Sao Paulo scouting report: Much in common with Eintracht
Eintracht Frankfurt take on Sao Paulo in the first of two Florida Cup matches on Friday morning (kick-off 01:00 CET). The Eagles have more in common with the Brazilian outfit than meets the eye.
The two clubs share the same colours, but there are more similarities between Eintracht and Sao Paulo than just their jerseys. For one, the city of Sao Paulo is regarded as the financial capital of Brazil, while Frankfurt also enjoys a status as Germany’s business and finance hub. As is the case throughout the country, love of the beautiful game knows no bounds in Brazil’s largest city. This is partly due to Sao Paulo’s impressive record in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, which they have won on six occasions.
Sao Paulo’s supporters certainly wouldn’t say no to further silverware this season. The club has endured something of a barren spell since recording three consecutive league titles between 2006 and 2008, although they did get their hands on the Copa Sudamericana - the South American equivalent of the UEFA Europa League - in 2012. Over a decade has elapsed since the club’s glory years in the mid-noughties: In 2005, they won their third Copa Libertadores - the Champions League of South America - before going on to lift the FIFA Club World Cup not long afterwards. With 12 international titles overall, Sao Paulo have won more continental trophies than any other club in Brazil.
From Sao Paulo to Europe - and back
The club’s lowest ebb came in 2017, when they had to settle for a 13th-place finish in the league. However, since the appointment of long-time youth coach André Jardine as head coach in 2018, Sao Paulo’s fortunes have started to improve. They finished third in the recently-ended 2018 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, with creative trio Diego Souza, Nene and Everton playing a key role in their impressive campaign. They have since secured the services of striker Pablo from Atletico Paranaense, while home-grown star Hernanes has also returned to the club. The veteran midfielder enjoyed spells with Lazio, Inter Milan and Juventus between 2010 and 2017, and also spent time on loan at Sao Paulo from Chinese club Hebei China Fortune in 2017.
Hernanes is one of several Sao Paulo players who have used the club as a springboard to further their careers in Europe. Lucas Moura (Paris Saint-Germain in 2012), Miranda (Atletico Madrid in 2011), Casemiro (Real Madrid in 2013) and Josué (VfL Wolfsburg in 2007) have all left the club for European teams in recent years.