Pitacodogringo’s guide to the Campeonato Brasileiro 2010

May 3, 2010 at 11:59 19 comments

Pará, Zé Eduardo, Madson and Paulo Henrique strike a familiar pose for title favourites Santos

The State tournaments are over and now the real test is about to begin with the start of Brazil’s national league: the Campeonato Brasileiro.

Exciting and intriguing, bizarre and imperfect, the Brasileirão makes for a fascinating blend. With recent championships going right down to the final day, it’s no wonder that this year we’ll be broadcasting the tournament to 180 countries – a new record for us.

While the competition continues to be dogged by long-running problems, there are some encouraging signs for league football in Brazil. An increasing number of clubs seem capable of mounting a sustained challenge on the title, average gates are up to around 17,600, and if this year’s Campeonato Paulista is anything to go by, the standard of refereeing appears to be improving. If you throw in the growing number of stars that will be on show: Robinho, Neymar, Paulo Henrique Lima, Fred, Adriano, Roberto Carlos, Ronaldo and youngsters that you may not have heard of such as Botafogo’s Caio Canedo, Fluminense’s Wellington Silva (he’ll be at Arsenal in 2011) and Vasco’s Philippe Coutinho (already signed by Inter Milan), the Brazilian championship really does have a lot to offer.

If you’re new to the Brazilian football, and want to know a little more about the history of the Brasileiro, its development and its underlying problems, you may want to take a look at my 2009 or 2008 guides. For some basic info on the teams, you should also check out this excellent spread courtesy of Bill’s Sports maps.

The 2010 Campeonato Brasileiro format is the same as it has been since 2006 with twenty teams slugging it out over 38 rounds from 8th May to 5th December. The top four go into the Copa Libertadores, the next eight sides will play in the Copa Sul Americana; four go down, and four will come up from Série B. League position is decided by points and then number of wins. Goal difference comes next.

As well as the usual distractions (Copa do Brasil, Libertadores, the transfer windows etc), this year we’ll also have the World Cup. Because of this, the Brasileiro will go on hold from June 6th to 14th July. And, with preparations for the World Cup here in Brazil in 2014 about to get underway at long last, a number of the major stadiums are going to be closed for some much needed upgrades.

Before plunging into the 2010 competition, it’s worth taking a quick look at the previous two seasons. With respect to São Paulo and Flamengo, there is a strong case for saying that the last two championships have been thrown away rather than won. In 2008, São Paulo stepped in with just six games to go before clinching it on the final day – Grêmio had led for 17 rounds. 2009 was even closer. They say the league never lies. But it can certainly bend the truth. Last year, Flamengo only took the lead in the penultimate round – Palmeiras had been top for 19 consecutive rounds – and again the fate of the title was decided on the last day. When the final table came out, only two points separated the top three (Flamengo, Internacional and São Paulo), and Cruzeiro and Palmeiras finished just five behind the winner. Fla, Inter, São Paulo and Cruzeiro qualified for the Libertadores alongside Corinthians who had made it through the backdoor (the Copa do Brasil) earlier in the year. At the bottom, Coritiba, Santo André, Náutico and Sport Recife (who began the year in the Libertadores) went down. They have been replaced by Atlético Clube Goianiense, Ceará, Guarani and Vasco da Gama.

