The Supercopa do Brasil still does not have the tradition of the opening season tournaments in Europe. Even so, this Sunday’s edition (11), between Flamengo and Palmeiras, achieved the feat of being eagerly awaited, in a weekend of Real Madrid x Barcelona and with judicial decisions that now release, now prohibit, the sporting events in Brasilia.
The rivalry is inflated by social networks, by the fragility of Flamengo’s historic opponents and by the assumption that rubro-negroes and alviverdes will have, in Brazil, the hegemony of madridistas and Catalans, in Spain.
There are no clear signs of this, even though the last three Brazilian titles have been won by the two Super Cup challengers. Corinthians and Palmeiras won the four most important national trophies from 2015 to 2018 and, even so, there was no polarization between the —these yes— eternal rivals.
The Flamengo x Palmeiras feud is virtual, because it is perceived more in the networks than in the streets.
The antagonist of Palmeiras is Corinthians, although goalkeeper Oberdan Cattani died claiming that the enemy is São Paulo, for having tried to take over Parque Antarctica during World War II.
In Rio, Flamengo’s rival is Vasco and was once Botafogo, for a generation that suffered with Garrincha’s team and after Jairzinho.
This does not mean that there were no major clashes between palmeirenses and rubro-blacks, both the celebrated and the miserable.
Mancha Verde was born from the merger of three uniformed factions, with the declared objective of ending “the soft-ass fame of Palmeiras fans”. The unity with the Youth Force, from Vasco, and the consequent enmity with Youth and Raça Rubro-Negra, were part of a menu of street fights.
It is said that, in the early 1980s, a newsstand was thrown from a catwalk on via Dutra onto a bus for Flamengo fans, en route to São Paulo.
The good rivalry of the playing field has already made records much more memorable. In 1979, Palmeiras thrashed Flamengo 4-1, at Maracanã, and the massacre helped Palmeirense Telê Santana to occupy the position of national team coach, until then the red-black Cláudio Coutinho.
In the following year, Flamengo returned the rout with interest, putting 6 to 2 in a fragile Palmeiras directed by Osvaldo Brandão.
In 1999, Euller managed in three minutes to score the two goals of advantage that Palmeiras needed to eliminate Flamengo in the quarterfinals of the Copa do Brasil.
In the last game of that year, Lê scored at 38 in the second half and the 3-3 tie gave the Mercosul Cup trophy to the red-blacks, inside Parque Antarctica.
Believe me: this was the only direct decision of an official tournament between Flamengo and Palmeiras.
The rivalry of social networks has already been fueled by leaders, such as when President Paulo Nobre ordered the shirt for the 2016 title to be made, with the inscription “It didn’t even work for the scent”. 2019, that Palmeiras does not have a Cup or a World Cup.
For now, it still seems just a dispute of a specific moment, caused by the attempt of two clubs to stand out, as happened with Flamengo and Atlético-MG, in the 1980s, and Palmeiras and Grêmio, in the 1990s.
Whether the feud will last forever and whether national disputes will become sovereign compared to eternal state rivalries, only time and new classics like the Super Cup will tell.
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