The defeat in the final of the Copa do Brasil left Sampaoli, who has coached ‘Mengao’ for less than six months, sentenced.
It is striking that the charismatic Argentine coach presented 30 different lineups in the 39 games he led the Rio team.
Jorge Sampaoli has been a misunderstood genius at Flamengo. In April, he took the reins of the team that boasts of having the best squad on the continent, but that had just lost four titles in a row with the Portuguese Victor Pereira, and, they fire him without having been able to redirect the situation of a team at the end of the cycle, settled and where the ‘sacred cows’ have lowered their arms.
‘Sampa’ had been sentenced since Sunday afternoonwhen Flamengo’s defeat in the final of the Copa do Brasil against Sao Paulo was consummated, which broke its historic jinx in the KO tournament and once again celebrated a national title for the first time since 2008.
The internal atmosphere was already very tense. And, when it was made clear that the Rio team would end the season blank (for the first time since 2016), it was decided to anticipate the departure of Sampaoli, who also had a lot of trouble about being eliminated in the round of 16 of the Copa Libertadores against Olimpia, from Asunción… that would be eliminated by Fluminense in the following quarterfinal match.
What has been experienced since Sunday is truly horrific. Sampaoli training and the president of the entity, Rodolfo Landim (a far-right fervent follower and ally of Jair Bolsonaro) having dinner with the former coach, Tite, In janeiro river. And, when supposedly the gaucho coach’s yes was received, this last morning, the protocol act of dismissing ‘branches, who had a contract until the end of December 2024.
For statistics, Sampaoli, in the 39 games in which he led Flamengo, presented 39 different lineups.. Some will interpret it as an eccentricity, for others it is a reflection of the Argentine coach’s dissatisfaction and his attempt to have the entire squad engaged in his tireless goal of awakening a giant, who has won two Libertadores since 2019 (he played in a third final that he lost), and that he decided to stop competing, accept defeat and dedicate himself to ‘dolce vitta’.
This has been Sampaoli’s third experience in Brazilian football. Previously, he had managed Santos FC (in 2019) and Atlético Mineiro (in 2020), which he left to go to Olympique de Marseille. Before joining ‘Mengao’ he had a second stage at Sevilla.
Sampaoli leaves, but Flamengo’s problems continue. The biggest of all, right now, is that with 14 days left to finish, the Brasileirao is seventh (eleven points behind the leader, Botafogo) out of the access positions for the 2024 Copa Libertadores.
And Flamengo, under the presidency of Rodolfo Landim that began at the beginning of 2019, is already waiting for its tenth coach. Their average is that each technician lasts six months… with Sampaoli It’s been five and a half months.