So, to 2010. Once again, the title race should be a very open contest. Corinthians, Cruzeiro, Flamengo, Grêmio, Internacional and São Paulo immediately come to mind. But while we’ve seen some combative and resilient sides in recent seasons, there’s been little of what the Brazilians call futebol arte. Arguably, the previous five league titles in Brazil have been won by pragmatism rather than panache. São Paulo dominated the league with three wins in the last four years and while you have to give them credit, it was usually horrible to watch. The likes of Muricy Ramalho and Mano Menezes have helped set a worrying new trend where the ‘score one, sit back’ type of dull, defensive football has come out on top. Not since Cruzeiro did the ‘treble’ (Brasileiro, Copa do Brasil and the Campeonato Mineiro) in 2003, has there been an all-out, gung-ho, swash-buckler of a side that picked up a lot of silverware and was really worth paying to see. That, thankfully, could be about to change because out of the blue, Santos have come to the rescue. The Vila Belmiro club last won the Brasileiro in 2004 with a team that included Robinho, Diego and Elano. They were good but the current crop of youngsters now lining up for Santos are in a different class. While it’s all too easy to wax lyrical about Neymar, Paulo Henrique Lima, André Ribeiro and co, they are playing the kind of stuff that makes Melchester Rovers look like Blackburn Rovers. Neymar and Paulo Henrique are making strong cases to be included in the Brazil squad. Neymar gets all the headlines for his slalom-like dribbles, the paradinha, his impudence, and cheeky chappy persona. Indeed, watching the 18-year-old brings back memories of George Best and Paul Gascoigne at their heights. That said, Paulo Henrique is the man who really pulls the strings. Kaká aside, Paulo Henrique is the kind of midfielder that Dunga’s side lack. The 20-year-old has not yet acquired Kaká’s drive or physical presence, but his touch, range of passes, and vision have been behind so many of Santos’ astonishing haul of 100 goals in 2010. Dunga, though, has a penchant for defensive midfielders and despite the growing clamour for their inclusion; it’s unlikely that Paulo Henrique or Neymar will make the cut for South Africa.

Santos, though, are not just about their frontline trio. Another youth product, Felipe, has been outstanding in goal. Durval and Edu Dracena have been rocks at the back. Wesley, Arouca and Marquinhos have driven the midfield. Léo, Pará, Madson, Zé Eduardo have all made telling contributions. New captain, Robinho, is clearly happy to be back at the club where his career started. Since his arrival from Manchester City, the Brazil forward has produced some fine dribbles and scored some exquisite goals. Robinho will be missed if he does return to England in August, but Santos have already proved they can perform well enough without him.

Santos had a miserable 2009 and it looked like things were about to worsen when coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo left at the end of the season. With the Vila Belmiro club expected to struggle in 2010, the turnaround has taken everyone by surprise. Much of the credit for getting the best out of the club’s rapidly maturing youngsters has to go to coach Dorival Júnior. The 48-year-old has done a fantastic job of containing his young charges just enough off the field, while giving them free rein on it. Santos, though, are far from the finished article. In the two finals of the Paulista, the coastal side showed that they could be beaten by teams willing to dig in and battle it out.

If Santos can keep their squad together for the national championship, they will be the overwhelming favourites to take the Brasileirão. However, Santos are also flying in the Copa do Brasil and if they win this, they’ll have a place in the 2011 Libertadores. Should this happen it’s very difficult to guess how the club will approach the rest of the league campaign. Last season, Corinthians sold off key players and then ambled through the remaining six months of the Brasileiro.

Well behind Santos come the likes of São Paulo, Corinthians, Internacional and Cruzeiro. In truth, there’s not much to choose between these clubs. But how they fare in the league will be closely linked to what they do in the Libertadores.

On paper at least, São Paulo have one of the best, if not the best squad in Brazil. 12 new faces have arrived since the Morumbi club failed to win a fourth consecutive title last year. Alex Silva, André Luís, Carlinhos Paraíba, Cicinho, Cléber Santana, Fernandinho, Léo Lima, Marcelinho Paraíba, Rodrigo Souto, Roger, (now loaned to Guarani), Thiago Carleto, Xandão all came in. If the rumours are true, they may joined by Goias’ Fernandão. Hernanes, Rogério Ceni, Washington, Dagoberto, and Miranda are still there. With a squad like this, the tricolor Paulista should be sweeping everyone aside. The problem is that under coach Ricardo Gomes, São Paulo have just not clicked. Clearly, the new signings still need to time to gel and Gomes has yet to determine fully his best eleven. Even so, São Paulo should be doing much better than they have been. The tricolor Paulista had no answer to Santos in the semis of the Campeonato Paulista and Gomes has a lot of work to do if his side are to take the Brasileiro for a fourth time in five seasons.

