Flamengo fire Pereira before he gets to coach a regular season Serie A game

April 12 – Flamengo have dismissed their Portuguese coach Vitor Pereira after a series of disappointing results ahead of this weekend’s kick-off of the national league. 

Pereira had only been in the job since January 1. A Flamengo statement read: “Clube de Regatas do Flamengo announces that coach Vitor Pereira and his coaching staff are no longer in charge of the senior team. The board thanks the coach and wishes him luck in his further career.”

The dismissal followed a procession of painful, but key defeats. On Sunday, at the Maracana, crosstown rivals Fluminense destroyed Flamengo 4-1 to win the Carioca championship and become the first club to reverse a two-goal deficit from the first leg in the final. Flamengo were punished and outclassed in every department of the field. Marcelo demonstrated why he excelled at Real Madrid for so many years, while Argentinean Germán Cano could not stop scoring goals. The scoreline almost flattered Flamengo.

Before half-time, the rubro-negro fans chanted ‘My Flamengo doesn’t need you’, aimed at Pereira.

This defeat proved to be one too many for Flamengo’s management. It was the fifth title that Flamengo failed to win under Pereira in the final stages of the competition. They ended runners-up in the Rio State Championship, the Brazilian Super cup, the South American Super cup and ceded the Taça Guanabara to Fluminense. The Club World Cup was another major disappointment. In Morocco, Flamengo crashed out in the semi-finals against Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal.

In the lead-up to the Fluminense defeat, Flamengo and Pereira also lost to Aucas in the first match of the new Copa Libertadores campaign, fielding a second-string team.

Pereira had succeeded Dorival Junior, who won the Brazilian title and cup in 2022 with Flamengo. Jorge Jesus and Jorge Sampaoli are the frontrunners to replace Pereira. In 2019, Jesus masterminded a victory parade in Rio de Janeiro where he led Flamengo to the Brazilian league title as well as the South American title. He is under contract with Fenerbahce in Turkey. Sampaoli is a free agent.

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