Flamengo fires head coach after Copa do Brasil elimination

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Rio de Janeiro, Sep 29 (IANS) Brazilian-league club Flamengo said it has fired head coach Mauricio Barbieri in the wake of its semi-final loss to Corinthians in the Copa do Brasil, the country’s annual knockout cup competition.

“Mauricio Barbieri is no longer the coach of the Clube de Regatas do Flamengo,” the team said on Friday, thanking him for his “all his hard work and professionalism over the past nine months”, reports Efe.

The 36-year-old compiled a record of 19 wins 11 draws and nine defeats in 39 matches.

Although he always had his doubters, Barbieri temporarily quieted his critics when Flamengo took over first place in the 2018 Brasileirao (first division) in the weeks prior to the World Cup break.

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But the now-fourth-place team’s pedestrian play since mid-July, as well as its elimination both from the Copa Libertadores (South America’s premier club soccer tournament) and the Copa do Brasil, paved the way for his dismissal.

Flamengo’s management has begun talks with a former head coach of the team, Dorival Junior, who local media say is the front-runner to replace Barbieri.

Junior, who took over the reins of the Rio de Janeiro team in the middle of the 2012 Brazilian-league season, was the first coach of current club President Eduardo Bandeira de Mello’s tenure.

He had a rocky first stint with Flamengo, lasting just two and a half months in that position before being fired and then later suing the club over alleged unpaid salary.

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Flamengo assistant coach Mauricio Souza oversaw a training session on Friday in preparation for an away Matchday 27 of 38 contest on Saturday night against Bahia.

–IANS

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