The emotional end of the Copa Libertadores final this Saturday also sealed the schedule for Palmeiras and Santos for the rest of the Brazilian Championship. And each team must deal with the competition in the opposite way. Continental champion, the club alviverde must leave the tournament totally aside to focus on the Club World Cup and Brazil Cup. The runner-up, on the other hand, needs total focus to react and get a spot to compete in the next Libertadores.
Santos is currently only in the 10th position of the table and five points from Fluminense, the last team with a place in the preliminary phase of the competition. Coach Cuca’s team has six more matches to play and depends on them to get a place. Otherwise, he will have to settle for the South American Cup dispute and will lose the chance to fight again for the fourth championship.
“We knew it would be difficult (winning the Libertadores). Whoever made the least mistake would win, we ended up taking a goal in the end, it was difficult to recover, there was no more time, but we fought”, commented the midfielder and captain Alison after the game. ” The lesson we learned (with the vice) is to remain a family. Being a family is easy, we are also losing. We also thank (coach) Cuca, who believed in us and brought us here”, said the striker Marine.
Of Santos’ six remaining games in the Brasileirão, three are head-to-head matches for the 2021 Libertadores. The team will face Grêmio in Porto Alegre on Wednesday in one of these commitments. The sequence faces meetings as principal against Corinthians and Fluminense. At least two other games are against teams that struggle not to fall: Coritiba and Bahia. There is still a match against Atlético-GO.
Palmeiras, on the other hand, will barely have time to celebrate Libertadores because they are going to Qatar in a few days to dispute the Club World Cup. Participation should impact the calendar of the Copa do Brasil. The final against Grêmio was scheduled for February, but should now be rescheduled for March. In the case of the Brazilian Championship, the team is in fifth place and has six more commitments.
Guaranteed in the next Libertadores for being the champion, Palmeiras will only fulfill the table. The title chances are remote. The distance to the leader, Inter, is ten points. The tendency is for the team to concentrate now on the World Cup and then on the Brazil Cup, pending the CBF’s definition of how the calendar will look. It is not yet known whether the Palmeiras games scheduled for this beginning of February will be postponed due to the coincidence of dates with the participation in the World Cup in Qatar.
Portuguese coach Abel Ferreira said after the final that he still cannot plan the next steps, but he indicated his dream of winning the Club World Cup. “A lot is going on, we go up the mountain and we are enjoying the landscape. It’s good, but there are many other things to be achieved, you can’t be distracted by the landscape,” said the coach at a news conference.
One of the highlights of the conquest, goalkeeper Weverton made it clear that the team now only thinks about being a world champion. “I haven’t caught covid yet, and there are Worlds next week. Now I’m going to my home in São Paulo and I’m going to be quiet with my family,” he told SBT after the final at Maracanã.