For the third consecutive year, Santos is out of the knockout phase of the Paulista Championship
Santos’ season has been disastrous at the beginning of the year. In addition to the elimination in the state championship in the group stage, Alvinegro Praiano has been accumulating bad performances, mainly in the classics, against São Paulo and Palmeiras, where it was completely dominated.
Expectation for 2023
In planning for the 2023 season, fans thought they would have a calmer year ahead. Firstly, Paulo Roberto Falcão (King of Rome) was announced as technical coordinator, to be the strong man in CT Rei Pelé and the right-hand man of president Andres Rueda.
Later, he hired coach Odair Helmann, who had done good work at Internacional and Fluminense. Initially, the choice of commander pleased the fans, but today they ask for his resignation.
In the market, the board made aggressive investments. Spent R$17 million to permanently hire midfielders, Rodrigo Fernandez and Zanocelo, who were on loan. Brought Mendoza, a highlight from Ceará, who receives one of the highest salaries in the squad. In addition to João Lucas, from Cuiabá, which cost R$6 million.
Even with the progress of the Paulista Championship, Alvinegro made more signings. Spent R$16.7 million for defender Joaquim, who belonged to Cuiabá, and brought Lucas Lima and Alison, old acquaintances of the Santos fan.
Finally, it went after Daniel Ruiz from Millonarios. The Colombian was signed on loan until the end of 2023, with an option to buy outright at the end of the bond.
Elimination in the Paulista Championship
Repeating the 2021 and 2022 campaigns, Santos, again did not qualify for the Paulistão knockout stage. At least, this time it didn’t fight to escape relegation until the last round, as in previous years.
In the 12 games of the tournament, Santos won only 3 victories and had only one convincing performance, in the game against Portuguesa in Vila Belmiro, where they won by 4-0. However, during the championship, it did not cheer up his fans, he had vexatious performances, mainly in the classics against Palmeiras and São Paulo.
Even having a mediocre tournament, it reached the last round with a chance of qualifying. In the clash against Ituano, which was fighting against relegation, Santos played a disgraceful match and was dominated by the rival, losing the game by 3-0.
Santos could be left out of the 2024 Copa do Brasil
With the early elimination in the Paulista championship, there is a great possibility that Santos will not participate in the Copa do Brasil in 2024, since with the change in regulation carried out by the CBF, there will no longer be ten places guaranteed by the national ranking of clubs.
In this sense, the entity ended the distribution of vacancies via its national ranking of clubs, with that 80 of the 92 teams that will compete in the tournament in 2024 will leave state competitions. The CBF defines that these 12 remaining spots will be allocated to clubs classified for the 2024 Libertadores, the champions of the Copa do Nordeste, Copa Verde, Brazilian Championship Serie B in 2023 and clubs promoted from the Brazilian Championship Serie A in 2023, respecting the order of the final classification, if necessary to fill the 12 vacancies.
The Paulista Federation was entrusted with 6 vacancies, 5 of them destined for the Paulista Championship, and the last one for the champion of the Copa Paulista. Since Santos was only 11th in the state championship, it will depend on the following scenarios to qualify for the 2024 Copa do Brasil:
1º scenario: Copa do Brasil
In case Santos wins 2023 Copa do Brasil, guarantees a place in the Libertadores and, consequently, will be guaranteed in the tournament next season.
2º scenario: Copa Sudamericana
In case Santos wins 2023 Copa Sudamericana, guarantees a place in the Libertadores and, consequently, will be guaranteed in the tournament next season.
3º scenario: Brazilian Championship
To play the Copa do Brasil through the Brasileirão, Santos needs to end the competition in the Libertadores classification zone. The first six qualify, but the number can increase if one of the teams in this group wins the Libertadores and/or the Sudamericana.
4º scenario: Copa Paulista
The last alternative is for Santos to sign up for the Copa Paulista. The competition, which takes place in the second half of the year, usually features teams from all divisions of the Paulista Championship that did not qualify for a series in the Brasileirão. When it played in the tournament, it used the under-23 team, but it has not participated in it since 2021.
Written by Henry Miller.