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A Man on a Mission

An incredible feat of excellence occurred last Wednesday evening when the football giant, Palmeiras FC were losing three zero in the first half of the match. They needed to catch up in that crucial away match against Rio de Janeiro’s Botafogo FC in the Brazilian Football Championship known as Brasileirão.

Botafogo were six points ahead with a game in hand when the match began. They were the major league leaders, and Palmeiras a second-place unlikely winner, as the championship itself will come to a climax in a month with just a possible twenty-one more points achievable. They came back out from the changing rooms for the second half. Palmeiras coach on a mission to bring out the best in the players, Abel Ferreira said after the match.


''It was magical. If you ask the players, they will say that was the word I said. It was truly magical! In all honesty, if it had been in the second half, I wouldn't have been able to do anything. We were all going to die hugging each other, it was going to be 3, 4, 5... If there wasn't a break, there wouldn't be any way to help them. If it was during training, I would stop and gather everyone together. Thank God it was in the first half. I didn't know if we were going to win the game. But what I said is that we needed to win the second half. If it was 3-1 or 3-2... We had to win the second half. That's what I said at halftime. I reinforced what we had to do again'', he declared.


When asked about what went wrong at Palmeiras during the first half, the Portuguese coach did not hesitate to take responsibility. He gave them his interpretation to clarify his thoughts, and they went back out to play. What happened thereafter was truly magical, as Endrick scored soon afterwards. Palmeiras goalkeeper, Weverton miraculously saved a penalty. Then just six minutes to the end of the first 90 minutes Endrick scored again. In the last minutes Lopez went on to score, and right at the end of extra time Murilo scored the winning goal. The game finished for Palmeiras at 3-4 in their favor. Job well done!


This result is an incredible achievement for the team and all those involved in the development of the squad. This includes training ground staff who provide services and Abel’s four trainers brought from abroad to support his efforts; eight championship trophies in the last three years since Abel joined Palmeiras from PAOK Greece in October 2020.


Abel lives by the sword, but not in the violent way, but rather metaphorically speaking to show strength, power, dignity, leadership, light, courage, and vigilance. His key is relationship building and uniting the club!


Have a great day!

Prof. Carl Boniface


Vocabulary builder:

Game in hand (idiom) = in a competition, if someone has games or matches in hand, they have more games or matches left to play than their opponent and therefore have the possibility of scoring more points.

Afterwards (adv) = later, subsequently, then, next, after that. If something happens afterwards, it happens after a particular event or time that has already been mentioned. You often use afterwards in expressions like not long afterwards, soon afterwards, and shortly afterwards. She died soon afterwards.

Abroad (adj) = overseas, out of the country, in a foreign country

Live by the sword (idiom) = the expression, live by the sword, die by the sword is a proverb meaning one who uses violence can expect a violent response. However, live by the sword as a metaphor symbolizes strength, power, dignity, leadership, light, courage, and vigilance.

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