Mano Menezes big squad at Corinthians is packed with experience and ability. Players like Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Danilo, Iarley, Tcheco, William and Chicão form the backbone of the side. There are also the home-grown products such as the highly-rated Dentinho and Boquita. The Musketeers want the league. However, they are the only major Brazilian club not to have won South America’s most prestigious competition, the Libertadores, and this has become an obsession. This is Corinthians’ centenary year and the club has invested heavily in their pursuit of their long-standing quest. The Parque São Jorge outfit, though, are facing a make-or-break week as they’re on the verge of going out of the Libertadores to Flamengo. One-nil down from the first leg, Corinthians will play the decisive second leg in the Pacaembu this Wednesday. In an effort to motivate their players, over 3000 fans turned up at the Parque São Jorge to watch the club train at the weekend. If that wasn’t pressure enough, the next day, Brazil president and Corinthians supporter, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, paid a visit.

Should Corinthians crash out of the tournament, there will be a huge fall out. Coach Mano Menezes will probably lose his job, and the knives will be out for one player in particular, Ronaldo. The former world footballer of the year had a good 2009. Though he never reached proper match fitness, he was playing well and the goals came. So far, 2010 has been a disaster. Ronaldo is completely unfit and grossly overweight for a professional player. The ex Brazil man also picks and chooses the games he wants to appear in. Corinthians have played 26 matches. Ronaldo has turned out in 15 of these and scored 5 times. His club refuse to criticize him openly and players and management continue to plead for more time on his behalf. Time, though, is something Corinthians do not have. And if Ronaldo and his team mates fail to deliver against Flamengo, there will be serious repercussions.

If their run in the Libertadores does come to an end, Corinthians will be forced to turn their focus on the league and with that in mind; the club are already planning ahead. The Musketeers have recently signed four relative unknowns: Bruno César (Santo André), Ronaldo (Corinthians Paranaense but has been loaned to Guarani) and Paulinho (Bragantino). The arrival of these players has fuelled speculation that Corinthians could be about to cash in on midfielders Elias and Jucilei. The loss of Elias, in particular, would be a severe blow as the 25-year-old has been the driving force in the centre of the park and Corinthians do not have another player like him on their books.

Flamengo nipped in to steal the league with two rounds to go last season. For the new campaign, the Gavea outfit have retained the bulk of their 2009 squad. Only Zé Roberto and Airton have gone. Vagner love has signed and now partners Adriano up front. Maldonado is back from a long injury. But problems off the pitch may be Fla’s downfall. In April, their vice president of football, Marcos Braz, was sacked alongside Andrade – the coach who led Fla to their first title since 1992. Many of the players are said to be unhappy with Andrade’s removal and there could be more problems in the changing rooms after Adriano missed training for the twelfth time this year.  Former Brazil U20 coach, Rogério Lourenço, is now in charge. Flamengo certainly have the personnel to challenge for the title once again. But in comparison to the likes of São Paulo and Corinthians, Fla’s squad is paper thin and the Rubro Negros will need to bring in some fresh faces.

Flamengo’s fate in the Libertadores will be decided on Wednesday away at Corinthians. In the first leg, Rogério Lourenço’s team had a man sent off but produced a display of grit and tenacity and ended up winning 1-0 in the Maracanã. If Fla can produce that type of fighting spirit week in, week out in the league, they will be contenders again.

In recent seasons it’s become crystal clear that Cruzeiro are more than content to settle for a place in the Libertadores. But selling off top players such as Ramires, Wagner, Guilherme, Marcelo Moreno at the start of the past few championships has not seemed to prevent the Belo Horizonte side from finishing in the top four. Last year, the Foxes made it all the way to the finals of the Libertadores were they were beaten by Estudiantes but managed to finish 4th in the league. With the club still in the Libertadores, the Foxes have retained most of their 2009 squad. And with players such as Kléber, Thiago Ribeiro, Jonathan, Gil, Leonardo Silva, Diego Renan and Gilberto, Cruzeiro cannot be counted out. Coach Adílson Batista has survived for two and a bit seasons (a rarity in Brazil) and he’ll be looking to improve upon the 3rd and 4th place finishes he has managed at the helm.

