Welcome back to On the Break! If you missed the last post covering the first half of the 2027 season, click HERE to catch up! Peñarol seem to be the team to beat this year, and we’re going to have to be at our best if we’ve got any chance of the title. Can we be a threat? Let’s find out!
There’s only one place to start.
This could be a real game-changing moment in the save. Ramiro Centurión is the best player we’ve developed in the save, is now listed as a wonderkid and is a full Uruguay international. Once European clubs showed an interest it was only a matter of time before he moved, so the key was to get the best deal possible. With a £10million release clause in his contract and less than 18 months to run, I felt this offer from Sassuolo was the best deal we were going to get. The additional fees are almost guaranteed to come in, Ramiro already has 5 caps for Uruguay and will surely continue to get called up, so that’s £9.75m that will hugely benefit the club in the long run, as we can now look to spend a bit of money on the infrastructure of the club without having to rely on Libertadores prize money to keep us breaking even. The 30% of profit on future fee clause is huge, and a major reason why I was happy this offer came in rather than £10m outright. Ramiro has already had interest from Juventus and PSG in his career, and if he can prove his worth in Europe with Sassuolo there is definitely scope for him to secure a big money move to one of the elite clubs and secure the club a windfall down the line. My big worry going forward is that we’ll struggle short term without his incredible talent.
The only incoming player worth mentioning is Leonardo Salvagiot, who looked too good to pass up after his release by Newell’s Old Boys. His lack of strength and jumping reach worry me as I do see him playing more at CB than RB, but he’s excellent technically and can only improve. He’ll have to work hard for regular game time though, as we can only have three foreign players on the pitch at any one time and we have 6 in the squad.
As with last season, we’ve done some pre-contract business too, something to look forward to in the next post!
We finished second in the Apertura this year, a point clear of Nacional but eight behind Peñarol. That gives us a big task in the grand scheme of things, but a major plus point for the Intermedio – for the first time in the save we won’t face either of them in the group stage. Anything less than reaching the final will be a disaster with this in mind.
Jesus, the boys smashed it! Literally perfect, we averaged three goals a game and didn’t concede once. Ramiro Centurión signed off in style with a late goal against local rivals Danubio, but my fears of struggling to replace him were quashed by Christian Colman, who scored 7 goals in the next 6 games.
Despite beating Peñarol and remaining unbeaten, drawing too many games again cost Nacional as they missed out on a place in the final and lost further ground in the Overall Table. That left us to face easily the best side in the division to try and win our second Intermedio of the save.
The perfect tournament.
We did a really good job of keeping Peñarol’s talented forwards quiet, and after Benjamín Rodríguez put us ahead on 4 minutes we had our defence to thank for keeping us ahead, with ex-Peñarol defender Andrés Madruga particularly impressive. The game was quite even in terms of chances, despite us dominating the ball with 65% possession, but we had enough to see them off and secure the trophy.
I wish the Intermedio Final had an impact on the Overall Table as well as the group fixtures, but alas, we’ve still cut the gap to five and we’re on fire. It’s on.
As mentioned in the last post, after topping our Copa Libertadores group we were drawn against Brazilians Vitória. Although I wouldn’t make us favourites for the tie, I do think it’s one we could do well in.
We were really unlucky here. We did well to keep Vitória at bay for as long as we did after Poggi’s early sending off but never looked like grabbing an away goal, so we had it all to play for in the second leg in front of our own fans. We were much better, restricting the Brazilians to speculative efforts from range that didn’t hit the target. Nahuel Paiva put us ahead just after half-time to even up the tie, and we were set for extra-time until tragedy hit in the final minute. There’s no other way to describe him, Newcastle Icon!! Joelinton scored with Vitória’s only shot on target in the game to see the Brazilians progress.
After seeing us off Vitória made it all the way to the final, defeating Independiente and Flamengo before losing on penalties to Palmerias, and were also voted the tournament’s overachievers. We ran them close, so I’m declaring us unofficial 2027 Copa Libertadores half-finalists!
Five points behind Peñarol, and well clear of Nacional, the chase is on.
There are two different methods of preventing Peñarol from winning the title, one much more likely than the other, but both difficult. We either need to overhaul the five point gap and finish top of the Overall Table, or we can reach the Championship Play-Off by winning the Clausura. Either way, we’ll have to be near perfect to do either at the expense of Peñarol.
A good start. The draw against Wanderers is a disappointing blip on the sea of green we needed and otherwise got, but fortunately Peñarol also slipped, losing to our bogeymen, Cerrito. Six games into the stage, gap down to 4 points, but we had a 2 point advantage in the Clausura table.
Two hugely disappointing defeats, that put a huge dent in our title hopes. We can’t have any complaints, we didn’t play well enough in those games and deserved to lose, but it’s such a hammer blow when we’d only lost one league game previous to Boston River. The away win at Nacional was huge though, at a time where we’d have choked in previous years we held our nerve and secured a massive three points. Amazingly, we’ve also won our last 5 encounters with Nacional now, surely a good omen? Speaking of good omens, we finally beat Cerrito! After 4 defeats and 2 draws against what I’d imagine FM-Universe Twitter calls our B Team, we finally stopped the rot. Unfortunately Peñarol only dropped two points in this same run of games, so the gap was back to 8 points, and we were also three points behind in the Clausura table.
Our next game? Peñarol at home. The Overall Table is gone, but with two games left we could still top the Clausura.
A 93rd minute goal to keep the season alive. That puts us level on points in the Clausura table with one game left to play. If we better Peñarol’s result, we go straight to the Championship Play-Off. If we match them, we have to play them in a Clausura Position Play-Off, which we have to win to get to play them again for the title. If we lose, we get squat. The thought of playing Peñarol three times in four games makes me feel a bit sick.
We face rivals Danubio, who we have an excellent record against over the course of the save. Peñarol face Rampla Juniors, also at home. With the greatest of respect to Rampla, I’m not expecting them to do much to help the cause.
Jesus Christ. I thought we were past this late season bottling.
Peñarol won, it’s what they do this year. They’ve won their first league title for four years, we’re still waiting for the club’s first since the 2007/08 season.
Although I’m frustrated with our final day defeat, the truth is that Peñarol were easily the best team in the division this year, and if we had somehow snuck the title it would have been one of the most unjust title wins in the history of the sport. The overriding feeling from this year has to be of pride, and progression. Our points total would have been enough to top the Overall Table in four of the previous years, so we now have proof that we are capable of beating totals that Nacional and Peñarol will post at times – we just need them to do it in the same season. We had an excellent campaign defensively, with only 20 goals conceded and 23 clean sheets, although remarkably not the best in the league. With two of our new additions already confirmed being a CB and a high quality DM, I’d like to think that record can continue, and Christian Colman definitely showed he can be our number one striker, stepping up to replace Ramiro Centurión with 23 goals.
The aim next year is the Championship Play-Off. I’ll be satisfied with nothing less.
That’s it for this post, another season where the title has passed us by. It’s a slog, but I’m enjoying the journey, hopefully you are too. Let me know in the comments, or over on Twitter @adam_otbfm.
Thanks for reading.