Flamengo scouting report: Exponents of ‘o jogo bonito’
Eintracht Frankfurt face another top team from the land of the record World Cup winners in their second Florida Cup match on Saturday (kick-off 22:00 CET), namely Brazilian Serie A runners-up Flamengo.
Flamengo’s most successful years are somewhat behind them, with the last of their five national titles coming in 2009 – although they did win the Rio de Janeiro state championship in 2017. However, one thing has always stayed the same: their penchant for the beautiful game, or "o jogo bonito" as it is known in Portuguese. The club are still associated with homegrown hero Zico, who went on to become Flamengo’s record goalscorer and led the South Americans to glory in the Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cup in 1981.
These days, the famous No. 10 shirt belongs to another well-known playmaker: Diego, who will be familiar to Bundesliga fans, having played for SV Werder Bremen and VfL Wolfsburg between 2006 and 2011. The 33-year-old is normally flanked by wingers Vitinho and Everton Ribeiro in attack, while left-back Rene also likes to bomb forward.
It’s not just because of their glorious past that the team in red and black are bound by tradition. With around 40 million supporters, they’re still regarded as the most popular club in Brazil, so it’s fitting that they play their home matches at the country’s most famous stadium. The Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho, more commonly known as the Maracana, holds over 78,000 spectators and was the scene of the German national team’s most recent success, their World Cup victory in 2014. Two years later, Germany were beaten by Brazil on penalties there in the final of the 2016 Olympic football tournament.