Toro Loko: A Red Bull Brasil Story

kandersson

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Welcome to Campinas, Sao Paulo, home of my new Football Manager story!

As my FM persona, legendary manager Alberto Rossini, I'll take over ambitious lower league side Red Bull Brasil with the goal of transforming them into world giants.

Nicknamed Toro Loko ('The crazy bull') or RBB by their fans, the club was founded on November 19, 2007 as part of a project created and supported by Red Bull: the austrian company took over various clubs in different countries - Austria, Germany, USA and Brasil - aiming to bring them success via financial support and ambitious plans.

RB Salzburg, RB Leipzig and RB New York all enjoyed recent success under Red Bull ownership, and RBB also made solid progress: in 2015 the club will compete for the first time in their history in the first tier of Sao Paulo state championship (the Paulistao), and will also make their debut in the brazilian Série D (national 4th division).

The Red Bull Network:

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Austrian/brazilian former superstar Alberto Rossini is the man chosen by Red Bull to lead the club to a new era and become the greatest team in what is probably the greatest football country in the world. The truth is, I don't really like their drink, actually I kinda hate it. I will still do some commercials for them if they ask kindly.

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Coming up: The Beginning​
 
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kandersson

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Toro Loko: The Beginning

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As previously said Red Bull Brasil compete in the 4th tier of Brazilian football, the Série D, which means they're unplayable at the start of the game. Having started this save early after FM release, I couldn't find additional brazilian leagues down to 4th tier, so I went on holiday for one year hoping RBB would be promoted to Série C and finally become playable. Which they did!

Enter Alberto Rossini.

My typical modus operandi in LLM is reshaping the whole club with a global overhaul involving new players, coaches, scouts etc. With newly promoted RBB, this was not only a personal preference, but rather a necessity: most players and staff from past season were out of contract, leaving me with a poor, small squad just a couple of weeks before the start of the Paulistao.

Luckily the board gave me more than decent funds to start the rebuilding, so I was able to sign a gazillion of new players (don't expect any star though...) in order to face the long, exhausting brazilian season - virtually non-stop action from January to December between state championship, national league and cups.


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RBB currently play their home games at the Moisés Lucarelli stadium owned by Paulistao rivals Ponte Preta, this needs to change in the future; facilities are decent for a lower league club - good first team facilities and above average youth recruitment in particular. As of 2017 (my second season) I've started works to upgrade both training and youth facilities thanks to the support of Mr. Red Bull.


At the start of this journey, these were the key points of my long-term project with Red Bull Brasil:

  • Quickly move up divisions to reach the top of brazilian football pyramid and compete against top clubs in the country.

  • Use financial support from Red Bull in order to achieve state of the art facilities, academy and recruitment, while also building a sexy, new stadium.

  • Become an elite football academy, with the idea of implementing a long-term Cantera Policy (i.e. only using players produced at the club)




  • IF I ever managed to achieve all these goals (the GK challenge might take 20 seasons or more, WHEN I find the right one that is!), I might try the Red Bull Challenge, with the goal of winning Club World Cup with all four clubs owned by Red Bull (RB Brasil, RB New York, RB Leipzig, RB Salzburg) in one save. Though I must say, for now I don't see myself leaving Brazil anytime soon!


Coming up: Paulistao 2016.​
 
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kandersson

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Paulistao 2016

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In addition to national divisions (played from may to december), brazilian clubs compete in their respective state championships depending on the region of Brazil they're based in. These tournaments are very important to the clubs and their fans, as they feature lots of local derbies and historic rivalries.

From january to april Campinas-based Red Bull Brasil will play in the Sao Paulo state championship, also known as Paulistao. Founded in 2007 and appearing only for the second time in this competition, RBB has not much of a history or rivalries at this level. Hopefully we will build some in time, via the new Dynamic Rivalries feature.

The board didn't have many expectations as they simply asked to avoid embarrassment against superior opponents, while personally I was hoping for a safe mid-table finish and start to shape my new team.

