With the narrow 1-0 success over a Fluminense team full of reserves as they were eager to preserve their starters in view of the Club World Cup, Palmeiras practically guaranteed themselves the title of Brazilian champion for 2023. Scoring the goal who decided the match, valid for the penultimate round of ‘Brasilerao’, was the striker Breno Lopes, who had two more canceled during the match, and now ‘Verdao’, a team founded by the Italian community of SanPaolo has 69 points and three points ahead of Atletico Mineiro and Flamengo. Compared to these two clubs it also has a notable positive balance in terms of goal difference, which is decisive in the event of an equal score finish, and in fact it has been calculated that Palmeiras now has a 99.9% chance of becoming champion, as on the last day (Wednesday 8th), in which they will face the already safe Cruzeiro of owner Ronaldo Fenomeno, they should lose by 8 or more goals and at the same time Atletico Mineiro should win on the Bahia field who still have the possibility of saving themselves in to the detriment of Vasco. Tite’s Flamengo, however, in terms of goal difference is -16 compared to the league leaders, and therefore has practically no chances, even in the event of its victory against San Paolo and simultaneous defeat of Palmeiras in Belo Horizonte.
In all this, the collapse of American entrepreneur John Textor’s Botafogo, who at one point was first in the league with 12 points ahead of second, still causes a stir. But since losing coach Luis Castro, who resigned to go and coach in Saudi Arabia, he has no longer been able to win to the point that he is now only fifth. Thus for the Carioca club the dream of regaining the title of national champion that has been missing since 1995 has vanished. Palmeiras, however, will repeat last year’s title, always under the technical guidance of the Portuguese Abel Ferreira. For the Paulista club it will be the 12th championship in its history.
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