Carnival is here and that means party time! As for the football, most teams played State Championship games on Saturday. I look at the latest in Rio and São Paulo and more importantly, post some carnival pics.
The second phase of the Rio State Championship (the Rio Cup) started and the first phase Champions, Flamengo, got off to winning ways with a 3-2 win against Olaria. Thiago Neves scored two played his best game for Flamengo since signing at the beginning of the year. Ronaldinho scored the other and will go to the Rio carnival (tonight and Monday night) in fine spirits. Ronaldinho is going to party hard this carnival and he will be dancing and parading with four different Samba schools. To me, it’s becoming clearer by the minute why he chose Flamengo over Palmeiras and Grêmio – he loves Samba and loves the party scene in Rio!
Flamengo coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo also seems to be enjoying the Rio nightlife and apparently is going to dance and parade with two samba schools. That is just crazy if you ask me! Can you image Alex Ferguson doing that? Dancing with naked women until the early hours of the morning live on national television…. I mean thats cool, but perhaps in your hotel room. What kind of example is that from the coach?? You won’t see Big Phil (Palmeiras) or Muricy Ramalho (Fluminense) doing that… Any thoughts anyone?
Vasco continued their inconsistent form and lost to a small team called Macaé 3-1. Fluminense are going through a difficult spell and scraped past Resende 2-1 with goals from Araújo and Leandro Euzébio. Botafogo with Joel Santana and his English beat Volta Redonda 4-2.
In São Paulo, Santos gave Neymar a break to go off and doing his thing during carnival. I’m fully for giving a young man some time off but by giving him special treatment makes a mockery of his teammates wouldn’t you say? Also makes a bit of a mockery out of the quality of the opposition (Oeste) if you ask me. Elano was “sick” and missed the game. Santos won 2-0 thanks to two goals from Zé Eduardo (heading to Genoa in June). Corinthians won 2-0 against Linense with another goal from Liedson (his eighth goal in six games) and are now the league leaders after Mirassol were held 2-2 by Noroeste. Palmeiras drew 0-0 even with the in-form Michael Jackson up front. São Paulo beat São Caetano 2-0 thanks to goals from Rhodolfo and Jean. No real surprises in the São Paulo state Championship then and there are now only three points separating Corinthians in first (25 points) and Palmeiras (22 points) in fifth after 11 games. It’s looking like the four big clubs (Corinthians, Palmeiras, São Paulo and Santos) won’t have any difficulty qualifying for the knockout phases. Do we really need 19 games to tell us this? Sigh….
Now, I’ve got the feeling that nobody really cares about the football on Carnival weekend so if you’ve read this far congratulations! Check out some of the pictures that I took at the São Paulo Sambodromo on Saturday night.