In the top scorer phase, Murilo lives a leading role in Palmeiras | palm trees

From mistrust to the position of holder of Palmeiras in just six months. Hired at the beginning of the year, defender Murilo gradually gained space until he teamed up with Gustavo Gómez in one of the best defenses in the club’s history, at least in numbers.

Hired to be an option for Abel Ferreira in the absence of Gómez or Luan, until then absolute holders, Murilo managed to stop being the fourth option (Kuscevic had been having more opportunities at the beginning of the season) to consolidate himself as Verdão’s holder.

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Alongside Gustavo Gómez, he played 20 games for Palmeiras in 2022, with a positive record: 14 wins, two draws and four defeats, with 14 goals conceded. The pair did not concede goals in ten games playing together.

Murilo celebrates Palmeiras’ goal against Cerro for Libertadores — Photo: Cesar Greco

Murilo started to have more opportunities after Luan’s injury. Absolute holder of the two-time Libertadores champion team, the defender ended up getting injured on the eve of the Recopa Sul-Americana decision. They were practically four months away from the lawns due to a muscle problem in the left thigh.

The absence of the main competitor opened up even more space for Murilo, who managed to stay on the team with good performances. With Gustavo Gómez’s call-up to the Paraguay national team, Murilo also teamed up with Luan, when he returned from his absence.

Abel Ferreira also played with Gómez, Murilo and Luan together in defense after injuries to Mayke and Marcos Rocha, with the Paraguayan playing the role of right-back.

Luan and Murilo played together for Palmeiras in the absence of Gustavo Gómez — Photo: Marcos Ribolli

The numbers in 2022 make Palmeiras’ defense the third least leaked in the club’s history. With 0.62 goals conceded per game, tied with the average of the 1973 team, it is behind only 1989 (0.61 goals per game) and 1972 (0.44 goals per game).

In 44 games in 2022, there were 27 goals conceded. Owner of the best campaign in Libertadores history so far, Verdão conceded just three goals in seven matches in the competition.

Murilo and Gustavo Gómez celebrate Palmeiras’ goal against Cerro in Libertadores – Photo: Cesar Greco

The good defensive performance helped Palmeiras to extend their unbeaten run to 19 games away from home in the South American tournament. The last defeat of Verdão playing as a visitor in Libertadores was in 2019.

Of Palmeiras’ seven games in Libertadores, Murilo was a starter in four, scoring two goals and providing an assist. Of the 30 games in which he started playing in 2022, the defender helped Palmeiras not be leaked in 19 of them.

In addition to his good defensive performance, Murilo has helped Palmeiras in attack. That’s six goals this season, the same number as Gustavo Gómez.

By way of comparison, Murilo has the same number of goals as Dudu and Danilo in the season. Raphael Veiga and Rony, with 16 each, are Palmeiras’ top scorers in 2022.

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At 50 min of the 2nd half - goal from inside the area by Murilo do Palmeiras against São Paulo

At 50 min of the 2nd half – goal from inside the area by Murilo do Palmeiras against São Paulo

And the last two goals scored by Murilo had a very important weight in the two great goals of the season: the titles of the Brasileirão and Libertadores.

The shirt 26 scored in the 50th minute of the second half and guaranteed the turn of Verdão over São Paulo in the Choque-Rei valid for the Brazilian. Last Wednesday, he secured a 3-0 victory over Cerro Porteño, which left the team very close to a spot in the quarterfinals of the South American tournament.

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About Abhishek Pratap

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