It may be carnival time but the football doesn’t stop. In fact, the Guanabara Cup semi finals take on Wednesday and Thursday this week.
Carnival time normally means samba, scantily clad women and Ronaldinho making a late night appearance for some samba school. But there is a small chance that the things could be slightly different this year since Flamengo have an important match on Wednesday night. The match is against no other than fierce rivals Vasco in it is the semi final of the Guanabara Cup.
Now I’ve never known a football match to stop Ronaldinho from having fun at Carnival, not even when he played in Europe, so it remains to be seen what happens. New coach Joel Santana will want to be seen to maintain discipline and will not want to see pictures of Ronaldinho dancing at 05.00am in the press the day before the game.
The player says he is fully focused on that match. But of course we all know that is rubbish. Ronaldinho wants to have fun!
In the other semi final, Botafogo play Fluminense. That match takes place on Thursday night. For those who don’t know, the Guanabara Cup is the first round of the Rio State Championship. For a full explanation on State Championships and how they work check out Brazilian football explained.
In São Paulo meanwhile, the long slog of the league is almost at its halfway stage and Palmeiras surprisingly top the table. Corinthians are in second place on goal difference. Corinthians gave their first choice team a rest on Sunday (basically Saturday night off to go and party) which meant a chance for new singing Douglas and Adriano to get some much needed match practise.
In Rio Grande so Sul, Grêmio look set to fire coach Caio Júnior just two days before their quarter final match against Internacional. Grêmio’s form has been pretty dismal considering the quality of the opposition but is firing the coach really necessary at this stage? Once again the knee-jerk reaction looks set to strike. Vanderlei Luxemburgo is said to be the favourite for the job.
Finally, check out last year’s carnival post which includes some interesting images.