Friday, July 31, 2009

A week to rest

Santos will not be playing this weekend. The next match would be against Internacional, but they will play outside Brazil (a tournament or something like that).
So our next match will be against Coritiba, next Wedsneday, at the city of Cascavel (Coritiba was punished with the loss of one game at their home, due to the problems with their supporters).
Until there, Luxemburgo will have an essential time to organize the team, test our new players and give his identity to the tatics.
Other players, (like Kleber Pereira just to give an example) will have an extra chance of training and get a better physical condition.

Emerson is now officially a player of Santos

Today Emerson was presented with the number 5 shirt, which once belonged to two legends of Santos; Clodaoaldo and Zito. He signed a contract until December but there is an agreement for a renewal if Santos qualify for the Copa Libertadores.

Luxemburgo said that he will serve as an example for the younger players.

Emerson has played for many big European clubs including AS Roma, Real Madrid and AC Milan, Juventus and Bayer Luverkusen. He hasn't played since last December and has stated that he needs two weeks to reach full fitness. The aim is to have him debut against Gremio on August 19th at the Vila Belmiro. It could be emotional for him, as Gremio was the first club he played for.

Welcome to Santos Emerson.

George Lucas on Santos

No, we are not talking about the famous movie director. George Lucas comes to Santos to play on the right side of the defense (a position with poor players). He was revealed on Grêmio and played 4 seaons on Celta de Vigo, from Spain.
Right now he´s making medical exams and setting the last details of his contract.

The most beautiful goal

50 years ago Pelé, the greatest soccer player of all time, made his most beatiful gol of his entire life.
It happened on august 2nd, on the Rua Javari stadium against Juventus.
The final score was Santos 4 x 0 Juventus (the facts are really messed, on Santos official website it says 4x0, but on other reviews it says 4x2, I´ll stay with Santos website). WHen asked about this goal Pelé says that the Juventus supporters were bothering him during all the game, and for them he made a gesture sinalizing "wait just a little".
And when the moment came The King covered three players with the ball, without letting it touch the ground, and completed to the goal with his head.
Unfortunately there´s no filming of this goal. But you can check it right here, with all that animation stuff.

Sorry for my poor English.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Post Match Analysis: Náutico 1x2 Santos

I just finished watching the match. The guys left it late but Rodrigo Souto gives us the win.

The first half was fairly exciting with both teams looking to attack but both lacked the cutting edge. I still can't see what Luxa hopes to accomplish by playing Madson as a second striker. He hasn't played well there. He belongs on the wings.

The second half saw Felipe Azevedo come in for P.H. Lima who looked a bit out of sorts. Later Neymar entered for Robson. With Neymar's entry we became more dangerous instantly.

Madson was moved out wide and he provided the penetration for the first goal. Beating his man on the touchline he crossed the ball to an unmarked Neymar who put away the easy header. For a second striker Neymar shows a good tendency to be at the right place at the right time like a goal poacher.

Nautico were still attacking and our weak defence was exposed time after time but held firm. Then a ball was played over the top to Gilmar who was onside (thanks to a day dreaming Pará). Felipe came and challenged fairly for the ball and took him out. Sadly, the referee saw it as a foul and gave the penalty. Gilmar converted it easily.

Now I was bit worried but we were flowing in attack and I was sure we could get another goal. The opportunity came soon enough. Azevedo played a beautifu ball to Neymar down the wing who beat his marker and then crossed a beautiful onto K. Peireirra's head about a yard from goal.

He missed.

At this point my stream froze. I never dreamed that he would miss it so I was already celebrating. When the video returned, I couldn't beleive it. I will say that the defender was pressurng him but that is no excuse. From that distance such a chance should be buried.

Not to sound like a broken record, but this further cements my belief that K. P. is no longer the guy for us. He is past it IMO. Granted he is returning from injury, but he didn't show that much before his injury.

After that abysmal miss, the minutes ticked away and I was losing hope. As the game entered extra time I was resigned to our gaining only a point. Then in the second minute of time added on, Neymar delivered the perfect corner into the box. Rodrigo Souto rose to firmly head it into the back of the net. Late match heroics from The Bald One. Three points for the good guys.

Without a doubt, Neymar was my Man of the Match.

Three points gained from an away game aside, what did the game show?

1. Neymar math: one goal + one assist + substitute appearance = starter.

2. Para: Should not be our first choice left back.

3. K.P. : Over the hill and long past it.

4. Madson : Belongs on the wings, he can't play effectively in the middle.

5. Heart of the midfield: R. Souto was solid but Germano leaves a lot to be desired. He loses the ball too much and is caught out of position a lot. Emerson will be presented on Friday and hopefully will form a great partnership with Souto.

