Coach Abel Ferreira, from Palmeiras, received this Friday (23) the title of citizen of São Paulo, granted by the municipality of São Paulo. The ceremony held at the City Hall was open to the public, which led to some breaches of protocol. Ana Xavier, the coach’s wife, attended the event along with the couple’s two daughters. During the tribute speeches, Abel even cried.
“My wife would ask me, ‘But why do you like São Paulo so much?’. And I would answer: It’s just that here, people know how to receive”. I hope to be able to represent one of the greatest cities in the world. Today, I’m not here just as a Palmeirense citizen. Today, I am one of you. Today, I feel like a São Paulo citizen,” he said, his voice breaking.
Abel gave an impromptu speech, in a speech that mixed thanks with emotion and also had a political content.
“I’m not always a good father, I’m not always a good coach, but I always try to live with my mistakes,” he said. “I know I’m not always the best example. For me, the greatest tool a human being can have is education, access to information”, acknowledged the coach.
The tribute was offered to the Portuguese in a solemn session that saw the performance of the anthems of Palmeiras and Brazil by the Banda da Polícia Militar – with the right to exchange the lyrics of the national anthem for the now traditional “Meu Palmeiras” sung by the fans present. It wasn’t the only moment with a bleacher face. During a formal speech, part of the audience sang a song by the crowd that says “Cheirinho é o c…” in one of its verses, alluding to Flamengo.
Abel showed the same preparedness as always. When he was interviewed on national television, on Roda Viva, the coach spoke with property about Ayrton Senna and Telê Santana. This time he studied the city of São Paulo.
“I feel from São Paulo since the first day. As a phrase says on the coat of arms of one of the largest cities in the world, which is São Paulo, ‘I drive, I’m not driven’ (Non dvcor, dvco, in Latin). And even that sounds like me”, said the Portuguese, who spoke for approximately five minutes.
The tribute was proposed by councilor Toninho Vespoli.