Palmeiras returns to 1st division in Brazil
Palmeiras, the club with the most Brazilian titles, secured its
return to the first division of the Brazilian league from a 0-0
draw with Sao Caetano on Saturday.
The draw in front of more than 35,000 fans at Pacaembu Stadium
was enough to guarantee promotion with six rounds left. The
eight-time national champion has nine more points than second-place
Chapecoense and 19 more than fifth-place Icasa. The top four teams
in the 20-team standings are promoted.
Palmeiras played with a yellow jersey instead of its traditional
green to honor the 1965 squad that represented Brazil in a friendly
against Uruguay. Palmeiras also wore Brazil’s blue trousers instead
of the white it usually wears.
With its entire squad made of Palmeiras players, Brazil beat
Uruguay 3-0. Many of the players from that friendly were honored
before kickoff at the Pacaembu on Saturday.
Palmeiras had a penalty called in its favor just before
halftime, but the referee eventually reversed his call after
discussing the play with the linesman, who said striker Alan Kardec
dived during a challenge by the Sao Caetano goalkeeper in front of
This year’s team is led by Chile midfielder Jorge Valdivia. It
also has Paraguayan midfielder William Mendieta and Uruguayan
defensive midfielder Sebastian Eguren. The defense is led by former
Barcelona central back Henrique, who has been summoned for Brazil
”It was tough from the beginning, but we made the second
division look easy,” said Valdivia, the team’s star.
Palmeiras has won 21 of its 32 matches so far, drawing six and
losing five. It has a goal differential of plus 36, by far the best
in the league. It can clinch the title in the next few rounds.
The fourth most-popular club in Brazil, Palmeiras was relegated
last year with a team that was in part coached by current Brazil
manager Luiz Felipe Scolari.
Scolari led Palmeiras to the 2012 Brazilian Cup title, the
team’s first major trophy since the 1999 Copa Libertadores, but the
club struggled afterwards and the coach was fired before it was
With the focus on the Brazilian Cup, the coach rested most of
Palmeiras* regular starters in the beginning of the Brazilian
league. The club’s first win came only in the seventh round and it
never recovered. At one point, players had to hire security guards
to protect them from upset fans who even made death threats to some
Palmeiras played in the second division for the first time in
2003, returning to play in the top flight the following year.
In addition to the eight Brazilian league titles, the most along
with Santos, Palmeiras has also won two Brazilian Cups and a
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