Palmeiras vs Botafogo: Navarro and Patrick de Paula meet ex-clubs seeking affirmation | Brazilian series a

This Thursday’s duel between Palmeiras and Botafogo, at 19:00 (GMT), at Allianz Parque, for the Brazilian Championship, will be the first opportunity for midfielder Patrick de Paula and striker Rafael Navarro to face their former clubs.

And both in Verdão and in Fogão, the two still work for a regularity and look for a moment of affirmation.

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Carrossel, Palmeiras x Botafogo, Rafael Navarro, Patrick de Paula — Photo: Editoria de arte/ge

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Rafael Navarro was announced by Palmeiras in December last year and was Patrick de Paula’s partner in the first months of 2022. The striker arrived free of charge, after ending his contract with Botafogo.

Rafael Navarro and Patrick de Paula during Palmeiras training — Photo: Cesar Greco

Option for the much sought-after center forward position, he has lived different moments with the alviverde shirt until now. Libertadores top scorer and publicly defended by Abel Ferreira, he was unable to maintain regularity in the season.

The seven goals scored in the group stage of the South American tournament are the only ones Navarro has scored for Verdão so far. Option for the starting lineup, he entered the first half of the game against Atlético-MG, last Sunday, in place of Raphael Veiga, but he wasted an important chance and generated complaints in the crowd in the goalless draw with the Minas Gerais team.

Rafael Navarro celebrates the four goals in Palmeiras x Independiente Petrolero – Photo: Staff Images/Conmebol

The arrival of Merentiel and the proximity of the announcement of the signing of José Manuel López will increase competition for the Palmeirense from the opening of the transfer window, in July.

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Out of the FIFA Club World Cup list in February, Patrick de Paula lost space in the squad led by Abel Ferreira. The coach spoke on some occasions about the concern with the commitment and concentration of young people from Palmeiras, in generalized speeches and not directed directly to any athlete.

Due to the low performance in 2022 and the values ​​​​presented, Palmeiras did not pose many difficulties in negotiating with Botafogo, closed in March for R$ 33 million for 50% of the economic rights of the midfielder.

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Patrick de Paula entered the field during the match against Goiás and lost the ball that generated the second goal — Photo: Vitor Silva/Botafogo

At Botafogo, Rafael Navarro missed him at first, but the failed negotiations for the contract renewal left the fans in trouble with the player and manager. One of Bota’s main highlights in the Serie B title campaign, Navarro was the team’s top scorer and scored decisive goals to guarantee the alvinegro access.

Being able to sign pre-contract with any team since the middle of 2021, since the bond with Botafogo ended in December of that year, Navarro remained focused on the Rio team. The partnership with Chay paid off and the midfielder himself had to find a replacement to share the room in concentrations.

“I don't know if you have a favorite"says Ana Paula Pimenta about Botafogo and América-MG

“I don’t know if there’s a favorite”, says Ana Paula Pimenta about Botafogo and América-MG

That replacement was Patrick de Paula. The midfielder arrived at Botafogo as the most expensive signing in the club’s history, a value that can still yield more to the Palmeiras coffers depending on goals achieved.

The pressure to play well is there and Patrick himself recognizes it. He has already said in some interviews that he has a greater weight for being the most expensive signing, but he assures that this is not something that shakes him. The idea was to make the fan “well used” with the goals, but that’s not what happened.

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Patrick de Paula celebrates one of his goals for Botafogo, but the phase has not been good — Photo: André Durão

So far, there have been nine games with the Botafogo shirt (six times as a starter) and two goals have been scored. The first time he scored, against Ceilândia, in the third phase of the Copa do Brasil, he made that gesture of “sai zica”. If the tide seemed to be turning in favor of the midfielder with the second goal scored – this time from a free-kick against Fortaleza after a deviation in the middle of the way – the matches came below expectations.

Before the goals, Patrick de Paula knew he was in debt. Now, after losing the ball that generated the second goal counterattack in the 2-1 defeat to Goiás, this Monday, the midfielder found himself booed on the field for the first time. He continues to work with people hired by him to help with the adaptation and in search of better performances.

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While that doesn’t happen, the memory that remains in the mind of the fan, on both sides, is not the best for either player.

The tendency is that Rafael Navarro and Patrick de Paula will not start as starters in the match between Palmeiras and Botafogo next Thursday night, at 19:00 (Brasília time), at Allianz Parque, for the 10th round of the Brazilian Championship. Verdão is the runner-up, with 16 points, two behind Corinthians, while Bota is in 10th place, with 12 and is at the same distance from the G-4 and the relegation zone.

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