Palmeiras

Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Scolari shrugs off Brazil critics after joining Palmeiras

Leave a comment

SAO PAULO (AP) Former Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said Friday that critics would not bother him on his return home to work at Sao Paulo-based giants Palmeiras.

[ MORE: Joe Hart heading to Burnley to fill void for injured Nick Pope ]

Despite leading Brazil to a World Cup title in 2002, `Big Phil’ took a lot of the blame for the team’s humiliating 7-1 defeat against Germany in the 2014 World Cup semifinals.

“7-1, 0-0, 5-5, it does not upset me in any way,” Scolari told a press conference on Friday.

“The last time Brazil won the World Cup was in 2002 and I was with that team. The last to be defeated in the World Cup was not me. That is over,” the 69-year-old coach said.

His friend-turned-foe Tite was at the helm for last month’s World Cup quarterfinal elimination against Belgium.

Asked if he still thinks of the 2014 semifinal, Scolari replied: “It is over, that’s finished. I didn’t lose alone in 2014, I didn’t win alone in 2002. We won and we lost.

“Life goes on. Who of us does not have a day that goes wrong, that changes the way you think about life?”

After the 7-1 debacle, Scolari spent a few months at Gremio and then left Brazil, promising not to come back any time soon. Last year he repeated that pledge in several interviews.

Despite his excitement to be back home, Scolari was not done talking about the 2014 semifinal.

“One negative result does not hide 99 positive ones,” he said. “Life shows me I can have a bad result and get stronger to do my job.”

`Big Phil’ said he had three offers from national teams, but chose to begin a third spell at Palmeiras, a club he has coached for more than 400 games.

Scolari’s last job ended in 2017 at China’s Guangzhou Evergrande, where he won seven trophies.

His contract at Palmeiras runs until 2020. He replaces his former player Roger Machado, who was fired as coach after the team lost 1-0 at Fluminense in the 15th round of the Brazilian championship.

Despite huge investment, Palmeiras is sixth in the championship after 16 games, eight points behind leader Flamengo.

Barcelona signs Colombia defender Yerry Mina

Getty Images
Leave a comment

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Barcelona says it has signed Colombia defender Yerry Mina from Brazilian club Palmeiras.

[ MORE: Latest transfer news ] 

Barcelona is paying 11.8 million euros ($14 million) for Mina, who will become the first Colombian to play an official game for the Spanish club.

Mina was a key part for Palmeiras when it won the Brazilian league in 2016 and was runner-up last year.

Barcelona had a deal with Palmeiras to bring him in the middle of the year for about 9 million euros ($10.7 million), but agreed to pay extra and advance the deal because of the recent injury to France international Samuel Umtiti.

More AP Spanish soccer coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/LaLiga

Former Real midfielder Ze Roberto signs new contract at 42

Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Apparently 42 is the new 22. At least that is one Brazilian’s point of view.

[ MORE: Man City without Aguero, Fernandinho vs. Leicester ]

Former Real Madrid and Bayern Munich midfielder Ze Roberto has signed a new contract with Brazilian club Palmeiras at the age of 42.

[ MORE: Everton, Watford meet with both clubs struggling of late ]

In his time in Europe, Ze Roberto won a UEFA Champions League title with Real Madrid, while also capturing various championships with Bayern, including four Bundesliga titles in his time in Germany.

Ze Roberto played a key role in Palmeiras’ Campeonato Brasileiro title in 2016 and has appeared in 53 matches for the club since joining in 2015.

“My biggest motivation has always been the project. The goals have been achieved – winning the Copa do Brasil title last year and now the Brasileirao,” Ze Roberto said in a statement.

“When I arrived, I said that I would not be coming to pass the time, but to become part of the history of this club, to see my picture in the dressing room. This has been accomplished and I am very happy.

The 42-year-old had a successful 12-year international career with his native Brazil from 1995 to 2006, which included six goals in 84 caps for the five-time World Cup champions. With the national team, Ze Roberto hoisted two Copa America titles for Brazil in 1997 and 2005.

Man City signs young Brazilian to continue recruitment drive

Koji Watanabe/Getty Images
3 Comments

Manchester City signed one of Brazil’s most highly rated forwards on Wednesday to continue the club’s recruitment drive under new coach Pep Guardiola this offseason.

[ MORE: Chelsea’s Matt Miazga could be set for loan move this season ]

Gabriel Jesus, who is the top scorer in the Brazilian league with Palmeiras and a member of Brazil’s Olympic team, completed his move to City for a reported 27 million pounds ($36 million). It took City’s offseason spending to more than $130 million, following the arrival of Leroy Sane, Ilkay Gundogan, Nolito and Oleksandr Zinchenko.

[ MORE: Leicester signs Poland international Bartosz Kapustka ]

City announced the arrival of the 19-year-old forward on a 4 1/2-year deal starting January 2017. He will remain at Palmeiras until the end of the year so he can finish the Brazilian season with his title-chasing team.

“He is one of the most exciting young prospects in world football and plays the game in a spectacular way,” said Txiki Begiristain, City’s director of football.

Gabriel Jesus, who was named “best newcomer” in the 2015 Serie A Campeonato, is a speedy attacker who can play anywhere across the front line. He has been a constant in Brazil’s youth squads.

“He is formidable,” Brazil Olympic coach Rogerio Micale said. “He is still growing as a player and has some things to improve, but that’s normal. Neymar went through the same process before he was able to achieve everything that he has achieved.”

Gabriel Jesus said he was pleased to sign for “one of the best clubs in the world.”

“We have many great talents in the team,” he said, “and a fantastic manager in Pep Guardiola that I can learn so much from.”

Earlier, Premier League champion Leicester signed Poland winger Bartosz Kapustka, adding more depth to its squad ahead of a first appearance in European competition in 16 years.

The 19-year-old Kapustka, who played at this year’s European Championship, became Leicester’s fifth signing of the offseason. Manager Claudio Ranieri is increasing competition and numbers in his squad, with Leicester also playing in the Champions League this season following its improbable Premier League title triumph.

Leicester said Kapustka has signed from Cracovia on a five-year deal, and didn’t disclose a transfer fee. Goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler, defender Luis Hernandez, midfielder Nampalys Mendy and striker Ahmed Musa have also arrived at King Power stadium.

Egypt winger Mohamed Salah completed a permanent transfer from Chelsea to Roma after spending last season on loan at the Italian club. No financial details were disclosed about Salah’s transfer.

Salah joined Chelsea from FC Basel in January 2014 but was never a regular. He spent the second half of the 2014-15 season on loan at Fiorentina and stayed in Italy with Roma, impressing as the capital club finished in third place in Serie A last season.