Abel Ferreira lived up to Palmeiras’ efforts to keep him in charge of the team. The coach once again put on a show of Verdão’s strength at Libertadores da América, maintaining the reputation as favorites for the continental tournament title. Last Tuesday (24), Palmeiras again “crushed” the opponent, and again beat Deportivo Táchira this time by 4×1.
With the result, Verdão established important marks for the club’s history within the Libertadores. Palestra now have the best attack (25 goals) and the best campaign (100% completion and 22 goals on the way) in the history of the first phase. In addition to winning all matches in the first phase, the team established several routs. With the best team of this edition of the Libertadores, if the team reaches the semi-finals, it will have the advantage of deciding knockouts at home until the penultimate stage of the competition.
Despite the incredible performances and the marks achieved by the team, Abel kept his feet on the ground and marked the quality of Palmeiras compared to the opponents faced so far. “We were clearly better. I think that’s why we were so much better than our opponents. In my opinion, that is what happened. We were much better than our opponents.
But the truth is that in addition to the collective results, Abel Ferreira is also the coach of the Brazilian team with the best use in the entire history of the competition. The Portuguese has an advantage of 81.3% of the games he has played with the Liberta team, with 26 games, 20 triumphs, four draws and only two defeats. But the numbers don’t stop there, Palmeiras’ goal difference to Libertadores under Abel’s command is incredible, so far Verdão has scored 69 goals and conceded only 16.
Abel said he was looking to grow and he was looking for the same in his players. “I look at each one of us and I really believe in my players, because they hunt. Who wants to be better, will evolve. I’m not better just because I came to Brazil. I’m better for leaving Braga and going at PAOK, and I improved at PAOK. When I moved from Sporting to Braga, I improved at Braga. I feel it and I want you to feel the same inside of you. Who freezes in time, don’t know what will happen in the future. What I do know is that I have to learn them and teach them. Challenge them to become better players, so they don’t stop not in time. When you stop, that’s the first step for you to break,” the coach said in the press conference after the triumph over Táchira.
Abel went on to say that winning doesn’t always mean good team performance, but other factors need to be weighed. “In this context, I don’t know if I have to say if we are in the middle, if we are very good, I don’t know. It’s not my projection. Today we win, tomorrow we lose. If we lose tomorrow, we are already bad, that’s how it works. It is difficult to make a realistic analysis. Neither when you win, you play well, nor when you don’t lose, you play badly, but it’s up to you to analyze the results. Mine is not to evaluate the results. My role is to assess the growth of the club, the players, the players who go to the national team, the titles. It’s coming to an end and I’m taking stock of what the team was like during the season,” said the coach.
Even owning important brands and seeing Palmeiras as the favorite to win the competition’s third championship, Abel has once again chosen to focus on the process the team must go through to achieve the title. “We are in the middle of the year and a lot of things can happen. Many games to come, a few absences, I don’t know what will happen, games in a row, we will look for the best in each game, ”he said.
Palmeiras will only know his next opponent in Libertadores after the draw to be organized by Conmebol on May 27, at 13:00 (GMT), during an event in Asunción (Paraguay). The next phase duels begin on June 29 and continue until July 6. Until then, Verdão is focused on domestic competitions, but without forgetting that this season they can win the fourth Libertadores title, being the third in a row.