Brazilian managers' and fans' worst nightmare
Ã¢ÂÂI wish this month ends soon.Ã¢ÂÂ
To the unaware listener, Flamengo coach Caio Junior sounds like his squad is having a black July. But itÃ¢ÂÂs nothing like that at all, actually the team from Rio de Janeiro is top of the league, something they havenÃ¢ÂÂt accomplished in around a decade.
The gaffer's concerns instead centre on what is also the Brazilian fan's worst nightmare, something which happens every June and July... the transfer window.
Since the Campeonato Brasileiro is the only top league in action during these two months, when the worldwide market is open, attention focuses almost solely on Brazilian teams' squads.
Every powerhouse has suffered at least one significant loss. Palmeiras have lost Henrique to Barcelona and keeper Diego to Liverpool, whilst Internacional watched FernandÃÂ£o leave for QatarÃ¢ÂÂs Al-Gharafa, Fluminense's Gabriel went to Panathinaikos and CÃÂcero to Hertha Berlin and Santos' BetÃÂ£o joined Dinamo Kiev.
Going Greek: Fluminense's Gabriel
Last week, FlamengoÃ¢ÂÂs Caio Junior, who had seen Renato Augusto fly off to Bayer Leverkusen, also lost Marcinho Ã¢ÂÂ the tournament's top scorer Ã¢ÂÂ to UAEÃ¢ÂÂs Al Jazira. No wonder heÃ¢ÂÂs disappointed.
In some cases, the overnight departures take even the club staff by surprise. Midfielder Roger, who arrived at GrÃÂªmio in February as the clubÃ¢ÂÂs top signing and won fans' hearts with smooth football and promises such as Ã¢ÂÂI will retire here,Ã¢ÂÂ has gone back on his word, signing for Qatar SC after receiving an offer too good to turn down.
Being the last one to hear the news, GrÃÂªmio president Paulo Odone went nuts. Ã¢ÂÂHe came to me on the Friday and said Ã¢ÂÂIÃ¢ÂÂm leaving, so I donÃ¢ÂÂt want to play Sunday.Ã¢ÂÂ How can I like that? HeÃ¢ÂÂs a traitor.Ã¢ÂÂ
But itÃ¢ÂÂs not just the actual signings that make a mess of the squads. The gossip and speculation also upsets the coaches, who claim the players lose their focus.
ThatÃ¢ÂÂs the case of PalmeirasÃ¢ÂÂ Valdivia and SÃÂ£o PauloÃ¢ÂÂs Hernanes and Alex Silva, constantly linked with European deals. So SÃÂ£o Paulo coach Muricy Ramalho called Hernanes in for a little chat.
Ã¢ÂÂI told him he has to concentrate here and tell the people who manage his career to stop talking to the press about proposals. The players say it doesnÃ¢ÂÂt influence them, but of course it does. To talk about such enormous amounts of money shakes every one.Ã¢ÂÂ
It sure would make my legs weak...