Atlético-MG beat Santos 2-0 in the debut of their new home, Arena MRV. The two goals of the Atlético team were scored by striker Paulinho. On two occasions, the number 10 had already spoken and predicted that he would score the first goal in the history of the stadium.
Come here baby, don’t do that to Paulinho!
— Athletic (@Atletico) August 27, 2023
As soon as he arrived at Atlético, in December 2022, Paulinho gave an interview to GaloTV and spoke of his dream of scoring the first goal at the Arena MRV: “My goal is to score the first goal at the Arena. I hope I can manage to score that goal and bring much joy to the Galo fans in this new wonderful moment”.
Three months later, in February 2023, Paulinho visited the Arena MRV works and spoke again to the club’s TV about how he wanted to score the stadium’s first goal. This time, he not only spoke about the goal, but also predicted that he would be the player to go down in history with the first goal.
– I’m here to be able to debut and score the first goal. I have this goal. Once the Arena’s instagram posted asking Massa who they wanted to score the first goal, and I commented there that I wanted it to be me.
14th of Dec. 2022: Paulinho arrives at Atlético and talks about the goal of scoring the 1st goal at the MRV Arena
17 Feb. 2023: Paulinho visits Arena MRV and talks about scoring the stadium’s 1st goal again
27 Aug. 2023: Paulinho scores the 1st and 2nd goals of Arena MRV pic.twitter.com/CHhYrJr9oD
—Alecsander Heinrick (@alecshms) August 28, 2023
Paulinho also highlighted that he wanted to score « not only the first, but many goals ». In his account today, there are already two at the MRV Arena. The only official ones in the stadium’s history to date. In the whole season, he already has 18, being the second top scorer of the team, behind only Hulk (22 goals).
Paulinho’s ups and downs
Paulinho arrived at Atlético as the club’s main signing for the season. He started the year flying and was responsible for putting Galo in the group stage of the Libertadores, scoring in all games in the preliminary stage of the competition. However, the player began to suffer criticism from the fans due to the missed goals.
Even though he was vice-scorer, Paulinho was marked by the fans for also missing many chances to score. In the elimination of Galo da Libertadores, against Palmeiras, he missed the only chance created by the team and was even more marked. In the next game, he scored the winning goal against Bahia, but left the field receiving some boos from the crowd.
This Sunday (27th), with two goals at Arena MRV, he made his name in the history of the club once and for all and also managed to gain more points with the fans, returning to a good moment and a good relationship. Paulinho was defended by Felipão after the game:
– A lot of criticism from whom? Mine never were. I think he’s a very intelligent athlete, who manages to be peculiar in any position he plays and starts to be seen in that position as an excellent player.
Other MRV Arena firsts
In the first official MRV Arena game, everything that happened was for the first time. The first kick off, for example, was Marcos Leonardo, from Santos. Who made the first save was João Paulo, also from the Santos team, after an attempt by Hulk a minute into the game.
On Atlético’s side, Paulinho, in addition to being the scorer of the first goal, also had the first goal annulled at the stadium, but it wasn’t his fault, since Hulk, who provided the assist, was offside. Galo was also the first team to have someone warned in the stadium, with defensive midfielder Otávio, in the 37th minute of the first half. Otávio was also the protagonist of Arena MRV’s first substitution, as he left at half-time for Alan Franco to come on.
Since everything today at Arena MRV is for the first time (officially): Otavio is the first to be warned with a card at Galo’s new home.
—Alecsander Heinrick (@alecshms) August 27, 2023
Atlético-MG next matches
- Saturday – 02/09 – 16h – Ligga Arena – Athletico-PR x Atlético
- Saturday – 9/16 – 9pm – MRV Arena – Atlético x Botafogo
- Saturday – 23/09 – 21h – Arena MRV – Atlético x Cuiabá