Coach Felipão spoke for the first time about Athletico’s classification for the Libertadores final. As he was suspended against Palmeiras, in the game that defined the vacancy, the coach used the press conference after the 1-1 draw with Avaí, for the Brasileirão, this Sunday, to talk about it.
About the game itself with Avaí, Felipão considered the result as “fair” and recalled that Athletico had a “hangover” precisely because of the spot in the Libertadores final. However, classification turned out to be the main topic of the interview.
– It is the first opportunity that I address the Athletico fans, because I could not communicate with the fans after the game with Palmeiras. This group, this team, these players deserve everyone’s applause – said Felipão.
It will be the fourth time that Felipão will play in a Libertadores final, now for the third different team – he played once with Grêmio (champion in 1995) and twice with Palmeiras (champion in 1999 and runner-up in 2000). This time, the decision will be with Athletico, which returns to the final after 17 years and now takes on Flamengo, on October 29, in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
– For my career, wonderful. Very good to come and work at a club like Athletico, which has a different mentality, which has young people in this team, which has people who work and listen to their coach, try to do what we ask for – he commented.
– They achieved a result that is historic. Probably how much time will pass and we can’t get to a Libertadores. It is also historic for me to be part of this group. If there are some things that I have to mention in my career, this is one of the specials that was achieved together with the Athletico people – he added.
In the current edition, Felipão took over Athletico in the final stretch of the group stage, with Hurricane lantern in the bracket, with four points. The team won the two remaining games – Libertad 2-0 and Caracas 5-1, both at Arena da Baixada – and qualified second in group B.
In the round of 16, Hurricane met Libertad and advanced in a sweaty way: a 2-1 victory in Baixada and a 1-1 draw in Paraguay, with Rômulo’s goal at the end. In the quarterfinals, Rubro-Negro passed Estudiantes, with a 0-0 victory in Baixada and a 1-0 victory in La Plata, with a goal from Vitor Roque in the last bid.
In the semifinals, Athletico beat Palmeiras at home, 1-0, with a goal by Alex Santana, and secured their spot in the final after a 2-2 win at Allianz Parque, after losing 2-0.
Felipão goes to the fourth Libertadores final — Photo: Photo: José Tramontin/athletico.com.br/Arquivo
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- Athletico vs Cuiabá: 09/18, Sunday, 19h – Arena da Baixada (Brasileirão)
- Santos vs Atletico: 09/27, Tuesday, 21:30 – Vila Belmiro (Brasileirão)
- Athletico vs Youth: 10/01, Saturday, 19h – Arena da Baixada (Brasileirão)
- Atletico vs Fortaleza: 10/05, Wednesday, 19:30 – Arena da Baixada (Brasileirão)
- Corinthians vs Atletico: 10/08, Saturday, 9pm – Neo Química Arena (Brasileirão)