Home » How Edmundo’s Carnival entered the history of Fiorentina, almost champion

How Edmundo’s Carnival entered the history of Fiorentina, almost champion

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How Edmundo’s Carnival entered the history of Fiorentina, almost champion

Wednesday is of ashes, but also of Italian Championship. For the 21st round, Bologna e Fiorentina face each other at the Renato Dall’Ara Stadium, with Live broadcast for the ESPN no Star+ from 3pm (Brasília time). During the Carnival period, a curious story resurfaces in Viola – and involves a Brazilian football legend: Edmundo.

Best player in the national elite in 1997after the conquest of the Brasileirão that year by Vasco, Animal arrived in Italian football in January 1998. However, it was only in the following campaign that the striker actually played frequently for the new club. And it was even very close to the Scudetto.

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At the time, in addition to Edmundo, the Viola There was also none other than Portuguese Rui Costa and the Argentine Gabriel Batistuta in the team – both at the peak of their physical form. Everything was going well during the season 1998/99: nthe first 20 rounds, the Florence team topped the table in 17 of them and was heading towards winning the national title, which had not happened since 1969.

In the first half of the campaign, Fiorentina beat giants like Milan (3 a 1), Inter Milan (3 to 1) e Juventus (1 to 0). However, exactly in 21st round, Carnival – yes, that’s right! – ended up being the backdrop for the club’s change in the season.

The team’s starter and vice-top scorer, Edmundo was released by the club’s board of directors. Viola to enjoy the festivities in Rio de Janeiro, parading in Sapucaí as a highlight of Salgueiro Academicswhich made him miss the team in what was perhaps the most important game of the season, against Udinese. In addition to the Brazilian, Batistuta was also absent due to a knee injury.

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In your book, Giovanni TrapattoniFiorentina coach at the time, recalled that Edmundo took the plane to Brazil right after the 0-0 draw with Milan, at the Artemio Franchi, on the day February 6, 1999and that he begged the attacker not to leave to spend a week in the Marvelous City.

“I went down to the changing rooms and they told me that Edmundo had already left for Pisa airport. I didn’t think twice, I dropped everything right there and ran to Pisa… When he saw me he didn’t want to believe it. I begged, I even knelt on the in front of him, nothing. I understood that he didn’t care about Fiorentina”.

And the worst happened: in addition to the 1-0 defeat in Udine, against the opponent who had Loving in attack, Fiorentina lost the lead to Laziowho was just one point behind and went on to Viola in the table even with a 0-0 draw against Cagliari due to the tiebreaker criteria.

Even with Edmundo back in the team in the following rounds, Fiorentina still added other 10 stumbles and just 3 victories until the end of that campaign, with 34 rounds, and lost the title in the end to Milan, who were lurking in the table waiting for an opportunity. Lazio took second place, while Viola em winning as a “consolation prize” a place in Champions League of the following season.

Edmundo in action for Fiorentina in the Italian Championship in the 1998/99 season Getty Images

What does Edmund say?

In an interview with ESPN ReviewEdmundo spoke about the episode and defended himself.

“The president of Fiorentina (Rocco Commisso) was sensational, but he was crazy. My contract was far below that of Batistuta, Rui (Costa), the best-known guys there. They made another contract with me and they weren’t fulfilling it. We were leaders, then there was a game at home against Milan, and it was the game in which I would be allowed to come to Carnival, by agreement between us, so much so that I didn’t have any sanctions”, argued the striker.

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“The next game was against Udinese, the team was very strong. I came to Carnival, but in that game Batistuta was injured, and we didn’t have 19 players, a very short squad. The left-back played center forward, and If Fiorentina were complete, maybe we would lose, because their team was very strong”, he said.

“It was Fiorentina’s best campaign in the last 20 years, so there was a feeling that if I hadn’t come to Brazil for Carnival… When I came back, it was a local derby, it was Fiorentina x Empoli, I finished the game. The folklore remained because I went to Carnival.”

Edmundo’s former companion, Batistuta also spoke about the episode, in the documentary Number Nine – Gabriel Omar Batistutado Prime Videoand called what was done by the Brazilian striker “treason”.

“It turns out that I hurt my knee, and a teammate who played as a striker and who would have been very important for us (Edmundo) decides to go dancing at Carnival. And this is allowed by the directors, which is the most serious thing. For me, it was a betrayal. I stayed at Fiorentina to fight, but that was the beginning of the end of my story with Fiorentina as a team. In the end, I went to Rome, even though in Florence I felt like a king.”

Still with permission – in contract – to be at the Carnival of 1999 in Rio, Edmundo ended up losing the support of the fans and, even though he finished the season at the club, he left Italy to return to Brazilian football, more specifically at Vasco.

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Edmundo only competed 48 games for Viola and left the Boot with 16 goals scored. In the 1998/99 season, the Brazilian was the main scorer, behind Batistuta (21) and Rui Costa (10), with 8 balls in the nets.

Where to watch Bologna x Fiorentina?

Bologna x Fiorentina will be broadcast live on ESPN no Star+this Wednesday (14), at 3pm (Brasília time).

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