behind the scenes of Nenê’s trip to the Tricolor

With 118 games and 28 goals, Nenê’s spell at Fluminense came to an end after 792 days and countless stories. From the arrival that took time to happen until the practically announced departure, the 40-year-old midfielder collected good and bad moments with the tricolor shirt. Mainly behind the scenes.

At Laranjeiras and at CT Carlos Castilho, the shirt 77 divided opinions between technical committees, directors, teammates, employees and especially fans.

Not even the magic 2020, with 20 goals, was enough to make the player really fall into the favor of the tricolors, whether because of a predilection for Paulo Henrique Ganso, his friend and competitor in the position throughout the period at the club, or even because of criticism to football and its personality.

As in other career opportunities, dissatisfied, Nenê forced his departure, now from Fluminense, to play for Vasco, his former club. The player signed with the São Januário team until December 2022

Arrival contradicted Diniz and showed the strength of Celso Barros

Fernando Diniz took over from Fluminense at the beginning of 2019. The squad had many changes after a troubled 2018, and the hired reinforcements were bets, as well as Ganso, a request granted by the coach by the direction. Who also wanted to play in Tricolor was Nenê, but São Paulo, even with the player stamping his foot and forcing the exit, did not agree with the negotiation.

Nenê and Fernando Diniz had a good relationship, but the coach didn't see the need for a reinforcement at Fluminense - Lucas Merçon/Fluminense FC - Lucas Merçon/Fluminense FC

Nenê and Fernando Diniz had a good relationship, but the coach didn’t see the need for reinforcement at Fluminense

Image: Lucas Merçon/Fluminense FC

The veteran’s strong personality already drew attention for the way he handled the negotiations directly with Celso Barros, who would become the club’s vice president after the election of Mário Bittencourt, in June.

Reinforcing the style and pleasure of the former president of Unimed, the arrival of Nenê marked the first arm wrestling won by the director. That’s because Diniz, who returns to command Nenê no Vasco, no longer thought his arrival was necessary, an opinion corroborated by director Paulo Angioni. Annoyed, the coach — who was enthusiastic about his arrival in January — did not give the player many chances, who had a melancholy 2019.

Goose ‘Help’ for Chances

Welcomed with a party at Santos Dumont airport and with a five-year contract with Fluminense, Paulo Henrique Ganso was not only the number 10, but the star of the Tricolor and often captain of the team in the difficult 2019. all coaches who have passed, the player “helped” his friend Nenê in his first months at the club.

Nene and Ganso: shirt 10 'suggested' more chances to competitor, dissatisfied at Fluminense in 2019 - Mailson Santana/Fluminense FC - Mailson Santana/Fluminense FC

Nene and Ganso: shirt 10 ‘suggested’ more chances for the competitor, dissatisfied at Fluminense in 2019

Image: Mailson Santana/Fluminense FC

After Diniz left and Oswaldo de Oliveira passed quickly, Ganso participated in a meeting with other leaders of the dressing room, coach Marcão, president Mário Bittencourt, director Paulo Angioni and some other people from the club. Without the presence of Nenê, the shirt 10 defended more chances for the veteran, who did not hide his dissatisfaction with the reserve and had some internal friction with the permanent technical committee of the club at that time.

The request was accepted by Marcão, who began to “take turns” Ganso and Nenê in the starting lineup. At the end of the competition, the goal of escaping relegation was accomplished in advance with little help from the veteran, enough, however, to stop his insistent complaints in training and in the locker room.

Goals, fulminating 2020 and cast leadership

If 2019 was disappointing, the year 2020 started as a dream for Nenê. In a joint effort, the technical committee and the medical department drew up a special plan with physiotherapy and physiology for a longer pre-season for Paulo Henrique Ganso, who suffered from physical problems.

Nenê with Odair Hellmann: 2020 was the best year for the midfielder, who had a great relationship with coach and became the leader of the squad - Lucas Merçon/Fluminense FC - Lucas Merçon/Fluminense FC

Nenê with Odair Hellmann: 2020 was the best year for the midfielder, who had a great relationship with the coach and became the leader of the squad

Image: Lucas Merçon/Fluminense FC

In Ganso’s absence, the “Odair Hellmann era” began with the starting number 77 off to a fulminating start: nine goals and two assists in 11 games. Reference of the team, owner of the vacancy and on honeymoon with the new coach, with whom he nurtures a great relationship, Nenê finally blossomed in Tricolor. In all, there were 20 goals and seven assists in the season, but the stance off the field was what attracted the most attention.

With morale for his performances, the midfielder took the lead in negotiations with the leaders of the squad both for agreements with the club during the pandemic, but also in external positions, defending Fluminense’s position against the return of football. Internally, it gained prestige mainly with the younger ones.

Relationship with president and employees

The good moment experienced by Fluminense and Nenê in 2020 made the midfielder occupy the headlines. #VovôTáON was a success on social networks and broadcasts, and the player stood out for his humor, especially in his relationship with President Mário Bittencourt.

The meme “Mário Bitcoins” went viral on the internet after Tricolor was hired, and Nenê used to appear always playing with the leader, which generated criticism, mainly from opponents. Not always, even in a good phase, the player was praised by the fans, who were very critical of his football in most moments.

Troubled departure and disappointment of managers

If he seemed to build a beautiful story at the end of his career, which took place on a larger scale outside the country, Nenê left with a certain disappointment from the leaders. Although Mario Bittencourt thanked the player on his social networks, an unusual fact, other members of the football top were disappointed with the midfielder’s posture in his farewell – something that had already happened in Vasco and São Paulo.

The departure seemed announced because, in the soccer dialect, Nenê “dug” his return to Vasco amid dissatisfaction with his reservation at Fluminense. The president, who bankrolled his renewal with fanfare last year, did not like the way the player took the negotiation, although he even understood the player’s wishes.

The fact is that the 40-year-old midfielder forced himself to return to the former club. The tricolor board also didn’t like to know about the negotiation “behind” the rival, which even in Serie B, attracted the athlete. The inconvenience caused by little did not change the decision to issue friendly notes and tributes to Nenê.