Internacional have failed to live up to their billing in the past few years though they have come close. Three runners up spots in the last five seasons is not bad. But for the Inter fans, it’s not good enough. Inter will be a little weaker this season after losing Sandro to Tottenham. Talented 19-year-old, Giuliano, could be the next to go. After his success with Ecuador’s LDU, Uruguayan coach Jorge Fossati was given the coaching job. He brought in former Boca Junior keeper, Pato Abbondanzieri, and Kléber Pereira, and has last season’s regulars D’Alessandro, Guiñazu, Kléber, Alecsandro and Taison, at his disposal. The 57-year-old coach, though, has not quite made the impact Inter were expecting. Inter lost the finals of the Campeonato Gaúcho to bitter rivals Grêmio. And with their possible exit this week from the Libertadores at the hands of Argentina’s Banfield, there’s likely to be a sea change at the Beira-Rio.

Grêmio went unbeaten all season in the estádio Olímpico in 2009. Unfortunately, they only managed one win away from home and as a result finished in a rather disappointing 8th. If the tricolor Gaúcho can improve their dreadful record on the road, Grêmio could be a real threat this season. The Porto Alegre club have all the necessary basics for a successful team. Grêmio keeper, Victor, has had two good seasons. The shot-stopper was a regular in Dunga’s squad and may still make the cut for South Africa. Coach Silas did well at Avaí in 2009, guiding them to a respectable 6th place finish. His arrival has coincided with that of Douglas, Hugo, Leandro and Borges. On his day, Douglas can make the difference with his trickery and vision in midfield. The ex Corinthians man can also weigh in with his fair share of goals. Borges and Jonas are natural goal-scorers. Grêmio may be lacking some creativity after Tchecho’s departure but they make up for that with the drive and tenacity of Souza (when he returns from injury) and Leandro. When it comes to favourites for the title, the Olímpico side are not at the top of everyone’s list. But Grêmio have what it takes to launch a serious challenge if they do not get too distracted by their involvement in the Copa do Brasil.

Atlético Mineiro might be capable of doing something after they picked up Vanderlei Luxemburgo at the end of 2009. With five championship medals, the coach is the most successful in the history of the Brasileirão. Atlético have a decent squad and Diego Tardelli finished last year as the league’s joint top scorer with 19 (alongside Fla’s Adriano). This season Tardelli could form a productive partnership with Obina. Atlético have not won the league since the first ever Brasileiro back in 1971. So, with the competition celebrating its 40th year, this would be the perfect time to win the title once more. Again the Copa do Brasil could come into play. But Atlético may go out to Santos this week.

Leaders for so long last season, Palmeiras are rank outsiders this time round. Palmeiras benefitted from a huge investment from backers, Traffic, at the start of 2009. But this year, Traffic wisely pulled the plug on the cash after Palmeiras failed to make into the Libertadores. Coach Muricy Ramalho was given the boot in February when the Palestra Itália outfit were struggling in the early stages of the Paulista. The coach, who won three consecutive Brasileiros at São Paulo, was replaced by the inexperienced Antônio Carlos Zago who’ll do well to survive the year. Reinforcements: Lincoln, Ewerthon, Vitor, Edinho, Paulo Henrique, Marcos Assunção and Leandro Amaro have come in but Palmeiras are still short of quality in depth. To make matters worse, the Big Green’s fan’s long-running love/hate relationship with Diego Souza has worsened and the gifted midfielder could be on his way.

The Brasileiro usually throws up a surprise or two. Last season, new boys Avaí returned to the top flight after an absence of 30 years and finished in a creditable 6th. Avaí, though, have lost their best players for 2010 and will struggle to achieve a similar finish. Much will depend on ex Real Madrid midfielder, Sávio, and what he’s got left in the tank at the age of 36.

Goiás are always expected to struggle. But in 2009 they maintained a prolonged run in the top four before finishing the Brasileiro in 9th. And, it’s worth remembering that in the last ten years, Goiás have finished in the top half of the table on all but two occasions.

Joel Santana always gets the best out of limited squads; especially when he’s dealing with sides from Rio. This time out, the wily coach is in charge of Botafogo and it will be interesting to see how strikers, Loco Abreu and Herrera operate alongside the skilful teenager, Caio Canedo.