6. Center of defence: Behaves like headless chickens far too much. A central defensive partnership should be cemented. IMO Domingos and Astorga for the time being.

A win is a win. Luxa has been experimenting with different tactics and formations. He should have an idea of what the starting XI and formation should be. Coritiba away is the next match. Let's do it.

Pre-Match Report: Náutico x Santos


Tonight Santos will face Náutico at the Estádio Eládio de Barros Carvalho in the 15th round of the Brasileirão. After scrappy win a against Atlético Paranaense, Vanderlei Luxemburgo will be looking to notch his second win in as many games.

The referee for the game will be Heber Roberto Lopes with Ivan Carlos Bohn and Altemir Hausmann as his assistants.

History and Form

In the Brasileirão Santos have faced Náutico 28 times. Santos’ record is 7 wins, 4 draws, and 7 losses. Santos’ last game was a heartbreaking loss to Flamengo at home, the first time this has happened in 33 years. Náutico’s last game was away to Sport where both sides split six goals evenly.

Team News

Fabio Costa, Adailton, Triguinho and Maikon Leite are still unavailable as a result of injury. Kleber Pereirra has recovered from injury and returns to the squad. André has been called up from the base after impressing in recent matches. Roberto Brum is suspended for the game.

The 24 man squad for the match is as follows:

Goleiros: Douglas, Felipe, Rafael

Zagueiros: André Astorga, Eli Sabiá, Fabão,

Laterais: Léo, Luizinho, Pará, Wagner Diniz

Volantes: Germano, Rodrigo Mancha, Rodrigo Souto

Meias: Madson, Paulo Henrique Lima, Robson

Atacantes: Felipe Azevedo, Neymar, Tiago Luís, André, Kléber Pereira

Santos are currently in 12th place in the table on 17 points, six points ahead of Náutico who are last.

This is the last placed team, We have to win this!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Peixe 1X2 Urubu

Santista Nation,
If you had the unpleasant opportunity to watch yesterday’s game you will agree that we still have a long way to go. The team played the best they could. They shown they were there to win and they did what they could to bring the victory to us. But what we saw was that even their best effort was not enough. Not even to win Flamengo, a team with no coach and no skill. As always, Santos loves to help the ones in need by letting them win. We can say that Adriano had a big part on it. He is a great player but his team is still weak and there is no good reason to let them win after we were winning by 1 to nothing. By the way, Flamengo only scored on goal since the other one was scored by our player Para. There goes our invincibility of over three decades.
We need a good striker bad. We created the opportunities to score but we had no one to finish the plays successfully. Also Felipe did a mistake that cost us the game. Unfortunately, for a moment, I missed Fabio Costa as our goalkeeper. Although he is a nutcase, he wouldn’t make the mistakes that were done. Besides, we need better guys on our defense (Duh!!). We are the second worst defense amongst all the teams.
One weird thing on this game was Brum doing what ever he could to get the third yellow card and he reached his goal after he was already replaced by Robson. Now he won’t play Nautico Wednesday. Luxa was pissed and told the media he will punish the player. It is hard to understand the reason but things will get even uglier to Brum since Emerson is our new team member.
Again, we need fresh blood in our team. The way it is now, even a place in the next Libertadores will be hard to get.

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

HOT NEWS: Emerson signed for Santos

Good evening, friends. I'm gonna leave for my blog mates to comment on our terrible match today. I just wanted to bring you the news. They were officially announced a few minutes ago at the Santos Official twitter and the midfielder should arrive at Vila Belmiro this week. His last team was Milan, having played for Real Madrid, Juventus, Roma, and others before.

Let's hope the man can still kick ass.

Impressive Statistcs on our Coach

The Santos FC published the stats on our home games with Luxa as our team's coach during the years of 1997, 2004, 2006 and 2007 (including last game againg Atletico-PR) They were 112 games in the Vila Belmiro. We won a impressive 80,85 % of the points possibles. 86 wins, 14 ties and 12 losses.

For the original information go here

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Pre-Match Report: Santos x Flamengo


On Sunday July 26, 2009, Santos will face Flamengo at the Estádio Urbano Caldeira (Vila Belmiro) in the 14th round of the Brasileirão. After scrappy win a against Atlético Paranaense, Vanderlei Luxemburgo will be looking to notch his second win in as many games.

The referee for the game will be Heber Roberto Lopes with Ivan Carlos Bohn and Altemir Hausmann as his assistants.

