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Jorge Jesus leaves Flamengo for second stint with Benfica

Jorge Jesus has left the managerial role at Flamengo after just 13 months in order to make his comeback to the Portuguese top-flight with Benfica.

The 65-year-old joined Flamengo in June last year and he changed their fortunes as they won the Brazilian Serie A and Copa Libertadores double for the first time in their history.

The Rio de Janeiro outfit also gave a good account of themselves in the FIFA Club World Cup final against Livepool in December and the game was decided by the solitary goal by Robert Firmino in added extra-time.

They have since added more silverware to their cabinet with the Brazilian Super Cup win over Athletico Paranaense and recently won the Rio State Championship over Fluminense across two legs.

Flamengo president Rodolfo Landim recently indicated that Jesus had not given any indication that he would leave the club and he expects him to return to oversee the club’s training session on Monday.

However, within 24 hours of his comment, Benfica seem to have stuck an agreement with both Flamengo and Jesus and the Portuguese has accepted to return home, where he has spent more than two decades of his managerial career.

“Sport Lisboa e Benfica – Futebol, SAD (“Benfica SAD”) informs, under the terms and for Article 248-A of the Securities Code, that it has contacted the CR Flamengo, stating its intention to hire the coach Jorge Jesus, having started negotiations for this purpose. Furthermore, Benfica SAD presented a proposal for a sports work contract to coach Jorge Jesus and the offer was accepted by him,” a statement on their website read.

Jesus’ contract with Flamengo was initially due to expire at the end of June, but he was convinced to put pen-to-paper on a new one-year contract after the sublime achievement with the club.

However, less than a month into the new deal, Jesus has made the surprise decision to return with Benfica, whom he guided to three league titles between 2009 and 2015.

Benfica were just one point behind leaders Porto when the season was disrupted by the coronavirus shutdown in March. However, they were unable to keep up following the restart last month.

Within five matches, the club dropped six points behind Porto in the title race and that paved the way for the dismissal of Bruno Lage after 18 months at the helm.

Porto have already won the league title with two games to spare and Jesus will now have the opportunity to rebuild the squad ahead of the 2020/21 Primeira Liga campaign.

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen how Flamengo progress after the departure of Jesus, who helped them experience the best phase in their history since the 1980s when Zico and Junior were players at the club.

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