Many pundits are also expecting that recently promoted Atlético Goianiense will be among the whipping boys. But the team from Goiãnia may surprise a few. Last year, the Dragão (dragon) scored 79 goals – more than any other team in Série A and B. The minnows have gone from Série C to Série A in consecutive seasons and have kept faith with many of the players they used in the third division. Atlético have not been in the top flight since 1987 but coach Geninho has plenty of experience and a mid-table finish would not be beyond them.

As for the relegation candidates, well, the obvious place to start would seem to be the new boys. Guarani and Ceará don’t have much financial muscle and are rightly favourites for a quick return to Série B. It’s worth pointing out, though, that in 2009, Corinthians Avaí, Barueri (now called Grêmio Prudente), and Santo André came up, but only the latter went down. And if you look back at the Brasileiro over recent years, many of the newly-promoted clubs have survived. Vasco, however, could be an exception. The São Januário side won the second division with ease. But two coach changes later, the Rio team are short of confidence and look a lot weaker. Neighbours Fluminnese avoided the drop by the skin of their teeth last year but should fare much better now that Muricy Ramalho has arrived. Other possible relegation candidates include Vitória and Atlético Paranaense, who both have very limited squads.

Since the Campeonato Brasileiro ditched the playoffs and switched to a points only system in 2003, the championship has improved year after year. Now that more clubs have adjusted to the new way of doing things, the tournament has become even more unpredictable and winning the Brasileirão even tougher. The past two seasons have had just about everything a fan could want. In 2008, the league title, two Libertadores places and two relegation slots were decided on the final day. In the last round in 2009, four teams were in with a chance of being crowned champion and four sides were battling it out to avoid the two remaining relegation places. As well as all the excitement, last year’s Brasileiro also produced a creditable 2.88 goals per game. The only thing lacking in recent competitions has been the presence of a truly outstanding team. Now that Santos are here, that is about to change.

Bags of goals, great players, thrills and spills all the way trough to the final day. This is the Campeonato Brasileiro. What more could you ask from a national league?

The Campeonato Brasileiro kicks off on May 8th and you can see the top games with us until the final round on December 5th.

If you can’t see the games on TV, you can watch them live on the net at places such as Betfair or you can see the highlights at sites such as the Times on-line.

Our provisional schedule:

1st round

08/05 – 18:30 – Botafogo x Santos – Engenhão
09/05 – 16:00 Flamengo x São Paulo – Maracanã

2nd round (3 games)
15/05 – 18:30 – São Paulo x Botafogo – Morumbi
16/05 – 16:00 – Grêmio x Corinthians – Olímpico
16/05 – 18:30 – Vasco x Palmeiras – São Januário

3rd round
22/05 – 18:30 – Palmeiras x Grêmio – Palestra Itália
23/05 – 16:00 – Corinthians x Fluminnese – venue to be decided

All times Brasília & and all games subject to change


Entry filed under: Campeonato Brasileiro 2010, Championship guides. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Santos take the Paulista – but only just! Brasileiro 2010 gets off to cautious start

19 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Matt  |  May 3, 2010 at 16:53

    Great post – always interesting to read these sort of Brasileirao previews – it’s just such an unpredictable competition.

    I’ve been keeping close attention to the Rio clubs since the turn of the year and I have no idea how any of them will fare, to be perfectly honest!

    Santos have to be favourites right now, but it’s a long old championship and thier inexperience may count against them in the long run.

    I think the winner will come from outside SP and RJ this year but where exactly is anybodies guess!

    Two great games to start next week – Botafogo v Santos and Fla v Sao Paulo.

    Looking forward to it!

  • 2. Mike  |  May 3, 2010 at 20:18

    Love the article, and the league. So much parity, loads of young stars, and some of the most devoted fan bases in the world. I wish we would get some coverage of the Campeonato here in the United States. Hoping Atletico Mineiro will take the title this year. Força Galo!

    • 3. pitacodogringo  |  May 3, 2010 at 20:37


      thanks for the comments. i’d like to see Galo do something as well – i thought it was going to happen last year with Celso Roth but …

      you can see our games on GolTV in the US – they even had the Paulista!