History and Form

On the surface avoiding a loss seems to be a given, as Flamengo have not won at the Vila Belmiro in the Campeonato Brasileiro in 33 years. Ironically in the last win for Flamengo, current Santos coach Luxemburgo played and scored for them in their 2x1 win. Santos’ record against Flamengo stands at 102 games played with 41 victories, 25 ties, and 36 loses. In their last matches Flamengo drew 1x1 with Grêmio Barueri, while a piece of magic from Neymar gave Santos a 1x0 over Atlético Paranaense.

Team News

As was the case in the last match, Fabio Costa, Adailton, Kléber Pereira, Triguinho and Maikon Leite are unavailable as they are still recovering from injuries.

According to the official Santos website the 24 man squad for the match is as follows:

Goleiros: Douglas, Felipe, Rafael

Zagueiros: André Astorga, Domingos, Eli Sabiá, Fabão,

Laterais: Léo, Luizinho, Pará, Wagner Diniz

Volantes: Germano, Paulo Henrique Rodrigues, Roberto Brum, Rodrigo Mancha, Rodrigo Souto

Meias: Alan Patrick , Madson, Paulo Henrique Lima, Robson

Atacantes: Felipe Azevedo, Neymar, Roni, Tiago Luís

Santos are currently in 9th place in the table on 17 points. Flamengo are also on 17 points but are in 11th place based on goal difference.

HOT NEWS: Roni is out!

Roni, or as some fans liked to call him, WAYNE RONI, is out of Santos FC. Apparently he accepted to play for Fluminense and decided to break his contract with Santos. I think it will be a great opportunity to test Thiago Luís or Felipe Azevedo, in case this is really true. Let's wait and see.

The news was originally published here.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Santos 3 x 2 Boca Juniors

This is an extremely rare game: the 1963 Copa Libertadores final first leg, Santos vs Boca Juniors. Santos won the second leg in Argentina and became the champions of Libertadores for the second time. These guys got their revenge in 2003, with Riquelme and his crew. But, what the hell, c'est la vie. At least we lost to Boca Juniors not LDU.

Here you can watch the goals for the first match and browse Kiske's collection of youtube videos. This guy is putting together the largest virtual archive about Santos FC that I know of.

Thanks to his hard work we can finally watch this classic in its entirety. You can download the whole game, which is divided in six parts, right here. If you want to follow his contributions you can do so by joining the Santos Digital Archive group on Orkut.

Match info
Date: 04/09/1963
Where: Maracanã (Rio de Janeiro-BRA);
Audience: 100.000 people
Referee: Marcel Albert Bois (FRA)

Goals: Coutinho 2', Coutinho 21', Lima 28' e
Sanfillippo 43' do 1º; Sanfillippo 44' do 2º.

Santos: Gilmar, Mauro, Calvet e Dalmo; Zito e Geraldinho; Dorval, Lima,Coutinho, Pelé e Pepe. Técnico: Lula.

Boca Juniors: Errea, Magdalena, Marzolini e Orlando (Silveira); Simeone e Rattin; Grillo, Rojas, Menéndez, Sanfillippo e González. Técnico: Aristóbulo Deambrosi.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

How did you become a Santista?

I translated a short but beautiful text written by the Brazilian journalist José Roberto Torero on the day he became a Santos fan. Torero was the writer for the great documentary Pelé Eterno. He also has a very good blog in Portuguese.

The day I became a Santista

José Roberto Torero

A Corinthiano friend of mine asked me how the hell I became a Santista. It happened this way: when I was nine I still had not decided what team I would follow. And that was very good because it created a certain tension within my family.

My uncle Mauro always told me I should be a Palmeiras fan, because green was the most beautiful color in the whole world. But since the color reminded me of lettuce, chayote, chicory, and other vegetables I was forced to eat, his argument was not that effective.

My grandmother, on the other hand, was a hardcore Corinthians fan. She used to listen to games on her portable radio and screamed every time someone scored a goal. However, since Corinthians had not win a title in a long time (this was around 1974 and their drought was still going to last for three more years), she did not have good arguments to convince me. She only said that it was very good to be a Corinthiana, even with all the losses. But I was still too young to get into metaphysics.

My father always tried to gain my sympathy by saying that Santos was the team from my city. The problem is that a child does not have a fully developed regionalist sentiment, making the argument weak.

Since no one could convince me with their words, they tried wooing me with gifts. I started to get all these key chains, board games, and stamps. But since all of them gave me lots of soccer junk, the competition was fierce.

One night, however, my father told me to get ready that he was taking me to the Vila Belmiro. He said that a very important game was taking place and I had to watch it.

I thought the stadium was spectacular. I had never seen so many people together. I also had never seen so many flags and lights. It was a mixture of music, fireworks, and screams. It was both wild and beautiful.

