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.