With their eyes on the top of the table, Atlético-MG and Flamengo enter the field this Sunday at 16:00 (GMT) in Mineirão, trying to return to the conflict with the leaders of the Brazilian Championship. At the moment, the hope is with the most decisive players in each team: Hulk and Gabigol.
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Hulk, Atlético-MG striker with Gabigol for the Flemish Brazilian Super Cup – Photo: Marcelo Cortes / Flamengo
The Atletico striker has completed 500 days as a player for the alvinegro club this Saturday. For all he has done this season, he has been Atletico’s biggest reference on and off the field.
If the dream of playing in the next World Cup is far away, he focuses on the Hulk club and his personal side. The player held an act of solidarity with homeless people in the mining capital. Along with his wife, he distributed lunch boxes and warm clothes to homeless people in Belo Horizonte.
Hulk distributes lunch boxes and blankets to homeless people in Belo Horizonte
The status he gained during his years abroad did not prevent the striker from being afraid of his actions. He thought about ending his contract with Hulk Atlético, at the beginning of his time at the club, when he realized he was not fit.
The moment of uncertainty literally served as the starter of an incredible year. Hulk was the main player in Atletico’s historic campaign, and the team moved to the Brazilian Championship, the Copa do Brasil and Campeonato Mineiro, which the club had not won in 50 years. He scored 36 goals in 68 games (0.52 average) and provided 12 assists last season.
“Bora de Brasileirão! The biggest offer of the game for a price that gives the game. Sign the Premiere!”
Galo’s second year led to two more titles: a Super Cup, a win over his opponent this Sunday, and a two-time state championship. Hulk Arrascaeta also beat the Flamenco player at the start of the season to become the player who shook the most from Gigante da Pampulha’s net, following the refurbishment of the stadium in 2013 with the goal of the 2014 World Cup.
Hulk Mineirão’s 40th goal in this Sunday’s match against Flamingo – Photo: Pedro Souza / Atlético
With Galo Brasileirão under pressure for a streak of four unbeaten games in 2022, Hulk is looking for a personal best this Sunday. If the flamenco net enters, the striker will score the 40th goal in Mineirão.
- 2021: 68 games, 36 goals, 12 assists
- 2022: 25 games, 20 goals, 3 assists
- Total: 93 games, 56 goals, 15 assists
In 2022, the Hulk failed in three games in Gigante da Pampulha. America – 1-1 draw with MG, Libertadores, 2-1 defeat of Tolima, also competing in South America, and 1-1 with Santos in Brasileirão.
The striker remains the main name in Flamingo’s attack. These are their numbers: 17 goals in 31 games and two assists. But there is no denying that, like other important athletes, Gabigol has been living in Flamingo for the least significant time since his arrival.
Gabigol wins second flamingo victory against Cuiabá – Photo: Thiago Ribeiro / AGIF
Moreover, unlike what has happened in the last three years, they did not win a title in the first half of 2022, a time when Flamenco had many ups and downs.
Gabi, 25, has averaged 0.54 goals in 2022, the lowest since 2019.
In the year that followed, he was the top scorer for Libertadores, deciding the competition with the last two goals, and for the Brazilian, who scored 25 goals. There were 43 in 59 games, which averages 0.72 goals per game.
In 2020, he lost to the team due to injuries and calls, averaging 0.62 goals per game (27 out of 43). Last season, the numbers went up again. 34 spectacular goals in 45 games (0.75 per game).
Gabigol Libertadores tries to be the Brazilian with the most goals
In 2022, Gabi, at a less than good time, finished as Carioca’s top scorer, scoring goals in every competition he plays. He suffered his worst in May when he played four games without conceding a goal, but at the request of Paulo Sousa he started to play a little further away from the goal. The puntista took turns, playing a great role against Goiás and a right winger.
The technical downturn and the lack of season imbalance left him out of the national team. He was on Titer’s first list of the year, in matches against Ecuador and Paraguay, but neither was included. From then on they didn’t call him back and he could see the dream of the Qatar World Cup in the distance.
If the season is far from over, Gabigol has not been able to appear in major matches. He scored in all the classics, including in complicated Libertadores matches, such as in Talleres, Rio, and Universidad Católica, Chile, and also left his own in the Brazilian Super Cup against Atlético-MG.
In the 33rd minute of the 2nd half, Gabi do Flamingo scored from inside the box against Cuiabá.
He has important goals in the season to try to recapture the best moments. He is three goals behind Luizão to equalize with the Brazilian top scorer for Libertadores. He has 26, one for Santos and the other for Flamingo.
Another is more complicated, but doable if we consider its numbers in Flamenco. With 121 goals, he is tied with Indio and is ranked 23rd in the club’s top 10 in the history of the club.
If Gabi has not yet returned to that goal machine, the season remains hopeful, both individually and collectively. The last game showed that. Finished further (four times), scored a goal and gave him a cross to seal the post as far as Arrascaeta.