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Considering all our new signings, new staff and new tactics to learn, the first Paulistao under my tenure was a success. Finishing 7h in overall standings and 2nd in our group, we qualified for knockout rounds where we lost to eventual winners Palmeiras.

We generally struggled against Série A giants like Sao Paulo, Palmeiras, Santos and Corinthians, but we more than held our own against third or even second division clubs. We did a good job of keeping possession with our group of technical playmakers and were also pretty solid defensively, though we did lack proven goal scorers and struggled a bit with converting chances - which is why we settled on a strikerless formation most of the season. Nonetheless I was very happy with the team's performances and achievements, which gave me a good platform to prepare the upcoming Série C campaign.

As I've so often done in my FM career, I gambled on troubled former wonderkid Kerlon (signed for peanuts from a Maltese club), thinking I could finally revive his career. As always, he responded with his trademark poor conditioning and string of injuries culminating in a torn ACL that once again made me swear I'd never sign him again. Until next time. Can't help it.


Coming up: Série C 2016​
 
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kandersson

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Série C 2016

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Newly promoted Red Bull Brasil will compete in Série C (the brazilian national 3rd division) for the first time in their history; the board was once again very cautious with their expectations, as they just asked our team to fight bravely to avoid relegation. Alberto Rossini had much higher hopes though, and after a promising campaign in the Paulistao I was in fact aiming at promotion to Série B. Best 8 teams (four in each group) would qualify for playoffs, with the four semifinalists gaining promotion to second division.

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Mission accomplished! RBB comfortably won their group in the first stage against less than stellar opponents; knockout rounds proved to be much trickier though, as we tipically won first leg quite comfortably only to suffer dangerous comebacks in the second leg. We managed to go all the way to the final in the end, as our form peaked in a 6-1 aggregate win against Sampaio Correa in the Série C Final.


2016 Best Eleven & Season Awards

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Great season for RBB as we won Série C as a newly promoted side, while also having a respectable Paulistao campaign. We accomplished this without having (or playing) a bona fide goalscorer, using many technical attackers in a strikerless formation. Left footed playmaker Danilo Rios won Série C Player of the Year as well as Fans POY, and Kawan was Série C Young Player of the Year; they both joined Dudu in the Team of the Year.

Versatile midfielder Igor Pato was our overall top scorer with 13 goals (10 in Série C) and became Favourite Personnel at the club together with Danilo Rios. They joined Alberto Rossini, who obviously won Manager of the Year award after leading Toro Loko to an unlikely promotion.


Coming Up: Youth Intake Top Prospects​
 

kandersson

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2016 Youth Intake: Top Prospects

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First youth intake under my tenure, always an important part of Red Bull Brasil future considering my long-term plans of Cantera Policy.

As a 3rd division club with low reputation, I'm not expecting immediate fireworks here though we do have decent specific facilities - namely an above average youth recruitment and average junior coaching.

I was quite happy with 2016 youth intake, as we produced a couple of standout prospects with very good potential:

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Goalkeeper Silvio has very promising attributes for his age. His amazing 15 rating for free kicks seems perfect for the goal scoring GK challenge, though unfortunately his 1 for penalties is not. He might or might not be RBB's Rogerio Ceni, he's a great prospect nonetheless.

Michel Laaber could be our future superstar striker, I love everything about him: he's left footed, has a cool austrian surname (no austrian nationality though) and boasts a set of sexy PPM's - including attempting overhead kicks. He's also touted as the next Jairzinho, so I have high hopes for him.

Both players are said to have good Série A potential, and indeed a few first division clubs are making enquiries for them. Hopefully they can develop into first team players for RBB in the next years.


