Five Minutes with São Marcos

There are few players in world football with such strong ties to one club as Marcos has to Palmeiras. Brazil´s 2002 World Cup-winning goalkeeper spent all of his twenty-year professional career with the São Paulo club, going through a plethora of exhilarating ups and despairing downs and in the process turning himself into the Palmeiras faithful´s biggest ever idol.

On Tuesday, O Canarinho had the opportunity to get his thoughts on the present situation at Palmeiras and the Seleção´s goalkeeping options, as well as hearing about his new career as a craft beer brewer.

Talking about his old side´s recent form, Marcos said, “The team’s exciting right now. We made a few signings at the beginning of the year and we were hoping for more from them, to tell you the truth. The start of the season wasn’t great and we fell a long way behind. But in the last few games the team has evolved a lot and they’ve got closer to the leader.

“Corinthians are still six points ahead with eight games to go so the championship is still in their hands but with the pressure of Palmeiras and Santos behind them we’ll see what happens.”

Marcos sees the upcoming derby, on the 5th November at the Arena Corinthians, as crucial if Palmeiras are to retain the league title they won last year. “It’s fundamental,” he opined, “if they want to be champions they are going to have to beat Corinthians away from home. It’s not an easy mission but it is something that has happened before so we’re pretty hopeful.”

Marcos at the launch of his new beer

Speaking about the contentious debate over which goalkeepers should be in Tite’s Brazil squad for Russia 2018, Marcos was diplomatic, “The goalkeeping coach for the Seleção at the moment is Taffarel, a ‘keeper who went to three World Cups and one of the greatest goalkeepers ever to play for Brazil. I think his opinion has a huge influence on Tite’s choices.

“If Taffarel is recommending these three goalkeepers [Roma’s Alisson, Manchester City’s Ederson and Cássio of Corinthians have been chosen in the last two squads], they’re the players who should go. There is always a good goalkeeper who gets left out but that’s common for Brazil. There are always great players who do not make it into the squad. We have 50 top quality players and we can only take 23, so questions will always be asked. But I think these are three ‘keepers who can pull on the Brazil shirt without any issues.”

As well as the beautiful game, Marcos has a penchant for a few chilled beverages come matchday and has recently turned this other passion into a business, creating his own brew, named ‘12’ in homage to his Palmeiras shirt number. “It’s something I’m really happy about,” he told me with the satisfied smile of a man who has just guaranteed himself a lifelong supply of free lager, “Fortunately I had the opportunity to meet some craft beer makers from Wälfanger [the brewery where the beer is made in Ribeirao Preto]. We produced a brew that I really like. Having a beer with my brand on it is really exciting.”

In addition to the beer there will be a series of events where Marcos will discuss football and life with those who sign up; “Our motto is ‘Beer, football and conversation’. Brazilians love football, Brazilians love a chat and Brazilians adore a beer. Despite the fact that I played for Palmeiras for twenty years this is something for all Brazilians. We hoping it will be a beer for every football fan!”

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