I was having a lot of fun with all that but the game was not that good. Suddenly, however, a Santos player got down on his knees in the middle of the field and silence took over the stadium, as if no one could believe what they saw. Then all the fans stood up and started to clap. The player opened his arms and faced all the four sides of the stadium on his knees. I looked back and saw everyone in tears. Worse than that, I looked to my father and the man was crying. My father was crying?! That was something I had never seen or imagined in my whole life. I asked him what was going on. He told me that the man on his knees was going to stop playing. “Is he going to stop because he is too bad?” – I asked.

“No, he is the best in the world,” my father answered with his eyes wet with tears. I did not understand that logic: “if he is the best in the world why would he stop playing?” My father did not answer me, just kept staring at the field. Maybe he also did not know the answer. Neither did the millions of other men crying at the Vila Belmiro, who were turning their seats into waterfalls.

When the game restarted, with my father still sad and silent, I decided I had to do something to cheer him up. I kept thinking what could make him happier than anything else. I thought over and over when an idea finally came to my mind. I said: “Dad, I think I’m gonna be a Santos fan.” He looked at me, cleaned his tears, put his arms around my shoulder and smiled, not saying a single word. But he didn’t need to. At that moment I noticed I had replaced Pelé. It was like that, in the saddest day of the history of my team, that I became a Santista.

Lame Victory? Well...I'll Take it any day!

Santista Nation,

Who cares that the game was one of those hard to whatch with so little emotion. We won 3 more points and that is what we want (together with the losses of the Bambis, Chickens and Pigs, of course)!

We need to know what this "lame victory" can mean for the team. Fisrt, it marked the return of Luxa. The coach got back to work for only 2 days, but we can see his hand making the diference on the field. He put Felipe as the gollie. A bold move that can be seen as a statement that change is coming (GO OBAMA!). And we need a lot of change, by the way. Another interesting play was to leave Neymar and Ganso on the bench. Even though they have not been that consistent, they would be starters on my team every time. Not that we have many other opitions anyway. But it is good to show the youngsters that to play on our team you have to do more and bring more results. As Luxemburgo said in his post game interview, a great portion of this win came from the touch of Mancini. Would we have win last night's game if Mancini was still the coach? We'll never know the answer for that question. What I know is that this win is a boost to ours team's confidence.

Also, our goal came from the foot of Neymar. The beautiful play proved, one more time, that Neymar is the kind of player that can change the history of the game in a few seconds. He's got the vision and that will only improve under Luxa's wings.

But, besides the victory, the most important thing that happened last night was not what really happened but what did not happend: the other team's goal. Of corse we were playing against a team that did not give our goalkeeper much work to do but it was nice to go through a game without been scored. Hopefully, we will see (or not) that repeat many times on this championship.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

BARALHO! - Santos 1 x 0 Atlético-PR

What a boring game, friends. Just the way I love them! Seriously, I don't know if it is something related to growing up as a Santos fan when the team was in its worst days, but melancholic boring games like the one tonight has a romantic vibe that I really enjoy. Don't ask me why.

Jesus, what a horrible first half! The team at least defended well. But there were not many chances to score. Robson was especially bad. It is ridiculous to watch this guy play while Neymar and PH stay on the bench.

In the second half Neymar and Paulo Henrique replaced Robson and Roberto Brum and the team got a bit better. Neymar scored a very nice goal with an important contribution from Roni. Roni is a terrible striker, but I have to say that lately he has been running and contributing to the team much more than Kleber Pereira. His decisive pass to Neymar tonight was very good as you can see in the video above. I would still give a chance to Thiago Luis though.

Germano also played well in the midfield although still committing some stupid mistakes every now and then. Apparently Luxa preferred him over Roberto Brum anyway.

It is still early to see how the team will be that Luxa is running the show. He certainly has a lot of work to do.

I was happy to hear the man screaming the whole game, though. "Baralho" is his favorite cuss word. To be honest, the word is "caralho," which is a pretty bad word in Portuguese. TV commentators pretended he was shouting "baralho" (a deck of cards) and the thing became a popular joke. Sílvio Luís, maybe the best soccer commentator I had the pleasure to hear in my entire life once complained: "could someone please tell Luxemburgo that he is not in a cassino? This is a soccer game, there are no cards around."

But what the hell, the man is angry and he gotta release his energy. As long as Santos wins he can scream baralho, caralho, or whatever works to get the job done.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pre-Match Report: Santos x Atlético Paranaense


On Wednesday July 22, 2009, Santos will face Atlético Paranaense at the Estádio Urbano Caldeira (Vila Belmiro) in the 13th round of the Brasileirão. The match will mark the debut of Vanderlei Luxemburgo as the new coach of Santos.

