coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo on Thursday despite steering the team
through to the group stage of the Libertadores Cup the night
The former Real Madrid and Brazil coach, who had been in
charge since October 2010, overcame internal squabbles to steer
Flamengo to a 2-0 home victory over Real Potosi of Bolivia on
Wednesday for a 3-2 win on aggregate in their preliminary round
Luxemburgo said after Wednesday's win that he would be
staying on in the job despite media speculation he was on his
way out regardless of the result, but club president Patricia
Amorim said the sacking was decided on Thursday.
"The decision about Luxemburgo was taken after the talk I
had with him today," Amorim said.
"It had already been agreed with the coach that we would
talk after the game but no decision was taken before that," she
told a news conference at Flamengo headquarters.
"We listened to the opinions of the players, the fans and
saw this was the right moment to make changes."
Amorim denied there was already a successor in line to
replace Luxemburgo, who was in his third spell as coach of the
club he played for as a right-back in the 1970s.
However, local media reports said Joel Santana, who quit
Flamengo in 2009 to coach 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa only
to be sacked a few months before the finals, had already agreed
to return to the Rio de Janeiro club.
Santana, who has been coaching Bahia since September, handed
in his resignation to the northeastern club on Thursday night
according to the club's website,
at the same time as Flamengo were announcing Luxemburgo's
Luxemburgo, 59, arrived at Flamengo with the team, who were
defending Brazilian champions, in danger of relegation and
managed to steer them to mid-table safety.
With the signing of former FIFA World Player-of-the-Year
Ronaldinho from AC Milan in January last year, Brazil's most
popular team expected a successful campaign but only won the
low-key, early season Carioca [Rio] state championship.
Luxemburgo, who had a contract until the end of this year,
also had problems with Ronaldinho due to the player's love for
partying during the summer off-season in January.
A 2-1 loss to Real Potosi in the first leg of the
Libertadores Cup preliminary round tie last week despite a week
spent in Bolivia acclimatising to the high altitude virtually
sealed Luxemburgo's fate even though his team qualified on
Luxemburgo, who as a coach has won the Brazilian
championship five times with four different clubs with the last
at Santos in 2004, held the Brazil job from 1998 to 2000 and
spent the 2004/05 season at Real Madrid.
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