The end of the Brazilian season brought no rest and rest for administrators of Rio de Janeiro giants Flamengo. They established off throughout the Atlantic in search of a new coach — who could be any nationality, as extensive as he was Portuguese.
This desire is in huge component the legacy of Jorge Jesus, the skilled Portuguese mentor who took charge of the club in the middle of 2019 and stayed for a handful of magical months. He led Flamengo to triumph in the league and the Copa Libertadores. But it was a lot extra than the trophies. It was the refreshing, swashbuckling model in which they have been accomplished. Jesus immediately broke with the consensus in Brazilian soccer, and picked a front four of strikers Bruno Henrique and Gabriel Barbosa backed up by Everton Ribeiro and Giorgian De Arrascaeta.
– ESPN FC 100: Ranking the world’s ideal men’s players
– ESPN+ guidebook: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, FA Cup, extra (U.S.)
– Stream ESPN FC Day-to-day on ESPN+ (U.S. only)
In advance of his arrival it was usually considered that this could not be completed, that it would front load and disorganise the group. In its place, it was a feeling. Flamengo’s administrators had been struck by how Jorge Jesus had managed to get the job done outdoors the Brazilian box. The club’s enthusiasts have been pining for him at any time since he went again to Portugal soon immediately after the pandemic struck. Three subsequent coaches have arrive and gone, none of them able to get out of his shadow. But Flamengo’s love affair with Portuguese coaches was not restricted to Jorge Jesus. They watched as Abel Ferreira took Palmeiras to the up coming two Libertadores titles — beating Flamengo in the most the latest last at the stop of November.
Ferreira’s design and style is very diverse from that of Jesus — his Palmeiras have been a reactive, counter attacking facet. But the Flamengo administrators arrived to the summary that foreign coaches could offer you an upgrade and, in part for causes of language, Portuguese coaches identified it much easier to adapt to the Brazilian truth. And so they established off throughout the Atlantic with a buying listing — with the title of Jorge Jesus at the leading.
Below there was an noticeable issue. Jesus had a job. He was in cost of Benfica, Portugal’s greatest club. Legitimate, points ended up not likely as well as experienced been anticipated, but — in section as a consequence of Barcelona’s post-Lionel Messi drop — Benfica had made it as a result of to the knock-out stages of the Champions League. It seemed not likely that the club would make an quick alter. But, below stress from the Benfica admirers, the ego of Jorge Jesus was obviously stoked by the curiosity and ardent admiration of a Brazilian giant who count their supporters in the tens of tens of millions. The flirt became a yuletide cleaning soap opera in Portugal, front website page news each working day in the community sports press. But Jorge Jesus was not no cost. And that, or so it seemed, was the close of the tale.
Flamengo cast their net. Other names were being dropped into the cauldron of speculation. Main among the them was Carlos Carvalhal, the mentor of Braga. Flamengo experienced negotiated with him with out accomplishment in 2020, but Braga were being obviously unwilling to permit him go. There was chat of Vitor Pereira, who was absolutely free immediately after getting sacked by Fenerbahce. Ex-AS Roma manager Paulo Fonseca was deemed, along with Olympiakos boss Pedro Martins.
And then there was Paulo Sousa. Flamengo were being struck by his practical experience both of those as a player and as a coach. A central midfielder with a good vary of passing, Paulo Sousa experienced won the Champions League with Juventus and Borussia Dortmund. He had played in 5 nations and coached in 9, selecting up practical experience and broadening his horizons wherever he went. And just after conference him, Flamengo were being even far more impressed. If they could not occur dwelling with Jorge Jesus in their Xmas stocking, they would return with Paulo Sousa. But there was a challenge. He already experienced a task — and a single with a vital few months ahead. Paulo Sousa was in charge of Poland. There is a Globe Cup location at stake. On March 24, Poland will consider on Russia in a participate in-off. This is an essential soccer event, turned into an function of epic nationwide great importance in the gentle of the historical issues. The winner of this sport will then confront whoever will come through the match in between Sweden and the Czech Republic.
It seemed unthinkable that a coach would rip up his contract and wander away in the build up to these kinds of an event. But that is what Paulo Sousa has carried out. This is a gentleman who is unlikely to be welcomed back again to Poland in a hurry. Sousa has faced a storm of opprobrium in the region given that his choice turned obvious. His possibility exhibits the primacy of the club activity in the eyes of most coaches — and the electric power of Flamengo as a authentic world big.
But just before the relationship of Flamengo and Paulo Sousa could be celebrated, there arrived a extraordinary advancement back in Portugal. Jorge Jesus shed his position. Benfica lie a disappointing 3rd in the Portuguese league, four factors at the rear of FC Porto and 5 behind Sporting CP. Previous Thursday, with Flamengo directors in the stands, they endured a 3- defeat to Porto in the Portguese Cup competitors. Force was growing. Accurate, they were being nonetheless in the Champions League, but on Thursday they are set to meet up with Os Dragões yet again in the league. Some noticed this activity as a referendum on the potential of Jorge Jesus. But he did not last that extensive. In addition to shedding the assist of lots of of the enthusiasts, it appeared that he may have missing the dressing area.
Alternatively, irritated with the general public mother nature of his flirt with Flamengo, Benfica may have waited until finally the Brazilian club available the occupation to Paulo Sousa in advance of acquiring rid of Jorge Jesus. So would Paulo Sousa be jilted at the altar? Would Flamengo drop anything and flee into the arms of their initially adore now that Jorge Jesus was cost-free? If they deemed this study course of motion, they did not act upon it. On Wednesday, Paulo Sousa was declared as the new Flamengo boss — the newest guy to try out to get out of the shadow of Jorge Jesus.
And that shadow could perfectly be shut. Earlier this week there was the shock resignation of Cuca, who experienced just taken Atletico Mineiro to the Brazilian league and cup double. There is an clear preference to exchange him — a male who is now free of charge to get on a refreshing challenge. Jorge Jesus.