Abel convinced Raphael Veiga to be a “false 9” at Palmeiras

A notable difference has appeared in Palmeiras from the last three games. Scorer of the winning goal in the 1-0 victory over Bahia last Saturday, in the Brasileirão, Raphael Veiga has been encouraged to remain more in the sector close to the attackers, without returning to look for the ball so much. The modification had a conversation with Abel Ferreira, responsible for the change.

This proximity to the attackers allowed Veiga to take advantage of Endrick’s leftover ball, feint the marking, and finish to open the scoring at Allianz Parque. Still, at halftime, he explained the tone of the conversation with Abel for the adjustment in this final stretch of the season.

“It’s a new position, practically a false 9. Abel says I’m more decisive in front of the goal to finish or find passes. Sometimes I get the ball less, but he tells me that it’s better to get the ball two or three times and find a pass or a shot than to catch it 20 or 30 times and not be decisive.

Raphael Veiga celebrates scoring the goal against Bahia — Photo: César Greco

Raphael Veiga celebrates scoring the goal against Bahia — Photo: César Greco

Abel Ferreira himself, after the match, reinforced the analysis exposed by the midfielder. The coach wants Veiga to catch the ball less, but closer to the opponent’s area, as in the goal against Bahia.

– When Veiga plays behind the opponent’s defensive line, in the central corridor, and in front of the midfielders, the center of the game has a lot of traffic. You have to think fast. It forces you to play with little time. I drove when I came to be the 8, looking for space. If you make an 8, you won’t make a 10 – commented the coach.

– Players like to touch the ball. You don’t have to touch the ball many times, you have to touch the ball a few times and well. The Brazilian is a furrier, he likes to touch the ball. In certain positions, we have to wait for the ball to arrive to serve well. In the center of the field, you have to think faster. When you don’t have the ball, you have to get into the box, get there more often,” he added.

Veiga’s change to the “false 9” or sector closer to the attackers occurred in the duel against Coritiba, when the number 23 provided an assist. Against São Paulo, he had a praised performance, despite having finished without direct participation in the goals of the 5-0 rout.

This Saturday, again, Veiga appeared well and decided for Palmeiras to pack the third consecutive positive result. Decisive, the number 23 has been fundamental for the team’s resumption, now six points behind leader Botafogo, Wednesday’s opponent.

– He runs more with the ball when he comes to get the ball to drive, when he plays in the back of the opposing midfielders, there is not much room to think. A waiter has two things to do: serve or kick. He did it today: score goals or assist. It’s serving or scoring goals, that’s what he has to do,” Abel said.

“Without the ball, you have to defend like everyone else, take pleasure in defending. When they have that strong competitive spirit and mutual help, they enjoy the game. That’s what we did against São Paulo and today against Bahia – concluded the coach, satisfied with Veiga’s performance in the last duels.

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