In February, Pedro was at the center of the main sports headlines in Brazil because of Palmeiras’ attempt to sign him while he was not an absolute starter at Flamengo. In September, Pedro is in subject titles as a very serious candidate to be in the Brazilian team at the Qatar World Cup because of his great phase in the red-black team.
In the middle of the way, Flamengo had a change in the technical command with the departure of Paulo Sousa by Dorival Jr. In addition, holder Bruno Henrique was injured. This made room for the new coach to fit Pedro’s duo with Gabigol, one of the keys to the rise of the Rio team.
After these six months, it is clear that most of the diagnoses in the press about the situation experienced by Pedro at that moment were wrong – my analysis, by the way, quite a bit. Maybe it’s time to recognize that we only have access to a part of the story and it’s difficult to draw definitive conclusions from that piece alone.
The press split into two streams in February. There were a number of journalists who defended that the player had to leave Flamengo at any cost to have a chance in the Cup. And there was another number of journalists who understood that he had opportunities, although he was not a starter, and the problem was his lack of income.
With the good phase, Pedro decided to explain how he lived that moment. He has already given some interviews, including to the UOL, in which he told what was happening. His version: 1) He was, yes, upset that he wasn’t playing as a starter and that affected “his mental”, and consequently his performance 2) He thought about leaving Flamengo in the middle of the year, but he didn’t negotiate with any club 3) He decided to improve physically and technically to become stronger.
I start here with my mea culpa. At the time, I understood that Pedro might not be a starter, but he had many minutes played at Flamengo, which was a fact. And that he wasn’t taking advantage of his chances at that moment – his career at the club was always positive. It was a pragmatic analysis of what was seen in the field. This analysis was shared by several fellow journalists.
The player’s explanations show that ownership and confidence were essential for his performance. Without that, he couldn’t see paths inside Flamengo. Who analyzed the player just for his minutes on the field, as I did, disregarded the psychological effects that are part of the game. Pedro also pointed out that, for his style, he has to play more in the sequence.
On the other hand, there was almost a campaign for Pedro to leave Flamengo. The argument: it was close to saying that he was being badly treated and imprisoned by the club, and that he would only have a chance in the selection outside the club. The position was: either he plays anyway or he must leave. There were still those who published that he accepted a proposal from Palmeiras, which is clearly not true.
From his words, Pedro was dissatisfied, he thought about leaving, but that had nothing to do with the treatment given to him by Flamengo. And he was bothered by all the different opinions of who wanted to say where he should play, how he should pursue his career.
The reality is that when Pedro and Gabigol played together with the second most behind, Flamengo’s game didn’t work as well as it does now. And it was a weak team defensively. In fact, previous coaches had already pointed out the difficulty of recomposing in this scenario with the two forwards.
It took a new coach to find a way for Pedro to play with Gabigol – in addition to the chance factor of Bruno Henrique’s injury. The player himself recognizes that he had to put more effort into marking. In addition, he adjusted himself to play in doubles, even leaving for the side, he improved in technical, physical and technical aspects. After all these adaptations, Pedro is, yes, close to the Cup and playing for Flamengo, where he has chances to score that he would hardly have anywhere else.
In the end, Pedro needed to play more as a starter. But it was necessary to create conditions for this within the team. And, no, he didn’t need to leave Flamengo to have a chance to go to the Cup.
On both sides, therefore, there were very hasty and wrong conclusions, also because journalists did not have access to all the information. And even so, they made definitive diagnoses. Therefore, a lot of time was wasted in a discussion that, today, reveals itself to be very shallow.