History and Form

In the Brasileirão Santos have faced Atlético Paranaense 25 times. Santos’ record is 13 wins, 8 draws, and 4 losses. Santos have one point from their last three games while Atlético-PR have four.

Team News

Rodrigo Souto and Fabão are available for selection after serving their respective suspensions. Fabio Costa, Adailton, Kléber Pereira, Triguinho and Maikon Leite are unavailable as they are still recovering from injuries. Goalkeeper Felipe is a surprise call up for the squad.

According to the official Santos website the 24 man squad for the match is as follows:

Goleiros: Douglas, Felipe, Rafael

Zagueiros: André Astorga, Domingos, Eli Sabiá, Fabão,

Laterais: Léo, Luizinho, Pará, Wagner Diniz

Volantes: Germano, Paulo Henrique Rodrigues, Roberto Brum, Rodrigo Mancha, Rodrigo Souto

Meias: Alan Patrick , Madson, Paulo Henrique Lima, Robson

Atacantes: Felipe Azevedo, Neymar, Roni, Tiago Luís

Santos are currently in 13th place in the table on 14 points, two more than their opponents who are in 15th place.

A glimpse of the new tactics

Hello fellow bloggers and Santistas. I am excited to be a part of the team to bring the news for the legendary Santos FC in English. As a relatively new fan, I hope to learn more about the club as this venture continues. Now on to my first post.


Globoesporte are reporting that in his first training session Vanderlei Luxemburgo put Felipe in goal for Douglas. It seems that he has a high opinion of the young keeper.

For the first part of training, Luxemburgo played a 4-5-1. Felipe was in goal with a back four of Luizinho, Domingos, Fabão and Léo. The midfield five consisted of three defensive midfielders, Roberto Brum, Rodrigo Souto and Germano with Madson and Robson playing in front of them. Roni was the lone front man.

In the second part of training, the 4-5-1 became a 4-3-3. The defense remained the same. The midfielder three were Madson, Rodrigo Souto and Germano with Neymar, Roni and Paulo Henrique Lima as the front three.

This seems to be a foreshadowing of Luxa’s new tactics. As a loose rule of thumb tough away games would have a 4-5-1 formation while 4-3-3 would be the preferred formation for home games. To be honest I’m not a big fan of a three volantes. There is no creativity in the heart of the midfield. Neither am I a fan of Roni, he has not shown anything of note so far. However, it is far too early for me to criticize anything. New tactics can only be truly assessed under match conditions.


Mota and Emerson: these are the two most commented names at Vila Belmiro right now. Mota already received a proposal from Santos according to his agents. The striker worked with Luxemburgo in 2003 when playing for Cruzeiro and recently came from South Corea. Emerson, the defensive midfielder who played for Juve, Milan, and the national team, right now is free to sign with any team but there are no details about how negotiations are going (or if they are actually taking place). None of them were confirmed by the directors so far.

In portuguese here.

Looking Forward to the Futute

Santista Nation,
what an exciting opportunity to write you, on this blog, about one of my favorite things in life, our beloved Santos FC. I hope you guys enjoy my posts as much I will enjoy writing them.
The subject of the week could not be other than the arrival of our new (AGAIN) coach, Mr. Vanderlei Luxemburgo. I understand the point of view of those that were against his arrival. He is expensive, and he will make sure that he gets every penny he can. He is also too political and unfortunately he will campain for a reelection of Marcelo Teixeira at the end of this year. Even though he is not in the best moment of his career, the guy is a winner and no one can say anything different. He's got the guts to deal with our problematic goaley and he knows how to get the best out of the new kids (Neymar and Ganso). Also, I do not remember the last time he was ahead of a team that wasn't at least competitive. In this case, our chances to win the championship or at least get us a place in the next Libertadores da America increases substantially. Another positive thing about Luxa is that he attracts players, at least 70% of the players nowadays would love to work with him (the other 30% want to run him over). It will be great to bring new blood that will make us stronger. Furthermore, Luxemburgo brings the respect our Santos deserve. Bambis, chickens and pigs always crap their shorts when they hear Luxa yelling from the next bench.
I wish the best to our new coach and it is my hope he will write another winning chapter in the history of the greatest team in the World.

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Monday, July 20, 2009


Now it is official. Yesterday, Vandelei Luxemburgo gave his first interview as the new coach of Santos, and also oversaw his first practice session with the players. I must confess I like him a lot as a coach. The big question is whether he will focus on coaching the team or not. Luxa is famous for being involved in too many projects simultaneously and forgetting to do his main job.

