hit a new low on Sunday when they were knocked out of the
Carioca (Rio de Janeiro) state championship.
Eliminated from the Libertadores Cup earlier this month,
Flamengo lost 3-2 to arch-rivals Vasco da Gama in the
semi-finals of the tournament's second stage, fuelling
speculation about the future of captain Ronaldinho and coach
The only one of Brazil's six teams in the Libertadores Cup
to fail to go through to the knockout rounds, Flamengo will now
be idle for a month before the Brazilian first division
championship, their only remaining competition this year.
A defiant Santana compared his side's poor form to Spanish
club Barcelona, who lost their last two matches to Real Madrid
"Barcelona lost two matches and run the risk of being
eliminated [from the Champions League] on Tuesday. Are they
going to sack that lad [coach Pep Guardiola]?" Santana asked.
"Of course not, because the culture there is the right one.
We have to be like that here in Brazil, too. We can't talk of
sackings at each elimination," he told the post-match news
"We need security and balance to work."
Ronaldinho said after Flamengo's Libertadores failure that
he only wanted to leave "through the front door" following media
speculation that the club, who are behind with his salary, was
trying to offload their most expensive asset.
Flamengo were not the only team to crash out of their state
championship with Corinthians going down to a shock 3-2 defeat
by modest Ponte Preta in the Paulista (Sao Paulo).
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