Coming Up: Beginning of season 2017.​
 
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kandersson

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That's a decent first intake! Good luck next season :)
Thanks mate! Yeah, for some reason it makes me happy inside when the youth intake brings me a youngster who is 'dubbed the next...' someone :)

A decent youth intake for a 3rd division club indeed, though I was amazed at the amount of high quality prospects produced at the most obscure clubs in even lower divisions. I'm talking about legit wonderkids available for almost nothing at unknown clubs. More on this later... ;)
 
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kandersson

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Start of Season 2017

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There's really not much time to enjoy past success in the Brazilian leagues, with the new season kicking in as soon as January 2017 with the various state championships

Thanks to last season performances in the Paulistao, Red Bull Brasil qualified for the national cup, the Copa do Brasil - for the first time in the club's history I believe. This will mean even more matches to play in an already busy schedule for RBB, yay! For this reason, and also to match the higher standard of the upcoming Série B season, I once again found myself signing a huge number of new players, not that I ever need any particular excuse for that!

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Lots of transfer action as you can see, both coming in and going out. The board gave me a good transfer budget for the season, and actually in almost two full years at the club Mr. Red Bull have already pumped something like 15M euros into the club - all fresh money made available from his deep pockets! I didn't get to spend much money on new players though - expensive ones wouldn't be interested in joining a 2nd division club anyway - as I preferred to use that to upgrade both training and youth facilities, scheduled be completed in early 2018.

Boasting a revamped squad with excellent depth and overall quality for a 2nd division newly promoted club, we're ready to face a very challenging 2017, starting with the Campeonato Paulista.


Coming up: Paulistao 2017.


 

kandersson

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Paulistao 2017

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It's a new season in the Campeonato Paulista, with RBB trying to make their name in the state of Sao Paulo after a respectable 2016 campaign. The board is slightly more ambitious this time, expecting to qualify for knockout rounds of the competition - a fair request considering league structure and last season performances.

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Well, this was absolutely amazing and totally unexpected, Red Bull Brasil winning the Paulistao! Fantastic achievement for a 2nd division side, as we dominated first stage (14 wins in 15 matches) gaining top seed and home advantage for the knockout rounds. There, we admittedly had a bit of luck winning very close games against Série A giants Santos, Sao Paulo and Palmeiras in a spectacular 4-3 win in the final. Our large squad was the key of our success, as we were able to rotate players and keep them fresh in a hectic schedule between Paulistao and Copa do Brasil, often having a fitness advantage over our opponents.

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RBB favourite Danilo Rios was Paulistao POY, while new striker Thiaguinho was the Artilheiro (top scorer) with 12 goals; centre-back Gualberto joined the pair in the Team of the Year. Special mention for new goalkeeper signing Gabriel Gasparotto: a former Brazil youth international released by Santos, Gasparotto was a key mid-season addition and was instrumental in the knockout rounds with his clutch performances against top clubs (he saved three penalties in the PK shoot-out vs Sao Paulo). Still young at 24, he has the chance to fulfill his undoubted potential at Red Bull Brasil.


Coming up: Copa do Brasil 2017.​
 
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kandersson

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Copa do Brasil

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It's a Copa do Brasil debut for RBB, as Toro Loko enters the competition for the first time in their history. Played in two legs since the early rounds, the tournament adds more games to an already busy brazilian schedule, with the winners qualifying for Copa Libertadores (the South American Champions League), which makes Copa do Brasil a very highly regarded competition.

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This was even more shocking than the Paulistao: RBB won the Copa do Brasil as a 2nd division club and will enter the prestigeous Copa Libertadores next year! Not sure what happened here, I didn't expect much from this tournament and I actually played a 2nd choice squad in the early rounds. We could have been eliminated in the 2nd round, then survived a penalty kick shootout against Goias, and in the final we lost the first leg at home only to destroy Sao Paulo 4-1 away and claim the trophy!

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Thiaguinho was the Artilheiro of Copa do Brasil with 7 goals - his second top scorer award after the Paulistao - while the ever present Gabriel Gasparotto won Best Goalkeeper. Still can't believe we actually won this AND the Paulistao, a bit of a fluke indeed but we'll take it! Not sure how I will handle next year's schedule with the addition of Copa Libertadores: we could very well face 80+ matches next season lol!