His contract goes until the end of 2009, which is clearly connected to the re-election of the president of the club, Marcelo Teixeira. If Luxa gets Santos into next years' Libertadores he will probably put the reelection of Teixeira as a precondition to the renewal of his contract.

Anyway, I translated a very good overview of Luxa's trajectory written by a Santista journalist, Alex Frutuoso. The original text can be read here.


Vanderlei Luxemburgo 4

Sounds like a movie title but it isn't. Who knows, maybe someday it might become a movie script. After all, the moments of Vanderlei Luxemburgo with Santos Futebol Clube are full of peculiarities and polemics. In the end it looks more like a soap opera than a movie.

I remember that in the finals of 1996, when Santos brought, at the time, Wanderley (yes, with W and Y) from Palmeiras, the news came like a bomb. After all, the man who had coached that famous Palmeiras squad was coming to Vila Belmiro, with the support of a board of directors that had as the main intellectual mentor no one less than Pelé, besides the support of a very strong sponsor, which, even though not as powerfull as its Palmeiras' counterpart, was at least going to finance part of the new coach salaries and a few new players.

In january 1997, Vanderlei Luxemburgo gave to the frustrated hearts of Santos fans a moment of hapiness with the conquest of the Rio-SP championship. If the competition did not receive the deserved attention from the media, that 2 to 2 tie game with Flamengo, in a completely packed Maracanã, left the fanbase with hopes that something bigger, and better, was about to come.

It didn't come. Even with the arrival of Müller, who played very well on Santos, Luxemburgo's team did not make to the end of important competitions. The miscommunication between the coach and the directors, after a while, brought up problems to a point where the coach warned, way before the end, that he would not fulfill the second year of his contract with the club. There are people who say that the turning point was the lack of efforts from the Santos' administration to bring Edmundo to the Vila Belmiro, after an intense contact of Luxemburgo with the player. It is important to remember that Edmundo was one of the best players during that season, leading Vasco to win the national championship. Up to this day people wonder how would an offensive line containing Edmundo and Müller be.

Notwithstanding the arguments on both sides, Luxemburgo went to Corinthians and became a hated figure among Santos fans, who threw coins at the coach the first time he returned to Vila Belmiro.

After that, time passed by. Luxemburgo became a champion with Corinthians, coached the National Team, went back to Palmeiras. After winning everything in 2003 with Cruzeiro, he was fired and right after received an invitation to work with Santos, with the mission of saving the team in the Libertadores. Luxemburgo replaced Leão, beat LDU on the second game, but ended up being eliminated from the tournament by the team that would be the champion that year, the Once Caldas.

In the Brazilian Championship he signed some new players and let others go. For once he had the opportunity of putting together the dream midfield against Atlético-MG, with Renato, Elano, Ricardinho, and Diego. Robinho and Deivid played as forwards.

But Renato and Diego left and Luxemburgo reorganized the team. During the competition, Santos tried to catch up Atlético-PR, faced numerous referee mistakes and even saw the kidnapping of Robinho's mother. In the last two rows, Luxemburgo's Santos leaded the tournament and became the champions, shutting up those who were against his return to the Vila Belmiro.

It was by the end of that year that, after renewing his contract with Santos, came a proposal from Real Madrid. Santos was nice to him and let him go. The year of 2005 ended up being terrible for both sides. Without Luxemburgo Santos had a bad performance and also saw Robinho and Elano leave. The coach, on the other hand, failed in his attempt to win Europe.

In 2006 the marriage was re-affirmed and Luxemburgo won the Campeonato Paulista with Santos, a trophy that did not come to the Urbano Caldeira since 1984. The rest of the season was not bad. Santos was eliminated from the Copa do Brasil, but assured a spot in the 2007 Libertadores. Everything ran smoothly as "planned."The year of 2007 started with an energetic Santos fueled by the soccer-art of Zé Roberto and the conquest of another state championship, with final games against São Caetano representing some of Luxemburgo's best moments. But everything changed after being eliminated from Libertadores once more. Even though possessing a better players, Santos was eliminated in the semifinals by Mano Menezes' Grêmio, and the gaúchos went to the finals against Boca Juniors in Argentina. The team was still able to be in second in the Campeonato Brasileiro, assuring a spot in next year's Libertadores. It was another good season.

Still, the relationship between both sides was not the same anymore. Luxemburgo was not unanimous among the fans. With no cash, the team was not able to hold Luxemburgo, who returned to Palmeiras.

