- Flamengo is the most popular soccer team in Brazil, with over 40 million supporters.
- Former Portuguese player and Soccer manager Jorge Jesus took charge of Flamengo in 2019. Within a short duration, he was able to improve the team and bring a new wave of success.
- Jesus’s previous experience in leading soccer teams in Portugal, including Benfica and Sporting CP, constitutes most of his managerial career. He won several titles and trophies during this time.
- With his fresh and intelligent strategy, discipline, and training, he led Flamengo to success. Within six months, they were able to win both Copa Libertadores 2019 and Campeonato Brasileiro 2019, and become the runners-up of FIFA World Cup 2019.
- Flamengo fans Evaldo José and Rev. Miguel Torneire (Executive Director of Developing Our World) are working to combine soccer and community development for helping underprivileged children.
The Portuguese boss has demonstrated an unlimited passion for working and for winning in six short months, challenging preexisting ideas, and awakening the sleeping giant of Brazilian soccer.
Ask any Brazilian what he thinks of Soccer, and his response will tell you how the nation feels about the sport.
Soccer is a fundamental part of Brazil’s culture. This country has won the highest number of World Cups, is the only country to have qualified for every World Cup tournament, and holds the title of the only country which has scored the most goals of all time. It also holds the record for the highest number of consecutive wins in the World Cup play. The sport is enjoyed nationwide and has deep sentimental value for the nationals. Soccer fever is always around in Brazil, especially since Flamengo’s fate was turned around by Jorge Jesus, a Portuguese professional coach who took up the challenge.
The Crowd Screams in Joy for the ‘Mister’
Clube de Regatas do Flamengo, commonly referred to as Flamengo, is a Rio de Janeiro-based Brazilian Sports Club that is most renowned for its professional soccer team. Flamengo is currently the most popular Soccer club in Brazil, with more than 40 million supporters.
As is the ritual — before, during and after — the fans chant while they are enjoying Flamengo’s outstanding performance on the field. Their appreciation of the coach’s exceptional training is clear as they sing “Olê, Olê, Olê, Olê Mister, Mister” in every single game — ‘Mister’ being their favorite new coach, Jesus. The closest interpretation of this iconic chant originated in bullfighting when the crowd would chorus “ole” in response to extraordinary performance.
A New Coach, A Fresh Wave of Success
The Brazilian club Flamengo’s current manager is the former Portuguese player and Soccer manager, Jorge Jesus. Also lovingly called JJ or ‘Mister,’ the coach didn’t achieve this glory immediately. Taking up this unstable post was a challenge for the Portuguese coach, along with the fact that the Brazilians can be notoriously conservative about accepting fresh coaching ideas. This is why before Jesus, the team was circling in unrewarding rounds of underwhelming tacticians who would join the team and leave it after every few games.
The club was going through a downfall when Jorge Jesus was hired on 1st April 2019, to manage it after the resignation of Abel Braga. His unique training style and winning strategies turned the tables around for the club, helping them moving up from a troublesome position of being drowned in debts to become the richest club in the country. Not surprisingly, he won the hearts of the Soccer die-hards, who call him “Mister” to show their love, respect, and support.
Jesus’s Background Adds to His Uniqueness as a Coach for Flamengo
Jorge Fernando Pinheiro de Jesus is a Portuguese Soccer player who was born in Amadora, Portugal, on 24 July 1954. His father was Virgolino António de Jesus, who used to play for Sporting CP in the 1940s. He is married to Ivone, who is his second wife. They have a son named Mauro. From this first wife, he has two children: a son, Gonçalo, and a daughter, Tânia.
Jesus’s Professional Career – An Impressive Profile
Jesus completed his Soccer formation with Sporting CP and made his top-flight debut on loan from the Lions with S.C. Olhanense. He played soccer as a midfielder in Portugal. In the 1975-76 season, he played with Sporting’s first team and appeared in twelve matches. He started once with the Lisbon club finishing in fifth place. When he was released after this, he went on to play in Portugal’s top flight for seven years, amassing totals in 166 games category and 14 goals. He represented big names like Vitória de Setúbal, C.F. Os Belenenses, and Grupo Desportivo. At the age of 36, Jesus retired in 1990 following spells at second and third levels.
His professional journey now entered the managerial phase with him serving as a manager for Amora FC first, then moving on to F.C. Felgueiras in 1993. In his second season, he helped this team move up to top-flight, and he kept moving in and out of the team until January 1998. Then he took up the leadership of Estrela da Amadora, a former team. Soon, he was managing both Amadora and Vitória de Setúbal and managed to get them promoted to top flight. In 2003-04, he lent his services to Vitória de Guimarães. The following four years saw him leading Moreirense FC, União de Leiria, and Belenenses. After leaving Belenenses in 2008, he became in charge of S.C. Braga and succeeded in winning UEFA Intertoto Cup’s last edition, an achievement that no other Portuguese club has ever had.
From June 2009 to June 2015, Jesus served as the coach of S.L. Benfica. The team saw continuing success throughout his various campaigns. Jesus secured his 100th victory in the Portuguese League on 5th October 2009. In the 2010-2011 season, Benfica not only managed to win the League Cup but also set a domestic record of eighteen consecutive wins in all competitions. As part of this team, Jesus led some extremely successful years, breaking several records both as a team and as a coach. For example, he reached the 300th game milestone, along with the highest winning percentage since Jimmy Hagan in the 1970s. He also became the Benfica coach, who won the highest number of titles, which is ten.
