This week’s main report is all about football in Brazil. There are only two games remaining in this season’s championship (Campeonato Brasileiro) and so on this week’s show we talk to our Brazilian football expert, Marcelo, to give us his opinions on the run-in to the Brazilian title.
DF: Now, on this week’s main report we are going to be talking all things Brazilian football as there are only two games remaining in the Brazilian championship, it’s a really exciting finish. We have three teams in with a chance of winning the title. Now, with me today I have got a Brazilian football expert, Marcelo. Marcelo, how are you?
Marcelo: I’m fine Damian
DF: Good, good, now Marcelo you’ve got some good news before we start talking about the top division, you’re local team are champions, is that right?
M: Yes, ABC from my city Natal and we won the third division so we are Brazilian champions…of the third division.
DF: So, promoted to the second division next season?
M: Yes, next year, yes
DF: Congratulations. Now this season, as I said, there are only two games remaining at the top of the Brazilian Championship. First of all can you tell me which of the three teams still have a chance of winning the league?
M: Yes, Fluminense from Rio de Janeiro. Fluminense has 65 points… is on the top. Corinthians is the second from Sao Paolo, Corinthians has 64 and finally Cruzeiro… is from Belo Horizonte and Cruzeiro has 63. Curiously, these three teams represent the three biggest states in Brazil: Fluminense-Rio de Janeiro State; Corinthians-Sao Paolo State and Cruzeiro-Minas Gerais State.
DF: Now that’s very interesting because the football rivalry is huge in Brazil between teams from each of those regions. Now next week, the second last set of games, we have three very interesting matches.
M: Yes, yes, next week we will have Corinthians and Vasco da Gama; Palmeiras and Fluminense and Flamengo and Cruzeiro. Corinthians, as I said, will play Vasco da Gama. Corinthians is from Sao Paolo and Vasco is from Rio de Janeiro. Palmeiras is from Sao Paolo and Fluminense is from Rio de Janeiro. So, it’s possible, for instance that Vasco da Gama will facilitate the Corinthians life because probably Vasco da Gama fans don’t want to see Fluminense as champion. The same maybe happen with Palmeiras and Fluminense – maybe Palmeiras can facilitate a little bit the…the Fluminense life because they don’t want to see Corinthians, their rival, to be champion.
DF: So, for example, in England if my team Tottenham were playing Manchester United and Arsenal were in second, Tottenham could ‘lie down’ and allow Manchester United to beat them?
M: Yes, yes, it’s the same. Curiously, last weekend, last weekend, Fluminense played with Sao Paolo and Fluminense beat Sao Paolo 4-1 and Sao Paolo players were accused by Corinthians’ board, players that they really, really, really facilitated a little bit the game to Fluminense.
DF: Interesting. Now, before we ask your predictions, can you maybe let us know one or two of the big names that play for these teams? So, for example, Fluminense, who is the big star of Fluminense?
M: Fluminense now has a very, very good team. And I think you know Deco, Deco is playing in Fluminense that played to Chelsea… Deco is originally Brazilian and so now he is playing (in) Fluminense. And Corinthians has one of our most famous players, Ronaldo, that we call O Fenômeno (The Phenomenon), that played in Milan, Barcelona, Inter Milan… Ronaldo is playing in Corinthians but Ronaldo had a problem, last game. Ronaldo is injured now and is a problem to Corinthians to the next weekend.
DF: So maybe he won’t play?
M: I suppose he will not play, it will be a surprise if he is recovered until then.
DF: OK then, Marcelo, what do you think, what is your prediction for the championship? Who is going to be champions of the Brazilian league this year then?
M: My feeling is Fluminense, Fluminense will win. Fluminense has one point more than Corinthians, two more than Cruzeiro and in this situation one point is very, very important. It’s my personal feeling and I’m following the papers in Brazil and it’s the same feeling in Brazil. I think Fluminense … is with one hand in the trophy.
DF: Alright, thanks very much and congratulations again to your team.
M: Thank you, thank you Damian.
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