São Paulo Brazil
Nobody won yesterday’s classic more than Rogério Ceni.
He was massacred by the media, rightly, in Monday’s defeat to Palmeiras, by the Brazilian, in Morumbi, by 2-1. He was even cursed like a donkey by some São Paulo fans after the defeat.
The coach who put together São Paulo very well, and who beat the best team in South America, 1-0, simply backed off his team. He made substitutions that only increased defensive power. And he was punished with defeat.
Since his playing days, he has always been very personal. Enraged with criticism. An excellent goalkeeper, he had few chances in the Selection, due to his difficult temper, often arrogant, difficult to get along with. But he consolidated himself as the greatest idol in the history of São Paulo.
It was 25 years as an athlete, sleeping first under the Morumbi stand, where the base players’ dormitory was located. Then, at the Barra Funda Training Center, where he still likes to spend the night, studying opponents.
He was not satisfied with the festival of criticism he received and, spitefully, with yesterday’s 1-0 victory against Palmeiras, in the first match of the round of 16 of the Copa do Brasil, he took revenge.
It was his turn to mock the press, those who dared to blame the coach for the defeat.
Ceni made it clear that the time, following the same criteria, was to pay homage to the coach, who was largely responsible for the victory. That is, himself.
He taught a lesson in narcissism.
“Sometimes people like to attack the coach because he represents the institution a lot. I guarantee that the guy who can best represent the institution in this difficult moment is here. But I understand. You (journalists) beat me a lot, but I was Made to get beaten up that way. I make choices. The club can make the choice to take me out. But working with the club work I know? Sorry, you won’t find anyone who knows as much and works as hard.”
But there was more, much more.
“The biggest lesson I had was to believe in (my) own convictions, with the second-rate players being the same as today.
“In 194 minutes (in both games) we were ahead or even, with the best team in South America, according to you (journalists). In just one minute Palmeiras was ahead. I had to believe in (my) convictions and to work.”
Ceni didn’t let a second to praise that all the decisions that ended up leading São Paulo to victory belonged to one person. Himself.
“This morning (yesterday) I talked to Belmonte, he called me into his room, I sat down and he said to me: ‘I want you to make yourself comfortable, the decision is completely yours.
“If you want to place the team entirely in reserve, we will be with you. If you want to place the starter, we will support you. The decision you make will be respected by the club’s directors.’ Those were the words he spoke to me. .”
Because he chose the starters and beat Palmeiras.
And he also highlighted that he made his team maintain concentration during the ninety minutes of the game.
“If you don’t play with a very high level of concentration against Palmeiras, which is a beautiful team, you will hardly have the chance to beat them. We’ve been here since last year, we played six times against them, we won three and lost. three.
“For a team that is given, and I think deservedly, as the best in America, I think we managed to maintain a balance against Palmeiras. The changes were correct in the last game and today as well.”
Smart, Rogério Ceni knows he made a big mistake on Monday, blaming the players for the defeat. Emphasizing that the team lost in two set pieces. And he, as a coach, could do nothing in the athletes’ decision-making.
“(I have to) praise, both in the last game and in this one, the merit they had (my players). For their dedication, for their commitment.”
But the coach had the last lunge to take whoever criticized him in Monday’s defeat. For Rogério Ceni, who did not agree when São Paulo, who was dominating Palmeiras in the Brazilian’s game, retreated to seek ‘likes’.
“(Football coach) It’s a public profession and it’s natural for you to suffer criticism. People looking for likes, others make calls. We proved today that we played a good game on Monday and the strategy was correct.
“Today we had the same team, the same ideas and we were happy to have the victory. But that’s why the people have the same vision. Win or lose, we go. We have a lot of people in the medical department, I already say that we would have more chances to successful if it had recovered the players who are injured.”
To make Rogério Ceni’s situation worse, Arboleda had a very serious injury to his left ankle yesterday. And he has a good chance of being away for months. Even your participation in the World Cup is risky…