Luciano was the name most heard by Dorival Júnior at the press conference after the São Paulo’s 1-0 victory over Cruzeiro. The striker started the Morumbi match on the bench, but came on in the second half and scored the goal that guaranteed the tricolor’s hard-earned triumph in the Brazilian championship.
The number 10 did not celebrate the goal effusively, which gave the impression of irritation at not being selected as a starter. Dorival avoided friction with the striker and preferred to value the relationship between them behind the scenes, as well as the importance that Luciano has within the current squad.
“I ask you: who is the absolute starter? We entered with a team on Sunday. Luciano was the starter and played almost the entire match. In today’s match we entered with James. They are players with the same role. Can they play together? Can they in at some point, as they have played in other situations. He is an important player for us. And he knows this and everything he has accomplished since my arrival. For me he is the team’s starter. I don’t need the player to start one game so he can start,” said the coach.
“Luciano is an important player and he knows it. He has been professional in every aspect. I can’t say anything about Luciano in any sense. He was very important in the cups, decisive in several moments. If he plays a little more or less, for me It doesn’t matter, it depends on the setup I make for a particular opponent. I don’t need to reaffirm his importance. He understands what I think and what I see”, reaffirmed Dorival.
Luciano has a contract until December 2024, but, behind the scenes, an exit abroad is gaining more and more momentum. At 30 years old, the striker would have the chance to sign a more lucrative contract. Dorival, however, guaranteed that he has the player for next season, when São Paulo will return to play CONMEBOL Libertadores.
“Changes happen, it’s a natural fact. I want to make the most of this squad, which has already given me a great response and I’m convinced of what I can get out of it. For me, a good part of next year’s squad, I hope we can keep most of the players we have. I’m counting on Luciano for next year”, guaranteed Dorival.
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The post first appeared on www.espn.com.br