Damn the top hats. Long live Hugo Neneca, son of your Jorge


Seu Jorge woke up early in the sky. He was nervous because he knew his son would have a very important game ahead of him. On the way to the celestial bleachers he found numerous red-blacks. Some famous ones, like Jayme de Carvalho and his noisy charanga or Cláudio Coutinho, coach of that great Zico, Brazilian champion in 80. He even saw Carlinhos, ex-player and coach of so many titles. The Violin had been walking alongside his friend and masseuse Jorginho, who had recently arrived and knew his boy from Ninho do Urubu well. Knowing about his father’s nervousness, everyone made a point of encouraging him.

– Despite the embezzlement, the crowd is excited to play today! – Jayme warned. Just the kid close the goal back there! – joked the head of the oldest crowd of Flamengo.

– I have followed the puppy’s career, huh? If it continues like this, it will win many titles and make history, like Raul – Coutinho prophesied.

– He’s going far. I always like to watch the kids’ games and I’ve been watching your boy for a long time. He and the other boys who will play today have a lot of quality – amended Carlinhos.

The ball rolled and Seu Jorge’s heart threatened to come out of his mouth. Right at the beginning of the match, a long shot from Zé Rafael passed very close, falling into the net, just behind the crossbar.

– Easy, Jorge, easy. Your son was on the ball – soothed Marcial, great ex-red-black goalkeeper, Rio champion in 63, in that Fla-Flu that holds the historical record of audience in games between clubs. More than 180 thousand in Maraca!

Gradually, the Flamengo kids were calming down and with Arrascaeta, Gerson and Thiago Maia setting the pace in the midfield, soon it was Pedro and Arrasca himself who forced the archer on the other side, Weverton, to work. But it didn’t take long for Gabriel Menino, from afar, to give work to his Jorge’s son who, firmly, fitted the ball kicked by the talented young palmeirense.

The most dangerous move in the red-black area, in the first half, however, would come shortly after, with a strong kick from Zé Rafael, from the half moon. Seu Jorge even jumped together, in an attempt to help his son, who shone at Allianz Parque, stretching himself out for a slap as difficult as it was savior for Fla’s young team. Zero to zero on the scoreboard and end of the first half.

The second came and, of course, the pressure from Palmeirense increased. Right away, another kick from the edge of the area. This time it was Rafael Veiga who made the pressure of his Jorge shoot.

– Stay cool, buddy. I know your boy. There is no rebound. It fits tight – whispered Jorginho, sitting next to him.

Soon after, however, there was no way. The ball kicked in the distance by Patrick de Paula deflected in Thiago Maia, displaced Jorge’s son and went to kiss the net. A great punishment for those who came so well. Palmeiras 1 to 0.

– He has not played for nine months! If he had more rhythm, maybe he would take this … – lamented the father, desolate, causing the immediate reaction of all those around him.

– What is it, man of God? That nobody took. Not that Englishman, Gordon Banks! scolded Cláudio Coutinho.

The goal still plagued Jorge when Flamengo reacted with a perfect cross from Arrascaeta and Pedro’s great goal, leaving everything the same again. Palmeiras, however, did not even want to think about the tie and raised a precise ball, in the red-black area, right in the head of the scorer Luís Adriano. Had Coutinho remembered Gordon Banks? For the monstrous defense that Jorge’s son made in that header, in contrast, was of the same carat.

– Monster, monster, your boy is a monster! howled Jayme de Carvalho, raising the tone of charanga, which celebrated the beautiful spread with the fingertips as if it were a goal. And wasn’t it?

– Miracle, miracle! – announcer Luís Roberto, from Rede Globo, shouted down there, delighted with the degree of difficulty of the intervention.

The last few minutes were tense, but Seu Jorge’s son kept going: a wall until the judge’s final whistle. Ron tried, but a new perfect fit, specialty of the house, buried his dreams and that of all palmeirenses, who were so keen to make this pointless match, hoping to take advantage against a team of boys.

Boys who, like Jorge’s son, honored the red-black shirt they wore, playing like big people, with the heart typical of great champions. And the big party that started up there, in the celestial bleachers, just stopped to listen to the emotional and emotional interview of the young goalkeeper, elected as the star of the match:

– I haven’t played in nine months. The difference from the last one to this one is that my father was in the stands watching me and today I don’t have him anymore. Six months ago I lost my father. A guy who gave me everything. It was the first time that I entered the field without him. My father is not here physically, he didn’t see from home, but he is up there, better than us.

By this time, tears were already streaming copiously down the face of Seu Jorge and his red-black friends. Who still heard the son complete:

– I always went into the field thinking about the family. I have my mother, my sister, my brothers, as a father. This victory goes to my family.

– That’s my Boy! stammered Jorge with great pride. Celebrated and embraced by the many red-blacks upstairs. From where, for sure, he will continue to follow, step by step, game by game, the career of his son Hugo, Neneca.

The “boys of the nest” proved, on Allianz’s synthetic lawn, that Flamengo’s squad is even stronger than previously thought. It just needs that the insensitive, arrogant and self-centered red-black leaders do not get in the way.


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