WARSAW:Portuguese coach Paulo Sousa signed a deal to manage Rio de Janeiro club Flamengo on Wednesday, just hours after the Polish Football Association (FA) terminated his employment as national team coach.
Sousa had asked to be relieved of his duties with the Polish national team earlier this week after getting an offer from the Brazilian top-flight club, a request Polish FA president Cezary Kulesza had branded “extremely irresponsible”.
However Kulesza said on Wednesday the FA had taken the decision to part ways with the former Sporting Lisbon and Benfica midfielder.
Hours later, Flamengo announced a two-year deal with Sousa.
“This is a message for the biggest fan base in the world,” Sousa said on Twitter.
“It is with pride and satisfaction that I am to represent a club as incomparably great as Flamengo.”
“It is time to work hard together to bring joy and trophies.”
Sousa, 51, had a contract with Poland until March.
Appointed in January 2021, the ex-Juventus and Borussia Dortmund player oversaw a disappointing Euro 2020 where Poland crashed out in the first round, finishing last in their group with only one point.
However, Poland finished second in their World Cup qualifying group behind England and are in the playoffs where they face Russia in March.
Sousa takes over at one of Brazil’s biggest and most successful clubs, albeit one regularly in flux.
Sousa will be Flamengo’s fourth full-time coach in just 18 months and replaces Renato Gaucho, who left the side after they lost last month’s Copa Libertadores final to Palmeiras.
Domenec Torrent, Rogerio Ceni and Gaucho have taken charge since the departure of Portuguese boss Jorge Jesus in July 2020 but all left after short spells, buffeted by the long shadow of the victorious Jesus and the demands of a large fan base.
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