  • 4. Martin  |  May 4, 2010 at 17:40

    Santos are a real pleasure to watch but like so many of these clubs you wonder how different their team which begins the season will be simialr to the one which ends the championship? So many players come and go during the season that it makes prognosticating the tournament so hard.

    i will just say that the teams whichIi think play enjoyable football to watch are Santos, Cruzeiro and Internacional. I wish all three well in the season but wonder if each have the overall strength to win the long tournament. Sao Paulo are always a threat and Gremio may be as well, if they learn how to win away from home.

    Flamengo and Corinthians as always will grab plenty of headlines but I do not think either have the depth to challenge. But I have been pleasantly surprised by Roberto Carlos’ good form at Corinthians.

    Atletico MG have a pretty good team and may contend too but I do not think they have the overall quality to win the title.

    Should be a fun season and I am looking forward to your coverage Jon!

  • 5. Matt  |  May 4, 2010 at 18:03

    Pains me to say it but I think Inter are well off the pace this year. I haven’t followed the Campeonato Minero too closely but my hunch right now is with Cruzeiro.

  • 6. André  |  May 4, 2010 at 19:03

    I think Atlético-MG have been playing better than Cruzeiro this year. Cruzeiro have Thiago Ribeiro and Kleber forming a great offensive line, but Kleber can leave the team anytime. He’s always the target of some rumor. Galo, on the other hand, have a skilled midfield and Tardelli and it doesn’t seem any of them will move.

    Flamengo probably won’t have Love, David, Ramon and all the other players that came on a loan, so we should wait for the end of the window.

    Not only Flamengo. All the teams. But the rellegated teams will probably be Guarani, Ceará and two other teams — Vasco and Palmeiras are heavy contenders here.

  • 7. David G.  |  May 5, 2010 at 00:58

    Great guide! I really enjoy brazilian National championship. From what I heard so far, Gremio is the one to watch. That Fernandes kid is quite a defender!

  • 8. CONMEBalls  |  May 5, 2010 at 15:45

    Hi John

    We’ve directed people in your direction. Just a cheeky plug for my site which has a review every Monday or the day after a midweek round is completed.

    We’ve stuck our necks out with predictions as well


  • 9. Martin  |  May 6, 2010 at 01:40

    Well Corinthians have some extra time now to concentrate on the Brasileirao! But their team looks too old to last through the requirements of a long season. They will need some younger reinforcements if they are to compete in their centenary season.

    Cruzeiro always lose players during the season which always makes them a questionable pick for end of season honors. But the present team if it can be kept together is I think as well balanced a team as there is in Brazil. Atletico MG may have done better in their state championship but Cruzeiro have their eyes on bigger prizes.

    • 10. André  |  May 8, 2010 at 09:52

      Not only that.

      Andres Sanchez said the team won’t be the same, as they have to pay R$ 7.5 million each month to their players and without the Libertadores they don’t have the money.

      Corinthians will probably have to look for young blood and experienced players if they want to win anything in their centenary.

      But as they say here in Brazil ‘centenário sem ter nada’ is something that happens really often.

  • 11. Xandao  |  May 6, 2010 at 17:39

    Don’t count out Flamengo as they showed last night in eliminating Corinthians and as pitacodogringo says in his own preview, it is a team full of tenacity. Off field problems? That has been the norm at Flamengo for years, the club are used to those. But if the team can retain the duo of Adriano and Wagner Love and get strong midfield play from Kleberson, Willians and Maldonado plus the best flank play in Brasil from Leo Moura and Juan, then this team can go far. And who knows, maybe even Petkovic has a little bit left in his tank?

    Like Martin I also think Cruzeiro is a club to watch as is Gremio who may not have many stars but are a solid all around team.

  • 12. Pepe  |  May 7, 2010 at 15:10

    Internacional should not be underrated, they have excelelnt talent, a good mix of young players and veterans plus a few foreign players to bring in a different look to the club. I can see Internacional doing well this season. I would not place too much emphasis on how they did in their state championship in the first few months of the season. Their true potential has been demonstrated in the Copa Libertadores.

  • 13. Fullof  |  May 10, 2010 at 10:11

    It’s a damn shame that we see no South American football at all in the UK anymore, we don’t even get the MLS anymore after ESPN stopped showing it.

