Preseason training begins for many Brazilian sides this week and many clubs have a new coach.
With the State Championships beginning later this month preseason training begins for most Brazilian teams this week. Players are on the move and the market will continue to be busy in the coming weeks, especially with the European transfer window open. The business that has been completed for most clubs is their coaching situation and an eye raising 11 out of 20 Brazilian Série A teams have changed their manager since the end of last season. I’ll look at the major player moves next week – this post focuses on the managerial changes.
The 2019 season may have ended in disappointment for Flamengo as they slipped to defeat against Liverpool in the World Club Cup final, but their hopes for 2020 were given a boost with coach Jorge Jesus committing to fulfill his contract with the club, which runs until May this year. That might not be too long, but he will at least oversee their Carioca State Championship campaign and the early rounds of the Copa Libertadores and National Championship. It is also possible that he could stay beyond the end of his contract, although he hasn’t made any commitment to do so yet.
Jorge Sampaoli has left Santos and seemed set to take over at Palmeiras, who released Mano Menezes from his duties as head coach with one game to go at the end of last season. Sampaoli, given what he did on a limited budget at Santos last year, and Palmeiras, given their underperformance on a big budget, seemed like a match made in heaven. But in real life money matters and Palmeiras were not prepared to meet Sampaoli’s wage demands and have gone for Vasco coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo instead.
Luxemburgo did an excellent job with Vasco last year, but this will be his fifth spell with Palmeiras. In his last spell in 2008/2009 they spent a lot of money, without much success, which crippled the club financially for several years after that and ultimately contributed to their relegation in 2012. They have recovered since then and injected a lot more cash, but I’m not sure what the club think they can get out of him now they haven’t in previous spells. Personally don’t see the sense of going in this direction. Everybody knows that going back to your ex is a bad idea. Once, okay. But five times. Really?
Elsewhere, Zé Ricardo was released from Internacional and replaced by Eduardo Coudet, an Argentine who had some success with Racing. Vanderlei’s abandoning of the Vasco project has completely killed the good vibes that he created there and they will have to make do with Abel Braga for 2020, who didn’t have a good year in 2019. He was fired from both Flamengo and Cruzeiro, but I still rate him as a good coach and he did a very good job with Fluminense in 2017 and 2018.
Former Athletico Paranaense manager Thiago Nunes is going to Corinthians. Despite looking like a grey-haired bond villain, he is only 39 years old and one of Brazil’s most promising managers. Athletico have replaced him with Dorival Junior, who took a year out of management in 2019 to travel and study football in different countries on a cool, football manager style sabbatical.
Santos have kept up the love for foreign coaches and gone for 73 year old Portuguese Jesualdo Ferreira, who had been in the Middle East for the last few years, but once upon a time was apparently a really top manager in Portugal.
Atlético-MG have decided that Vagner Mancini is not the man for the job and have appointed the Venezuelan national team manager Rafael Dudamel as their new boss. Newly-promoted Coritiba have gone for Eduardo Barroca, another one of Brazil’s up-and-coming young managers. Significantly, they have managed to nick him from fellow promoted team Atlético-GO, who won’t be too happy about the situation, but at least it wasn’t a Fucks’ style I’m-jumping-ship-with-three-games-to-go-type-job (NB: I’m not being rude – Fucks is the name of Ceara’s manager). Marcão has been given the chop at Fluminense, and replaced with former Inter boss Odair Hellman.
Meanwhile, the 2019 Serie B winners, who have now been renamed Red Bull Bragantino, might have an exciting project, but they have lost their manager Antônio Carlos Zago, who, after doing a great job in 2019, decided that a move to Japan was better for his career. Or bank account. Or both. The clubs that have kept faith with their managers from 2019 are the following: Bahia, Botafogo, Ceará, Flamengo, Fortaleza, Goiás, Grêmio, São Paulo and Sport.
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