The final day of the league is always an emotional one – teams get relegated, others win titles, or find themselves playing in the Copa Libertadores. The final matchday of the 2013 Brasileiro was no different – Fluminense, the defending champions, won but couldn’t save themselves from relegation while Fred, the team’s injured star, watching and crying in the stands. Far away from there in Rio de Janeiro, Clarence Seedorf scored the final goal in a Botafogo win, putting them in the Libertadores next season, and bursting into tears himself; tears of joy.
The injury to Fred, the team’s best player over the last three years, doomed Fluminense. Repeat league titles are rare in Brazil, but no one expected the team to do this badly. They went into the final match against Bahia without much of a chance to survive. They did win 2-1, coming back from a goal down, but the goals from Ferreira dos Santos and Samuel didn’t really matter in the end.
Fred, who scored 42 goals in 2011 and 2012, played in only 7 matches this season. He was wiping his tears high above the stadium, maybe also thinking about his next step – can he go and play for Brazil in the World Cup as a player for a second division team?
In Botafogo, things were a bit happier. The club beat Criciuma 3-0 to finish fourth, which means playing in the Copa Libertadores next season. Clarence Seedorf, who has been with the team since last season, added the final goal. There are speculations that he’s not staying and leaving this summer or maybe even in January. Maybe he was just happy that he was able to be a part of yet another success in his long and fantastic career. Whatever it was, he was crying in the end as well.