Carlos stay fit.

This declining moment for Vasco da Gama could be the chance for at last  some
effective rehabilitation by the sides of Fluminense which has already come a
long way from the second division depressive mood, or by Flamengo who has
managed to keep a lead in the local league's second phase.

Neither teams are great on their own, but direct battles against a damaged
Vasco could allow them to at least be thought as such, in football's
relativity. --------------------------------------------------- Complete and
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