Hulk and Diego Costa are the main attackers of Atlético-MG, which from this Tuesday, at 9:30 pm (Brasilia time), will start disputing a place in the final of the Copa Libertadores with Palmeiras, at Allianz Parque. The second game will be on the 28th, at the same time, at Mineirão, in Belo Horizonte.
Abel Ferreira asked for this season the hiring of a center forward, and before agreeing with Galo, the two were analyzed by Verdão, but the negotiations did not advance for the same reasons, especially financial.
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Hulk and Diego Costa celebrate Atlético-MG’s second goal against Sport — Photo: Fernando Moreno/AGIF
Palmeiras had more frequent contacts with Hulk, an old dream. The forward is a Verdão fan and is friends with João Paulo Sampaio, coordinator of the youth categories.
In February last year, he even watched a Verdão game at Paulista dos Camarotes at Allianz Parque. But when the athlete announced that he would leave Shanghai SIPG, in China, conversations did not heat up, in December.
In addition to values considered too high for the current business model of Palmeiras, the club has preferred to seek younger players in the market, under 25 years of age. Hulk is already 35.
Hulk with João Paulo Sampaio, director of the base categories at Palmeiras — Photo: Tossiro Neto
Without even an official proposal from Verdão, he was announced by Atlético-MG in January and soon became one of the main names in Brazilian football, with 21 goals and 11 assists in the season. He was even called up by Tite for the Brazilian team.
– I always spoke in my interviews of my special affection for Palmeiras since I was a child. In my house, everyone was Corinthians fan and today they are Atletico (laughs). My sisters, my parents… I was the only palmeira at home. But when you become a professional you end up rooting for the team you work for. It’s been that way for me since I turned professional and I was very well received here at Atlético-MG. Today I am sick Atletican – said Hulk, on the eve of the game.
Diego Costa, 32, is a name that was often cited as a wish of alviverde, but the conversations were more embryonic than with the Hulk.
Without a team since leaving Atlético de Madrid in December, the striker has also declared himself to be from Palmeira, but the board of Alviverde considered the values to sign him high, even to try to open a negotiation. Galo saw it the same way at the beginning of the year, but in August he resumed talks to hire him until the end of 2022.
Diego made his debut as Atletico-MG’s starter on Saturday, against Sport, and scored his second goal for the team in four games. It was also the first time that the center forward started playing with the Hulk – Cuca has not confirmed whether he will use both since the beginning at Allianz.
Luiz Adriano in Chapecoense x Palmeiras — Photo: Cesar Greco / Ag Palmeiras
Verdão, on the other hand, should have Luiz Adriano as their center forward tonight. In a season troubled by injuries, the shirt 10 ended a fast of almost three months on Saturday, against Chapecoense.
Scorer of four goals in 24 games this season, he scored once in this Libertadores – in the last edition, won by Palmeiras, he was the author of five goals and top scorer at Verdão with Rony.
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