Coming up: 2017 Top Prospects


 
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kandersson

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Top Prospects 2017

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Youth intake of 2017 was quite disappointing, with no real standout player or special talent. Even the 'best' prospects look two years away from being two years away, and then we'll see...

Youth development is still a big part of RBB plans though - and also a club philosophy actually - so I used our impressive scouting network to find cheap, promising youngsters around the country. Even the most obscure brazilian club can produce high quality youngsters, and some of these players are ridiculously cheap. I signed a half-dozen young players for the future, these two being the most promising:

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Luiz was the most expensive and the one with highest profile, as I signed him from Série A club Vasco da Gama for 275K euros (I activated his release clause: all players in Brazil automatically have one connected to their salaries, i.e. very low wages mean very low release clause). A gifted playmaker with amazing attributes for his age, Luiz is already good enough to crack first team rotation, and is also touted as the next Zinho.

Striker Cezar Wesley was much cheaper, as I payed less than 1K (yes, that's 1K not 1M) to his obscure, former club. Cezar looks like a special player, he scored a hat-trick in his first start for the club before even turning 16! A superstar striker in the making and an ideal poacher (despite poachers being dead since FM12), CW is also dubbed the next Ronaldo, though I secretly hope he could be the brazilian Alessandro Paolone.
 
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ninjaskill

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The beard that Wesley has at 15 is more impressive than anything he can do as a player.

Great job winning both of the cups as well
 

kandersson

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Série B 2017

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First season in the national second division for Red Bull Brasil, with the board now expecting a safe mid-table finish. This would be somewhat ambitious for your average newly promoted club, but for a RBB side that just won the Paulistao a mid-table finish sounds more than reasonable. In fact, Alberto Rossini was pretty confident that the team had the quality to compete for promotion - top 4 teams would go up to Série A.

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Toro Loko simply dominated the league, finishing almost 30 points over second placed Atlético Goianense and setting new Série B records for total points and goals scored. Depth and overall quality of our squad were simply too much for this standard of football, even with the added challenge of a long Copa do Brasil campaign. Summer signing Rafael Coelho was the Artilheiro with 22 goals, while Danilo Ferreira, Danilo Rios and Thiaguinho joined him in the Série B Team of the Year.

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Alberto Rossini - here pictured in the Movember edition - won Manager of the Year award after leading RBB to a legendary season, the highlight being winning Paulistao and Copa do Brasil as a second division club. Rossini explored several tactical set-ups during the season, going strikerless or one top as well as using three strikers (Best Eleven showed in the Paulistao winning 4-1-4-1). Playmaker Danilo Rios was again Fans POY, as he gained Icon status at the club together with his mentor Rossini.


To be honest I fully support Movember, I really do, though I'd never grow a moustache. A beard a la Cezar Wesley maybe, but the stache? No way.




 
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kandersson

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Red Bull Brasil 2018: Minnows No More

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Special update to celebrate the start of a new era for Red Bull Brasil. Toro Loko have exceeded all expectations gaining three consecutive promotions from 4th division to Série A, though this was actually Alberto Rossini's plan from the start. The real shock was winning the Paulistao and especially the Copa do Brasil as a 2nd division club last year, completing an amazing treble in 2017. As a result, newly promoted RBB will now compete in the brazilian top tier (Série A) and also in the Copa Libertadores, the top continental competition in South America.

Red Bull Brasil as of 2018

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Two national division titles (3rd and 2nd tier), one Sao Paulo state championship and one national cup: RBB have really started to fill that empty trophy room. Playmaker Danilo Rios has reached Icon status after two great seasons at the club (Fans POY both seasons). His attributes look just OK, but his performances have been simply amazing even against the top brazilian clubs in the Paulistao or Copa do Brasil. A great mentor for youngsters with his good personality and a bag full of excellent PPM's, Rios is part of a group of players that joined in my first season (2016) and are still doing a great job at a higher level. The others are centre-back Danilo Ferreira, left back Leo Bahia, and midfielders Igor Pato (currently recovering from a 12 months knee injury), Bismarck and Bruno Souto. All joined in third division at ridiculously low price, the amount of cheap talent available in brazilian lower leagues is really amazing.

