Flamengo reached the Final of Copa Libertadores 2019 by defeating fierce rivals River Plate and qualifying for a Final that for the first time ever was to be a single game rather than the traditional two-legged affair. The semi-final versus River Plate saw a first game 1-1 draw but Flamengo tore River Plate apart with a 4-0 win at home.
Flamengo is one of Brazil`s most successful clubs of the 20th century and their greatest achievement was the 1981 Copa Libertadores along with the Inter-Continental Cup which they won by beating Liverpool. The team were led at the time by club and Brazil legend Zico and are by far the best supported club in the country with an estimated following of 40 million. They are also the most valuable at 400 million euros. As well as winning five league titles Flamengo also hold the record of 35 Campeonado Carioca.
Jorge Jesus is a former Sporting CP – Lisbon- player. His big break as a coach came in 2009 when he joined Benfica. He went on to win 10 trophies, which is a record for one manager at the club. He also reached two Europa League Finals. This World Club Cup will offer Jesus a chance to touch base with his former employers, Al-Hilal who he coached in 2018 after he left Portugal for the first time. But he fell out with the board over contract negotiations and was appointed manager of Flamengo in June 2019.
Midfielder Gerson, at 12 million euros is the most expensive Brazilian to be signed by a Brazilian club. Goalkeeper Diego Alves, 34, spent a decade in La Liga, most notably with Valencia and he won a Bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics.
Pablo Mari joined Manchester City in 2016 and immediately went on loan to Girona for a season. Aloan with NAC Breda followed before he moved on to Deprtivo la Coruna where he played 256 games. Brazilian international Rafinha is probably the best- known player having spent eight seasons with Bayern Munich.