At the Palestra Itália, Luxemburgo was Paulista champion for the third time, but also got in trouble with players, directors, and was even physically assaulted by fans. Santos, on the other hand, went through the nightmare of almost going to the second division, not repeating the same performance of previous years.

Now, in 2009, Luxemburgo and Santos meet again. The club considered Muricy Ramalho to replace Vagner Mancini but ended up bringing Luxa, who was fired from Palmeiras. A marriage reconciled under different circumstances.

Now Luxemburgo needs to prove that he is not a declining coach, with techniques that are too well known and even copied by others. After the recent vice-Paulista championship, Santos needs to show the fans, who expect to watch a competitive squad, what they came for.

Will it work? Only time will tell.

Alex Frutuoso


By Vitor Birner (*)

I will talk about delicate issues in the soccer world.

The rivalry between the three big teams from Sao Paulo is bigger than that between them and Santos.

All four are Brazilian soccer giants.

I want to point out two reasons for that.

The first and main one is the constant mistake of the Santista administration in not expanding the team.

Santos' image is of a team from the city of Santos.

And it should not be like that.

The Santos team was world champion at the Maracanã stadium.

Their games in the city of Sao Paulo are always packed.

There are more people than in the games in the city of Santos.

Since the Pele years Santos should have been managed as a team from Brazil.

In those years when fans were very close to the national team, the image of that squad was "santista" and "botafoguense."

The number 10 (maybe the youngsters will not get this, but to wear the jersey number 10 of the Brazilian team carried WEIGHT) was from Santos.

The country was proud of giving birth to Pele.

That is why Santos played the final games for the world championship against Milan and Benfica at the Maracana.

They played three times there.

About 150.000 people went to one game against Milan.

But the team did not continue.

Santos should have continued its romance with the cariocas [people from Rio], paulistanos [people from Sao Paulo], and whoever else was willing to embrace the most amazing team in the golden age of soccer.

The second reason is along these lines.

All the big teams win championships playing bad, with squads that are never that good.

That is not Santos' case. Almost every time they were champions, they played spectacularly.

The Pele generation, the boys from the Vila, the veterans of 1984, Robinho and Diego, they all played really well.

Except for for the 1984 group, all the other three won with a high quality soccer.

Even the vice-championship in 1995 was marked by spectacular games in the play-offs.

When the team is not that good, the "alvinegro" [black and white, another nickname for Santos] rarely conquers anything.

And the people, even though not admitting it, respect more those who win playing well.

That is why I believe the administration policies regarding the santista image should have been different.

Those who live in Santos should not worry.

The "fish" carries the name of the city.

The roots, the Santista essence is on the coast.

The identity with the region is very strong.

Santos should not stop training, living, existing, and playing there.

It should play not only there.

It could play more matches in the city of Sao Paulo.

And when the next special generation arrives, they should travel around Brazil to show the Santista soul on the soccer fields.

This is a tribute to Santistas, Brazilians, and those who love romantic, high quality, and skillfull socer.

This text was translated from Victor Birner's blog. Even though being a Sao Paulo FC fan, Birner recognizes what makes Santos a special team and makes good points about how Santos should be managed.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


This is the history of the greatest team in the Americas as told at the official Santos FC website. You can visit it here.

Santos FC was established on April 14th, 1912 through the initiative of 3 sports enthusiasts of the city (Raymundo Marques(photo), Mário Ferraz De Campos and Argemiro de Souza Júnior). They met in the headquarters of the Clube Concórdia to create a new soccer team. During the historic meeting many names were suggested for the new club: Concórdia, Euterpe ou Brasil Atlético. But they immediately got to an agreement when Edmundo Jorge Araújo came up with “Santos Foot-Ball Club”.

Their first game was on September 15th that same year. Santos beat Santos Athletic Club 3-0. However Guillermo Gomez Guarche, who is a researcher and a counselor at Santos FC, believes that their first game actually took place on June 23rd, 1912 against a local opponent named Thereza Team. The official club historian, Francisco Mendes Fernandes, claims that this game was just a training session with no official result. Either way Santos won their first game as the team defeated Thereza Team 2-1, with goals scored by Anacleto Ferramenta and Geraule Ribeiro. Santos formation then was Fauvel, Simon, Ari, Bandeira, Ambrósio, Oscar, Bulle, Geraule, Esteves, Fontes and Anacleto.

Rosario Street, Club's foundation address.

For the first official game on September 15th, the opponent was Santos Athletic Club, also known at the time as the ‘Clube dos Ingleses’. Santos first official goal in the history of the club was scored by Arnaldo Silveira.

