Defender Robert Arboleda, from São Paulo, left the field on a stretcher cart after being injured during the match between Ecuador and Uruguay, this Tuesday (12), in the second round of the South American Qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup. The defender started as a starter, but felt his left thigh around 20 minutes into the second half and needed to be replaced.
The image of the Ecuadorian leaving the field with his hands on his face worried the São Paulo fans. Arboleda would no longer be available this Wednesday (13) against Internacional, in the 23rd round of the Brazilian Championship, but a possible injury could take the defender out of the two matches of the Copa do Brasil final, against Flamengo. The first game will be played this Sunday (17th), at Maracanã, while the return game will be played on the 24th, at Morumbi. Both matches in the decision are scheduled for 4pm (Brasília time).
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD ARBOLEDA NOOOOO pic.twitter.com/eE3yAXb1nT
— Kaique (@okaiquez) September 12, 2023
Arboleda today against Uruguay:
4 defensive cuts (1st in the game)
3 interceptions (1st of the game)
6 balls recovered (1st on the team)
2/2 aerial duels won (1st of the game)
47/52 successful passes (1st in the game)
He was injured at 70′
Let it be nothing serious! pic.twitter.com/z41xea84nr
— SPFC Statistics (@spfcestatistica) September 12, 2023
Arboleda injured, apparently seriously.
This is what the selections are for.
Image: Sportv pic.twitter.com/GV3vmUWZ5l
— agoniatricolor (@agoniatricolor) September 12, 2023
Who can replace Arboleda?
Arboleda’s participation in the final of the Copa do Brasil is still uncertain, as the player must undergo tests upon arrival in Brazil to find out the severity of the injury (if it is found) and the recovery period. If he does not recover in time, due to the proximity of the decisions, the Ecuadorian will have to be replaced by Alan Franco. The Argentine played 27 games for São Paulo this season and was the one who replaced Beraldo in the 2-1 defeat to LDU, on the 24th of last month, when the number 35 felt his ankle.
Another possibility is the entry of Diego Costa, who was not used in Tricolor’s last three matches, but started in three of the nine games played by the team in August. The young Belém, who played three times for the professional team in 2023, is the third and final option.
Robert Arboleda is an absolute starter for São Paulo, having played 33 matches for the club this season. In the 1-0 victory over LDU, on the 31st, he scored the winning goal that took the quarter-final clash of the Copa Sudamericana to penalties. At Morumbi, the Brazilian team ended up defeated 5-4 and was eliminated.
São Paulo’s next games
- 13/09, at 9:30 pm (Brasília time) – Internacional x São Paulo – Beira-Rio – 23rd round of the Brasileirão
- 17/09, at 4pm (Brasília time) – Flamengo x São Paulo – Maracanã – Copa do Brasil final
- 20/09, at 9:30 pm (Brasília time) – São Paulo x Fortaleza – Morumbi – 24th round of the Brasileirão
- 24/09, at 4pm (Brasília time) – São Paulo x Flamengo – Morumbi – Copa do Brasil final