Monday, March 12, 2007

Chilean Player Becomes a Star in Brazilian Football

Jorge Valdivia Earns a Place in Palmeiras Squad

“Valdivia is the new star at Palmeiras,” said his teammate Edmundo after the team defeated Juventus by 4-1 on March 11 during the Sao Paulo State Championship , also known as “Paulistao”. Quite a statement considering it was made by Edmundo, one of Brazil´s most famous players, and nicknamed “The Animal” due to his fierce play and goalscoring capacity. In such a demanding environment such as that of Brazilian professional football, it is a major feat for a foreign player to win the hearts and minds of the local fans. Jorge Valdivia, an attacking midfielder, arrived in 2005 at Palmeiras , one of the country´s most popular clubs after having played several seasons at Chile´s top club, Colo Colo.
During the 13th round of the Paulistao played this weekend, Valdivia was fundamental to helping his team to victory and getting near to the top of the points table at sixth place.The first half ended 1-1, but according to the Brazilian press, it was Valdivia that destroyed Juventus with his skilful runs along the right wing. In the 66th minute of play, Valdivia dribbled several defenders and was brought down in the Juventus area. Edmundo scored the penalty to leave Palmeiras ahead by 2-1, but this was not enough for Valdivia, since in a nearly identical move was granted yet another penalty only five minutes later, that was also scored by Edmundo. To end off a remarkable afternoon, Valdivia scored a great goal 13 minutes from the end with a low level shot from outside the area.
Caio Junior, the Palmeiras coach, is delighted with Valdivia and believes the Chilean player may become one of the most popular players in Brazil.
“Valdivia is so skilful, when he begins to finish off all his scoring chances he will be one of the best players,” said Caio Junior during an interview to Globo, a local newspaper.
Valdivia is now being nicknamed “El Mago (the Magician)” by the Palmeiras fans but has not lost his head with all the fame that surrounds him in Brazil.
“I was brought down both time, I didn’t act in those penalties. I only helped the team, but the victory is a merit of all the players. I don’t do anything alone,” said Valdivia after the match to Globo. Valdivia also explained that his celebration after scoring was dedicated to his wife that is expecting a baby and to his mother that was also among the crowd at the Palmeiras Stadium.
Anyway, fellow football fans , you may see for yourself the highlights of the Palmeiras –Juventus match at :>,,GIM650320-7824-EDMUNDO+E+VALDIVIA+SAO+OS+MOLEQUES+TRAVESSOS,00.html

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