When he was Flamengo’s coach, Rogério Ceni, now at São Paulo, suffered from the same problem currently experienced by Renato Gaúcho: the longing that the red-black fans feel for Jorge Jesus.
Anyone passing through Gávea lives with the ghost of the Portuguese champion from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the Libertadores in 2019. Not even Ceni, winner of the Nacional last season with the club, escaped this.
Renato Gaúcho led Flamengo to the final of this year’s continental tournament, against Palmeiras, on the 27th of the month, in Montevideo, and even so he has already made the position available to the board because of the criticisms. Meanwhile, Ceni is fighting relegation at the Brazilian Nationals for São Paulo.
The two teams face off this Sunday (14), at 4 pm, at Morumbi. The match will be broadcast on Globo and on Premiere.
São Paulo is in 14th place with 38 points. They are five ahead of Juventude, the first team in the sticking zone. But the gauchos have a game in hand. The situation is not worse because Benítez hit a free kick in injury time last Wednesday (10) to avoid defeat against Fortaleza.
Although Atlético-MG is close to the title, Flamengo still has chances. It is with 57 points in 3rd place, but with one game less than the leader, who is with 68.
One of the reasons for São Paulo’s problems in the championship is in the offensive sector. With 24 goals scored, it is the second worst attack in the competition, alongside Atlético-GO. Only Sport did less (19). An example of the bad phase is Luciano. He hasn’t scored for 10 games.
Ceni will not be able to count on Gabriel Sara, Rodrigo Nestor and Wellington, suspended. He has already said in public that the team needs speed strikers from the sides of the field. Something he had to spare when he directed Flamengo. But just as would happen later with Renato Gaúcho, he failed to fill the gap left by Jorge Jesus, more in the fans’ taste than in the results themselves.
For the visit to Morumbi, Flamengo will have the rounds of Willian Arão, Everton Ribeiro and Rodrigo Caio. The three were some of the holders spared in the 3-0 victory over Bahia, last Thursday (11).
Although he has not yet thrown in the towel at the Brazilian Nationals, Renato’s concern is to take turns with the players and avoid wear and tear. He thinks about the team’s main priority for the year: the Libertadores final.
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