Next, he took over Sporting CP, which is Benfica’s Lisbon rivals in June 2015. This association proved to be less fruitful despite starting with a victory against Benfica. In 2018, he won the Saudi Pro League. He led the team until 2018 when for the first time in his career, he left Portugal to go to Saudi Arabia, where he accepted the charge of Al-Hilal, the Saudi national champions. His very first game bought him the Saudi Super Cup when under his expert guidance, Al-Hilal defeated Al-Ittihad in London. His campaign remained rewarding throughout, with only one defeat in twenty matches and a record of sixteen wins. However, he gave up the position in January 2019 due to disagreements regarding contract negotiations.
The List of Trophies is a Long One
In the first 28 years of his career in Portugal, Jesus was able to secure many impressive titles for the clubs that he led, particularly Benfica. It was during his time with Benfica that he won ten domestic trophies and managed to reach to Europa League finals. He became league champion thrice with Benfica and won silverware at Sporting, Braga, and Al-Hilal. The list of his trophies during his career in Portugal and Saudi Arabia include:
- UEFA Intertoto Cup: 2008
- Primeira Liga: 2009–10, 2013–14, 2014–15
- Taça de Portugal: 2013–14
- Taça da Liga: 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2013–14, 2014–15
- Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira: 2014
- UEFA Europa League runner-up: 2012–13, 2013–14
- Taça da Liga: 2017–18
- Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira: 2015
- Saudi Super Cup: 2018
Jesus’s Intelligent Coaching Strategies – The Ultimate Bluff King
Jesus’s success as a coach can be attributed to his clever, seasoned coaching strategies. He imposes discipline to build a dynamic, fluid attacking unit. He applies a coaching style that is unique in South America. While working with Flamengo, Jesus identified the missing tactics in Brazillian Soccer and brought them from Europe. These include high-intensity pressing, tactical knowledge, awareness, and discipline.
Jesus’s tactics revolve around high mobility, fast-paced, attractive attacking Soccer. While he utilizes many strategies and formations, his favorite one is the classic 4-4-2 with intensive pressure high
up in the pitch, high-mobility, and good ball circulation. He uses these attributes to tweak formation sometimes, exploiting the basic 4-4-2, only. He likes catching the opponents by surprise with his fresh tweaks, earning him the nickname of “Bluff King.”
From Rags to Riches – How Jesus Developed Flamengo
Jesus can be considered the true architect of the success being enjoyed by Flamengo. When he took charge of the team, he introduced his new brand of unique, pro-active soccer that got the team much attention. He transferred to Flamengo all the wisdom that he had gained over his long career in Portugal, including the contemporary, European ideas.
The star-studded team was quick at learning and soaking up his training and ideas. This resulted in a fresh brand of soccer that developed in a league that was still dominated by short-term thinking and a conservative coaching and training culture.
With the addition of Jesus, Europe-based players Filipe, Rafinha, Gerson, and Pablo Mari also become a part of Flamengo. The team’s performance steadily increased, improving their financial status drastically. They managed to qualify for the final Copa Libertadores for the first time since 1981. They also became champions of the Campeonato Brasileiro, which was the first time since the year 2009.
In 2019, under the leadership of Jesus, Flamengo participated in the FIFA Club World Cup for the first time in the history of the club. This happened after they qualified to represent Brazil after winning the 2019 Copa Libertadores. Flamengo is the runner-up of the FIFA Club World Cup 2019. Before FIFA started organizing the Club World Cup, the tournament was called the Intercontinental Cup, which Flamengo has won in December 1981. Since Jesus took charge of Flamengo in June 2019, they remained unbeaten in 26 games.
Jesus Receives Recognition and Appreciation
2019 was a rewarding year for Jorge Jesus as he won several honors in it. He is not only a famous personality in Brazilian Soccer but also in Portugal. He was granted an Honorary Citizen of Rio de Janeiro title after Flamengo won Copa Libertadores as well as national champion trophies. He also won the Tiradentes Medal. Furthermore, he received the Commander of the Order of Prince Henry medal by the President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, in 2019 for representing Portugal in a positive light both locally and internationally.
In a short span of time (six months), Jorge Jesus was able to lead Flamengo to win the following trophies:
- Copa Libertadores 2019
- Campeonato Brasileiro 2019
Soccer Meets Social Work
Developing Our World is an organization that works to improve the lives of the underprivileged through holistic community development. This organization offers several services, programs and projects in different countries, including Guatemala. It was
founded by the Reverend Miguel Torneire in 2018, who currently serves as its Executive Director. A dedicated Flamengo fan, Mr. Torneire easily connects with other fans. This is how he met Evaldo José, who is a popular narrator of Radio BandNews FM from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and FlaTV, the official channel of the Clube de Regatas do Flamengo.
They say good things happen by chance, in this case, they seem to be a miracle by God. Miguel and José had more in common than just passion for soccer – both of them wanted to make things better for other human beings. Passion, commitment, novel ideas, and determined effort; these are all the ingredients necessary to brew the stew of kindness that this world needs. These qualities in both these individuals led them to find a way to combine soccer and community development. And this is how the idea of using soccer to improve the lives of refugee children was born.
José dreams of using soccer to enhance, change, and transform the lives of children in refugee camps. Most of the children who are living in refugee camps lead very limited lives, which don’t include any of the pleasures of childhood. He wants to change this by providing them education along with soccer so that they can enjoy a better life and future prospects. He aims to build both a regular as well as a soccer school within a refugee camp.
Since Developing Our World focuses on Holistic Community Development, Torneire found that José’s passion and efforts were perfectly aligned with his organization. This was the beginning of the collaboration between the two. Currently, Developing Our World is sinking supporters and donors who want to help him to build a school in a refugee camp in Dzaleka, Malawi. This innovative idea can be revolutionary as it can give refugee children exposure and access to a range of both regular and soccer opportunities.
More information about this project can be found on the organization’s website.