In the beginning of 1913, Santos received an invitation from the São Paulo Football League to compete in the state championship. This was Santos’ first official competition and the debut happened on June 1st, against Germânia. The result was not a very good one, as the team was defeated 8 - 1. Santos formation at that match was Durval Damasceno, Sebastião Arantes, Sydnei Simonsen; Geraule Ribeiro, Ambrósio Silva, José Pereira da Silva; Adolfo Millon, Nilo Arruda, Anacleto Ferramenta, Harold Cross and Arnaldo Silveira.

Three weeks later, on June 22nd, Santos won their first match in an official competition against a team who would become the club greatest rival, Corinthians. Santos won 6-3 in a full Parque São Jorge, Corinthians’ home.

In 1913, the Campeonato Santista de Futebol took place for the first time, and the teams taking part of it were Santos, América, Escolástica Rosa and Atlético. The Alvinegro (the “black and white” as Santos is also called by fans) was crowned the champion, having six victories in six games, 35 goals for and only seven against. This was the very first achievement in the history of the club.

Since their very first years Santos was always very successful, as much in local games as in international ones. Santos won Paulista championship (state tournament) for the first time in 1935, after going through two unsuccessful years, due to the change of soccer to a professional sport.

1935 São Paulo Champion team

In 1955, after 20 years without being champion, Santos defeated Taubaté and could finally get a title again. The formation of the team was: Manga, Hélvio, Feijó; Ramiro, Formiga, Urubatão; Tite, Negri, Álvaro, Del Vecchio and Pepe.

The following year, Valdemar de Brito would invite a 15 year old boy named Pelé to the club. Pelé would change the club forever taking Santos to a new phase in its history. He would help the club get achievements that would exalt Brazilian soccer worldwide. Santos’ team popularity during its golden age was enormous, even abroad. Santos traveled all over the world enchanting supporters with its magical style. The offensive players at that time were: Dorval, Mengávio, Coutinho, Pelé and Pepe. During this period, the golden years, Santos won twice the Intercontinental Cup (1962/1963), twice the Copa Libertadores da América (1962/1963), among other glories.

Pelé at the beggining of his carreer

After Pelé Era, Santos Futebol Clube kept on its way to glories. In 1978 it again formed a winning team. The Meninos da Vila (literally, the boys from the vila, as they were nicknamed because the athletes were really young) won the Paulista Championship in 1978. Juari, Pita, Ailton were a stand out among others.
After that the team got some more titles such as, Paulista Championship in 1984 and the Conmebol Cup in 1998.

When the club was going to turn 90 years old, in 2002, Santos conquered for the seventh time the most important national title, Campeonato Brasileiro (Brazilian Championship). The athletes forming the team were from Santos Youth Divisions. The Meninos da Vila were in the spotlight. All over Brazil Diego and Robinho became a symbol of a joyful and impressive way of playing. The following year the team was the runner-up in Copa Libertadores da América and also in the Brazilian Championship.

Robinho, in 2002, performing his famous step overs in the final match

In 2004, Peixe (literally “Fish”- as it is nicknamed by its fans) won another significant competition. Overcoming the loss of key players such as Diego and Robinho during the Brazilian Championship, Santos was the champion of this tournament again, but this time under the coaching of Vanderlei Luxemburgo. The most important players for the team at that time were Robinho, Elano, Ricardinho and Léo.

The stakes were high for 2005. The team could manage to keep the most talented players and Vandelei Luxemburgo, who was still the coach at that time, was focusing his work on Copa Libertadores da América. However, the Spanish team Real Madrid made a very tempting offer to the coach who decided to leave to Europe.

August 2005; Santos FC was part of the greatest soccer negotiation in Brazil that far, in which Real Madrid bought Robinho. By the end of that year Vanderlei Luxemburgo returned to Santos FC after spending a season as the coach of the Spanish team.

During the first tournament played in 2006 the team already showed its competitiveness by winning the Paulista championship again after 22 years. By defeating Portuguesa de Desportos 2-0 at the Vila Belmiro Stadium, Santos’ team won a championship in its hometown, something that hadn’t taken place since 1965. In October, 2006 the club’s direction decided to buy Zé Roberto, the midfielder for the National Team during 2006 World Cup campaign.

Moraes celebrating the 2007 championship's goal next to Zé Roberto

Zé Roberto’s experience and skill were key ingredients for Santos FC to achieve Paulista Championship for the second time in a row. In a memorable match Santos FC defeated São Caetano becoming the state champion. Moraes, a young player who came from Santos Youth Divisions, scored the winning goal. The last time Alvinegro Praiano (Black and White from the beach, as it is also informally called by fans) had been the state champion for two-times in a row had been 39 years before that.