A bordon on CRUZEIRO '03

A bordon on CRUZEIRO '03

Post by Bordon Is Go » Sat, 29 Mar 2003 14:50:42

A bordon on CRUZEIRO '03

That is the first in a series on the "alleged" top contenders for the
Brasileiro title.

As you might have heard, the 2003 version of the Brazilian
championship is the first time when the league format is adopted.
There will be 24 teams; 2 will be relegated; the top 3 will play the
Libertadores; most games will be played on weekends with a few weekday
rounds in between.

Now the talking points:

. CRUZEIRO is the only "BIG" Brazilian never to win the Brasileiro.
Hard to imagine how big is the chip on their shoulder.

. CRUZEIRO represent half of the population of BELO HORIZONTE,
Brazil's third (or fourth) largest city, also known as the largest
"small town" in the world, with some 3 million inhabitants.

. Their games are played in either the tiny Independencia with some
15k seats or the majestic Mineirao for 100k seats, depending on the
opponent.

. Last year CRUZEIRO finished 9th missing the play-off by little,
despite playing a very mediocre and forgettable season.

.CRUZEIRO's coach, the most loathsome being in the world of Brazilian
soccer, VANDERLEY LUXEMBURGO, has an outstanding track record at
building winning squads using a fat chequebook.

. The star of the company is playmaker ALEX (ex-Palmeiras, Parma),
once again at his best, dismissing some exagerated rumours that he had
become a lazy useless piece of crap.

. In front of ALEX, stud forward DEIVID (ex-Corinthians) doubles up
with prolific goal poacher MOTA, a revelation of Serie B side CEARA
last year. Veteran forwards ARISTIZABAL (ex-Sao Paulo), MARCELO RAMOS
(ex-PSV Eindhoven) and young JUSSIE provide cover from the bench.

. Supporting ALEX, usually there are three midfielder blockers: hacker
PAULO MIRANDA (ex-Bordeaux, Vasco), talented MARTINEZ (ex-Guarani) and
CLAUDINEI are the likely starters. Abomination AUGUSTO RECIFE usually
gets some playing time before getting a red card.

. Young defender LUISAO has just been promoted to starter in the
Selecao under Parreira. EDU DRACENA (ex-Guarani, Selecao U-20) is
allegedly another promising defender, but that is yet to be decided.

. Wings are well staffed by MAURINHO (ex-Santos), MAICON (Selecao
U-20) on the right side; and LEANDRO (ex-Vitoria) on the left side.
All of them are very attacked minded and quite competent.

. The weak spot finally is ANDRE DORING, an overated injury-prone
keeper.

. A few reinforcements might be coming soon. CRUZEIRO has been trying
to sign MALDONADO (Sao Paulo) and FABINHO (Corinthians), two of the
best defensive midfielders in Brazil to give a quality boost to their
midfield. WC '02 champion forward EDILSON will be soon returning from
a loan at the J-League and might be reintegrated to the squad.

. My final prognosis: Serious contender for a top 3 spot, as long as
ALEX delivers the goods consistently. Signing EDILSON might be a good
hedge.

------------------------------------------------
---------------ANDRE DORING---------------------
------------------------------------------------
----------LUISAO--------EDU DRACENA-------------
------------------------------------------------
--MAURINHO----------------------------LEANDRO---
------------------------------------------------
--------------AUGUSTO RECIFE--------------------
------------------------------------------------
-------PAULO MIRANDA---------MARTINEZ-----------
------------------------------------------------
-------------------ALEX-------------------------
------------------------------------------------
--------DEIVID----------------MOTA--------------
------------------------------------------------