Upon entering the field in a new meeting with Renato Portaluppi, Grêmio will not only see one of its greatest icons on the other side. O rival coach will also be shielded by players requested for years while he was in charge of his own club in Rio Grande do Sul..
Michael, who gained prominence at Rubro-Negro with Renato, was the subject of the coach’s last interview for that reason. But the list has other characters from Flamengo, rivals tonight for the return game of the quarterfinals of the Copa do Brasil, at 9:30 pm, at Maracanã.
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The striker was then one of the best players in the 2019 Brasileirão for Goiás. Renato had been following him since Serie B and asked to hire the player to reinforce the Grêmio squad. As in many other moments, it didn’t take.
Michael was sold to Flamengo by Esmeraldino for 7.5 million euros, R$35 million at the beginning of 2020, in three installments of 2.5 million euros.
– I’m happy, he’s a player I support a lot, I had already asked for him at Grêmio and now I’ve found him here at Flamengo. He has helped us a lot, has scored goals – said Renato after Flamengo’s victory over Palmeiras.
Michael celebrates with Renato in Flamengo’s victory over Palmeiras — Photo: Marcelo Cortes/Flamengo
Renato’s last moments at Grêmio were marked by a promise of greater investment precisely to meet the coach’s requests. One of the technician’s annoyances was that the names at the top of the reinforcement list were never hired.
Among those commanded in Flamengo’s current squad, at least three other players were tempted by Renato as Grêmio’s coach: Pedro, Gabigol and Rodrigo Caio.
Before the agreement with Rubro-Negro, Pedro was Grêmio’s main target to reinforce the offensive sector. The Tricolor was even willing to spend to buy the player. Renato revealed his admiration for the center forward in an interview given to the ge in 2019.
The club from Rio Grande do Sul kept negotiations with Fiorentina, despite all the difficulty of the competition with Flamengo, but Pedro’s choice was clear to play in the Rio team.
The coach, when at Grêmio, took advantage of situations on the edge of the field to start contacts and sound out players. It was like this more recently with Claudinho, for example, then a highlight of Bragantino, now playing in the Champions League for Zenit, from Russia.
Gabigol says Renato Gaúcho called him to play for Grêmio
The same thing happened with Gabigol. When the striker was still wearing Santos’ shirt, Grêmio tied with Peixe in Pacaembu. The two even led a discussion in the final stretch of the game. Minutes later, the coach invited the striker to work at Tricolor, as the contract with the São Paulo team was about to expire.
Months after the episode, the striker would leave Santos, but would be loaned again by Inter Milan, this time to Flamengo. The definitive negotiation between the two clubs would come out at the end of 2020.
Gabigol and Renato in a duel between Grêmio and Flamengo at the Arena — Photo: Eduardo Moura
Last on the list is defender Rodrigo Caio. When he almost went to Barcelona, in December 2018, the defender had his name debated at Grêmio.
As the deal with the Catalans did not take place and there was a litigation with São Paulo, Tricolor made inquiries and polls about the situation of the defender, but did not advance at the time. At the end of the month, Flamengo announced Rodrigo Caio as a backup.
For this season, Renato had asked the signings of Rafinha and Douglas Costa for Grêmio. Both arrived, but this time the coach left the club, in April, after elimination in the third phase of Liebertadores.
Flamengo and Grêmio play this Wednesday, from 9:30 pm, the return of the quarterfinals of the Copa do Brasil. The victory by 4-0 in the Arena leaves the red and black in a comfortable situation in the confrontation.