Second to last round of the Brasileirão 2009. Seven Games that changed the history of the tournament.
1 – SPORT 1 X 2 INTERNACIONAL
After getting behind one-nil in Recife, Inter was able to turn it around it the last minute with a free kick from Andrezinho. The team that was meant to win this tournament hands down, as it was professed in the beginning, is now in second place, two points behind the leader. They face Santo André at home in the last game, a Santo André clinging to its 1% change of escaping relegation.
Fred, Conca and co. made the impossible possible. From virtually relegated, with 98% chance of having to play in the second division next year, they went on a winning streak worth of champions, and dragged Fluminense out of the relegation zone. With two goals of the Argentinian Darío Conca (a player that, even in the worse moments of Fluminense, was always a beacon of great football) and a beautiful goal from Fred, Fluminense is now in the 15th place, and could escape relegation if they tie their last game against Coritiba on Sunday.
It seemed, for a moment, that the Evil Empire was going to do it again. São Paulo scored first, but it believed that Goiás, with nothing to win or lose in the tournament, would not try hard to win. Big mistake. São Paulo fell asleep, and when it woke up, Goiás was winning 3×1. São Paulo tried to react, but it was too late. In the end, São Paulo dropped from 1st place to fourth, and now has only 3% chance of taking the trophy home, and may even drop out of the Libertadores classifying zone next Sunday.
Coritiba fell asleep in the tournament way too early, lulled by the belief that it was secure against relegation. Now, with this loss, the abyss stares at it. Not winning the last game will most likely relegate Coritiba in the year of its centennial. Cruzeiro, that cares nothing for it, trounced Coritiba and kept its hope to still enter the Libertadores zone in the last game.
And Botafogo tried so hard to make it into the relegation zone that they finally got there. With the rise of Fluminense, Botafogo and even Atlético could eneter the relegation zone. It was Botafogo, who heroically sacrificed many of its players against São Paulo last weekend (sorry, no post for that). It is not that bad, but it must win against Palmeiras at home next weekend if it wants to stay in the first division.
What is beauty?
Beauty is the flash of the unexpected, the poetry rising from the banality. Is the change, is the unbelievable, is what makes us still hope for life and love. Helen Keller said that : “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor touched … but are felt in the heart.” Maybe. But then again, Helen never seen a goal by Diego Souza.
Because before all this, beauty was this goal by Diego Souza.
And Palmeiras is now in third place, and still hopes with the trophy.
As with all things Flamengo, this came with extreme difficulty. But, for the first time in this tournament, Flamengo took the lead of the Brasileirão. Not since 1992 have we had such a good chance of taking the cup home for the six time. (fuck off, Sport!)
We wasted the chance to take the lead last weekend, when São Paulo lost to Botafogo, but we stay 0x0 against Goiás at home. Now, we would have to face Corinthians of Ronaldo in a away game.
Then Adriano burned his foot in a weird accident in his garden and was out of the game.We put in Bruno Mezenga, a kid that in 6 games have never scored a goal.
Against all odds, we march.
Flamengo is this, is passion beyond reason, is a feeling that cannot be explained for those of other dispositions but that it recognized each other in a look and in a smile, in a sigh and in a shout.
Against all odds, we believed.
Before the game, with all the negative news, all tickets for the game of Sunday Dec. 6th were sold out by Nov. 24th. The tickets reserved are still parked.
And on we went, into semi-hostile territory. Because the Corinthians fan didn’t really wanted the team to win that game, because that would help their arch-rivals São Paulo and Palmeiras. Ronaldo, for all his faults, took a dive in the first 15 minutes, faked a pain in the thigh and sat down to watch the rest of the game. His blood showed that still runs a deep red and black.
One more game. One more win. And 17 years of wait will have Rio bursting in a great party, every red-and-black heart will jump and will experience heaven. One week that feels like a lifetime.