On the final Membership World Cup in 2019, Flamengo followers travelled midway internationally from Rio de Janeiro to Doha to help their membership on the world finals. That they had gained the Copa Libertadores closing in thrilling vogue in opposition to River Plate, a vital step on the best way to their dream of a brand new conquer Liverpool. In 1981, the Rio membership and Zico breezed previous the English 3-0 within the Intercontinental Cup.
In the end, Roberto Firmino ensured an English triumph with a strike in further time, besides Flamengo’s participation was very instructive. In South America, the Membership World Cup issues: reaching the ultimate and profitable it’s thought-about the head of what a membership can obtain. It eclipses any win in home or regional competitions. It’s why Neymar and Santos couldn’t cease speaking about taking part in Barcelona in 2011 or why 30,000 Corinthians fan travelled to Yokohama a 12 months later. In spite of everything, it’s a probability to go toe-to-toe with Europe’s greatest and, in roundabout manner, you get extra bragging rights at house.
And that’s what makes this 12 months’s Membership World Cup all of the extra essential to Palmeiras. They’ve by no means gained the worldwide crown, regardless that they declare that victory in a world event in 1951 counts as one. In actuality, native rivals Santos, São Paulo and Corinthians, their arch rivals, can all level to victories within the Intercontinental Cup or immediately’s equal.
Spearheaded by Pelé, Santos had been among the many greatest golf equipment on this planet within the 60’s. In 2005, São Paulo’s Mineiro sneaked via the offside lure to strike in opposition to Liverpool and 7 years later Paulo Guerrero headed Corinthians to glory in opposition to Chelsea. These two victories adopted a smash-and-grab blueprint: the Brazilian groups sat again and hit on the break.
It’s the modus operandi Palmeiras will make use of in Qatar as nicely. The group of coach Abel Ferreira is conservative. In final weekend’s Copa Libertadores closing, they had been blissful to sit down again and wait for his or her second. Opponents Santos couldn’t discover a manner via and the match quickly descended right into a conflict of attrition, just for Palmeiras and Breno Alves to strike within the tenth minute of harm time.
There’s after all one more reason why Brazilian golf equipment are inclined to counterattack on the Membership World Cup. Financial imperatives imply that their greatest gamers go away the nation at a younger age. Disadvantaged of their greatest expertise they’ll’t match the standard and finesse of Europe’s champions or generally different continental champions. In 2019, Flamengo struggled within the semi-finals in opposition to Asian champions Al Hilal from Saudi Arabia. It took the Rio membership 78 minutes to take the lead earlier than operating out 3-1 winners.
Since 2000 South America’s champions have crashed out 4 instances on the semi-final stage. River Plate, Atletico Nacional, Atletico Mineiro and Internacional maintain these unenviable data.
In Sunday’s semi-final, Palmeiras gained’t thoughts taking part in Tigres UANL from Mexico. The CONCACAF champions eradicated Asian champions Ulsan Hyundai on advantage, however play a recreation primarily based on ball possession and depend on their French striker Andre-Pierre Gignac in assault. That may go well with Palmeiras, who can attempt to decide the Mexicans off on the break.
Tigres can be no much less motivated. No membership from North and Central America has ever reached the ultimate of the Membership World Cup. “We all know that we are able to make historical past and we wish to make historical past,” stated Gignac, who has scored 144 objectives in 244 video games since becoming a member of he Mexican facet on a free switch in 2015.
An early exit can be unfathomable for Palmeiras, bringing disgrace and humiliation at house. On paper, the Brazilians are the favorites with a squad that mixes expertise and expertise, however historical past has confirmed that passage to the ultimate and a dream date with Bayern Munich – offered the Germans defeat Egypt’s Al Ahly of their semi-final – won’t come straightforward.