Flamengo’s search for a new coach following the departure of Renato Gaucho, on Monday, has brought Carlos Carvalhal back into the sights of Robro-Negro fans. The Portuguese press reported that the 55-year-old Portuguese, who has already negotiated with the club after the departure of Jorge Jesus in 2020, will be one of the options to coach the Rio team. Experienced and honest, Carvalhal was in Braga for two seasons, where he applied a very competitive and exhilarating style of play, which saw him defeat Jorge Jesus Benfica in a decision.
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Braga formed a fourth powerhouse in Portugal in recent years, a scenario that continued after Carvalal took charge of the team. The former defender of the club and born in the homonymous city, located in the north of Portugal, was contracted to the coach for his second term at the club in mid-2020, after a wonderful season with the modest Rio Ave club, which led to the European League. Before, he worked for clubs in Portugal, Greece, Turkey and the UK.
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The headline of his career came precisely in the current clip. Braga beat Benfica in the 2020/21 Portuguese Cup Final and thwarted Jorge Jesus’ first season after his return to the Reds. In the previous edition of the Portuguese championship, they took fourth place with only offensive and defensive numbers behind the trio of Sporting, Porto and Benfica. In the current season, with 12 matches played, the situation is practically the same.
The Carvalhal team has some strong and easily recognizable bases. The first is the preference for playing with three defenders: the 3-4-3 scheme has been the most used by the coach this season, a suggestion that includes style of play and intense movement in the middle.
Braga tends to act with match suggestion, controlling ball possession and speeding triangles between midfielders and attackers – usually very close to each other – triggered as soon as the defenders can beat the marks on the ball. One-touch gameplay with fast movement, attacking spaces and swapping positions between front players is common in matches.
It is a style of play that has its own defensive effect, in which the defense line leans forward, away from its area, exposing it to counter-attacks, long balls and deep spaces. To compensate, the team bets on counterpressing: intense control from the attack trying to recover the newly lost ball. However, Carvalal, who specializes in the game, has no problem acting in a more reactive manner and lowering his lines, depending on the context of the matches.
The technician does not usually hide what he thinks. Active on social media, he usually interacts with fans and journalists and shares details of his work. On his Twitter profile, he has emphasized, on numerous occasions, how Braga is a team always under construction. He also had no problems admitting that he negotiated with Flamengo, in an interview in October.
– When I came to Braga, I had some time before practically signing an agreement with Flamengo. It was public. The choice was Braga, because they are the club that they are, because they love Braga so much and also because of the features of the epidemic. It has nothing to do with the financial part. Being interested in one of the best clubs in the world makes me very proud and rewarding for our work.
As the tactical application of his teams suggests, Carvalhal is a coach who values commitment to his teams. In a recent episode, he paid tribute to young Roger, from Braga, who told him he had watched team videos to learn how to fit in with the pro. The 15-year-old scored his first goal in October and hugged the coach in tears.
“He didn’t go to watch Barcelona or Liverpool! He studied the team he wanted to play with! Basic ideas and then went to look for the position of the player who plays in his position in the pictures to study it! I went through a situation like this, but I understand that this should be shared as a positive example, for those who want one day What a play in the first team for their club. I have no idea if young Roger will be a real player! On the right track, without a doubt.” The coach shared on the networks, in a statement that was widely spread in the European media.
On the other hand, he has already shown his tough side in the friction which, curiously, includes a player from the current Pink Team. Shortly before defender Bruno Viana was loaned to Flamengo, Carvalal removed him from the main team.
“The door is closed and you will not miss it.” We just need someone who’s here. Management is interested in this and the player is about to get a placement. The future does not pass by Prague – he said, in February. The two should not meet at Flamengo if Carvalal seals a deal with the club, as Viana finishes the final weeks of loan.
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