CM World Leagues: A Sao Paulo Story – part 3

It’s the final push now to the end of the season, there are 18 league games left to play and we are in the area semi final of the Auto Windscreen Shield, a trophy that the whole of Sao Paulo is hoping we can win for the first time. Red Star are our first opponents and they may be even more ill disciplined than we are. The front two of Kosta-D and Denilson are on song and we are even getting attendances over the 40,000 mark, not bad for a third division side.

Stabaek are our next opponents, they have sold Tommy Svindal Larson to West Ham and without their captain and leader they are a shadow of their former selves. Kosta-D with the hat trick and MOM as we run out comfortable winners.

The Auto Windscreen Area Semi and we play Red Star again, this time away from home, they manage to keep all eleven on the pitch but it makes no difference to the score line, we are off to the area final!

After that defeat to Olympiakos at the end of last week’s episode we have been on fire in front of goal and we don’t look like slowing down. This victory makes it 19 goals in four games. The goal for Kosta-D is his 40th of the season and it’s only the end of January.

Having just boasted about our impressive record in front of goal it’s obvious what happens in our next game. A lackluster 1-1 draw and a season ending injury to captain Javier Margas, four months with a slipped disc.

I struggle to decide who should replace Margas at centre back and as captain. I feel like getting the right captain really enhances the team performance, I have no evidence for this, just a gut thing. We muddle past bottom place Austria Vienna in the next match hitting the 100 league goals mark in the process.

Off to LA and the Rose Bowl next to face the revamped LA Galaxy. Stand in captain and centre back Francesco Tomei gets himself sent off but thanks to Kosta-D’s goals we still come away with the win. Safe to sat Tomei will no longer be captaining the side.

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, Tomei takes the loss of captaincy badly and goes into full blown sabotage mode in training. Not Kosta, anyone but Kosta.

Rocked by the injury to the greatest goal scorer the International third division has ever seen we can only manage a draw against Lyngby.

It’s Area Final time in the Auto Windscreen and we are playing Partizan again. We manage to make our dominance count after an early setback getting three away goals. We have one foot in the door of the final.

The high of the first leg of the final is replaced by another disappointing draw in the league. Steve Bruce is doing well with Velez Sarsfield as they sit third in the league, the game fizzles out after about 30 minutes as both teams cancel each other out.

The second leg of the Shield turns out to be a formality, there is no drama as we add another four goals, easing to a comfortable 7-2 aggregate victory. We are off to Wembely!

League action is against another side fighting for automatic promotion, Jack Charlton’s AEK Athens side. Luis Garcia is enjoying some game time and gets another brace, trying his best to fill Kosta-D’s shoes. Santos’ injury is fortunately only a couple of weeks.

Sparta Prague next and a score line that flatters them. Loan signing Christian Zenoni has proved valuable and he can play anywhere along the back line which is useful. German Franco Foda has taken over as captain for Margas and in proving much more reliable and Denilson and Garcia keep scoring.

It is approaching transfer deadline day and with a few injuries I check out the free players who are available as a bit of cover. Now what I didn’t think of when I started all this was non-promotion release clauses. All my squad have them but so do all the other teams too and the way they work is that as soon as promotion becomes mathematically impossible all those players go on a free transfer. This is amazing for me as I manage to pick up four really good players for nothing!

Having just sung Zenoni’s praises he goes and gets himself sent off in our game against Corinthians. Corinthians have somehow managed to get David Trezeguet on loan from Monaco. We are lucky to escape with a point in this one.

The first “major” trophy of the season goes to….. Boca Juniors, captained by Razor Ruddock, winning the League Cup against Bayern Munich.

Into April and Kosta-D has returned from injury and is on the bench for our trip to Bolivia to face Bolivar. Chilean striker Ivo Basay was scoring for fun at Sparta Prague but they can’t get promoted so he has joined me at Sao Paulo for free. His debut is a good one and his brace helps to ensure a good win.

Sunday April 12th, Auto Windscreen Final day. We face division two side Cesena, a good test (maybe) of what we will hopefully be facing next season. Kosta-D is back to full strength and it all seems very straight forward until they score two goals in two minutes to bring the score back to 2-3. A minute later though and that man Kosta makes it 4-2 and we cruise to a 5-2 win and the first trophy of my Sao Paulo career.

A week later and we are back to league action and the job of securing promotion. Skeid inflicted an unlikely 1-0 victory against us earlier in the season and despite Kosta-D getting an 18th minute injury this game ended up being an easy win. Ivo Basey seems good too.

The last few games don’t matter now so I’ll move through them swiftly. Molnar with his first goals for the club.

A couple more for Molnar in this match.

Dutch centre back with strikers stats Rob Verhegen is getting some game time and looks good.

Business as usual in the last two games.

So that’s it, the end of the first season and the league table looks like this.

The end of season stats look good, hopefully we can cope with the challenge of Division 2. Some great average ratings and Denilson and Kosta-D both scoring over 40 goals, Kosta was one away from a half century. Pirri has been great too with 11 goals and 22 assists.

The only negative point of the season is the £9 million we are in debt and the £120,000 for winning Division 3 isn’t really going to make a dent in that. I’m not sure if there is ever a penalty for going so far overdrawn, usually some investors inject some money at the end of the season, fingers crossed otherwise it is some more free transfer bargains for me.

In other news, these teams had winning seasons, adding some silverware to their trophy cabinets.

English International League

League Cup: Boca Juniors

FA Cup: Man Utd, 3:0 against Sporting Lisbon

Premier League: Man Utd

Div 1: IFK Gothenburg

Div 2: Coventry

Div 3: São Paulo

Italian International League

Coppa Italia: Juventus, 2:0 AG win over Valencia

Serie A: Marseille

Serie B: Valencia

Spanish International League

Copa del Rey: AC Milan, a 3:0 win against Lazio

Primera Division: Real Madrid

Segunda Division: Espanyol

International (European) Trophies

 UEFA Cup: Man Utd with a 5:4 penalty shoot out victory against Monaco

Cup Winners Cup: Vicenza, 1-0 against Real Betis

Champions League: Real Madrid, 4:0 against AC Milan

World Cup Winners: Brazil with a 3:1 win against Scotland!! in the final.

That’s it for season one, on to season two and the International Second Division, here we come.

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