    Hopefully ESPN give us something for next season though, we got a few Argentine pre-season games a few month ago and I think that the Copa Libertadores rights are up for grabs for next year too.

    • 14. pitacodogringo  |  May 10, 2010 at 13:41

      for some reason we’ve had problems getting back into the UK market since our days on Channel 4 and one season on SportXchange (before they went down the tube!). with Robinho, Roberto Carlos, Neymar, Paulo Henrique, Adriano and Ronaldo, i would have thought at least one channel would have picked us up this year but it hasn’t happened. Setanta showed some interest but then they ran into trouble financially

  • 15. Mark  |  May 12, 2010 at 23:32

    I think Grêmio can cause a surprise this year. Last year’s disappointment, Maxi Lopez, has been replaced with Borges and so far, he has clicked with Jonas. For all the Vagner Love/Adriano fuss, I think Jonas/Borges have been the best so far. Add in Brasileiro newcomers Edilson and Neuton; plus Mario Fernandes and rebounding Rodrigo at the heart of the the defense? If you get by that backline, you still need to get by Victor.

    Midfield could use some work, no real names catch the eye, but there is a lot of depth and some promising youth with Maylson, Mithyuê, Fernando, Pessali and Bruno Renan all in the ranks.

    I think if anyone can take on Santos, it’s Grêmio

  • 16. Martin  |  May 13, 2010 at 00:17

    Acquiring Fernandao is going to pay some big benefits to Sao paulo. It has already started as he set up both goals in Sao Paulo’s 2×0 win at Cruzeiro in the Copa Libertadores.

    I think Fernadao is a very intelligent player who can score some goals himself but is excellent at setting his teammates up for scoring chances. I have always liked him and he was a big reason behind Internacional’s Libertadores and World Club Cup wins several years ago.

  • 17. eri  |  September 9, 2010 at 23:02

    o jogo foibao

  • 18. eri  |  September 9, 2010 at 23:03


  • 19. Jimmy  |  September 10, 2010 at 11:34

    Eri, thank you for the keen insight on the Braileirao 2010. Seriously, this has been, to me a newer more novice fan of the league, a most interesting yet surprising campaign to date, especially at the bottom half of the table. Obviously there are the usual suspects such as Goias & Gremio Prudente living south of the border and others such as Vitoria who are going through their annual survival struggles.

    What looks odd to me is to see what I thought would be stronger sides such as Flamengo & Gremio doing so poorly and Atletico MG currently in the drop zone. What”s up with Palmeiras? With Scolari in charge, I expected more and I think the more could also be said of Sao Paolo. To those more in the know this may not be an attention grabber but I have been waiting for teams such as these to “wake up” and struggle along
    they go.

    As we have seen the last couple of seasons, anything can happen in the Brasileirao and usually does. Nothing is safe or guaranteed until the final whistle of the final game has been blown. With that said, and everything is subject to change, Fluminense has been the class of the league and I am not discounting Corinthians but watch out for Santo & Internacional. I believe their best football is yet to come and will be factors for the top spot. Unfortunately I believe bad news is in store for Goias & Gremio Prudente and if they are not careful Avai & Vitoria may join them. How about the run Sport Recife is on in Serie B. Finally they are in top form and look like serious contenders, coming from nowhere for possible and hopeful promotion.


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The man who came up with: Messi carrying Argentina. Neymar carrying Brazil. British Airways carrying England. My name is Jon Cotterill. I am an English football commentator for TV Globo in São Paulo, Brazil. Currently we're broadcasting two live Campeonato Brasileiro or Campeonato Paulista games per week plus our magazine show, Footbrazil to 180 countries. + Eu trabalho como narrador na TV Globo em São Paulo, Brasil. Atualmente, nos transmitimos dois jogos ao vivo do Campeonato Brasileiro ou Campeonato Paulista por semana e nosso programa de futebol semanal, Footbrazil.

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Copyright – don’t steal my stuff! links and excerpts are fine

© Jon Cotterill and Pitacodogringo's Brazilian football site, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jon Cotterill and Pitacodogringo's Brazilian football site with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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