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Another busy transfer session for RBB, as we prepare to face an even crazier schedule with Copa Libertadores while also improving overall quality for the upcoming Série A. Thanks to a very developed scouting network we are able to spot potential targets all over the world, which is very important with all the brazilian players based abroad (some really good ones in Asia). We sold first team players Gualberto, Rafael Coelho and Clayton Sales amongst others as I considered them very replaceable and was offered good money for them; this together with a decent transfer budget gave me the funds to complete some excellent signings.

Wonderkid signings - not brazilians!

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Anderson Rios (1M from Deportivo Cali) is a long term replacement for Clayton Sales at right back, and actually looks more than ready to contribute right now. The youngster from Colombia already has very promising attributes for the role, as well as useful PPM's. Unfortunately not touted as the next anyone, though I see him a bit as a young Juan Guillermo Cuadrado (including hairstyle) - hey he was great before Chelsea!

Versatile forward Alejandro Diaz (5M from Nacional) is the most expensive signing in RBB's history, and I'm confident he's worth it. Though capable of handling the AMC position, I see Alejandro as a powerful, out and out striker and hopefully our future goal machine. His physical attributes are impressive for a teenager, and how about his combination of finishing-composure-anticipation-off the ball? This kid has 'superstar striker' written all over him. Already nicknamed (by me) El Tanque.


Next: start of new season with the Paulistao and group stage of Copa Libertadores.​
 
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Loving the progress mate, you always seem to find an interesting story idea! Looking forward to your first season in the top flight.
 

kandersson

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Loving the progress mate, you always seem to find an interesting story idea! Looking forward to your first season in the top flight.
Thanks mate, much appreciated :)

The scoring GK challenge is my main motivation this time, hopefully I can find my Rogerio Ceni sooner rather than later! Silvio is learning the 'Shoots free kicks with power' PPM, only keeper who can be trained to do this so far (might be because of his 15 attributes for FK). He has missed a penalty at his first try though...
 

kandersson

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Copa Libertadores 2018: Group Stage

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As winners of Copa do Brasil, RBB qualified directly for group stages of the Copa Libertadores, starting in february. Penarol (Uruguay), Deportivo Cali (Colombia), Deportivo Quito (Ecuador): we were handed quite an easy group as we avoided teams from Brazil and Argentina, so qualification for second round was looking very possible to me.

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I expected to qualify easily but this was a bit embarrassing for south american football, as Toro Loko dominated the group with 6 comfortable wins in 6 games, with 24 goals scored. Honestly this was way too easy, brazilian teams in the second division were much tougher to face. I'm not complaining though, as progressing in Copa Libertadores can only improve both our finances and reputation.

More good news from second round draw:

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Penarol again!? Let's do this...


Next: Paulistao 2018​
 

kandersson

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Paulistao 2018

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It's a new season for futebol paulista as Red Bull Brasil look to defend their title in the Paulistao. The board and the fans are now consistently expecting to qualify for knockout rounds, which is fair considering overall quality of state championship, where Série A powerhouses coexist with lower division clubs.

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Back to back Paulistao titles for Toro Loko! RBB again led first stage table despite a weak start, when Copa Libertadores frenzy and (too) many new signings made it somewhat hard to challenge the top teams in SP state. Luckily the team found their confidence and form late in the season, and got particularly hot in the knockout rounds, beating Sao Paulo and Santos before an amazing 8-3 aggregate win in the final vs Corinthians.

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Left-footed wizard Thiaguinho and playmaker Bruno Souto were chosen for the Team of the Year. Young veteran Souto also won Young POY award, he's been one of the first signings under Alberto Rossini and a regular starter from day one. Still only 21, Bruno could become a true legend for Red Bull Brasil.


Next: Copa Libertadores 2nd round.


 
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