Benfica rehires champion Flamengo coach Jesus

AP – Benfica rehired Jorge Jesus as its coach on Friday after he ended a trophy-laden 13-month tenure at Brazil powerhouse Flamengo.

Jesus worked at Portugal’s most popular club from 2009-15, winning three league titles.

Benfica did not reveal the length of Jesus’ contract in its statement to Lisbon’s stock exchange. Jesus replaces Bruno Lage, who was fired four rounds before the end of the Primeira Liga. Porto was crowned champion on Wednesday, eight points clear of Benfica.

“Welcome, JJ,” Benfica said on Twitter after the announcement.

Earlier Friday, Flamengo said in a statement that 65-year-old Jesus left the club to return to his homeland Portugal. The Rio de Janeiro giant said it regretted Jesus’ decision to terminate a contract that had just recently been extended for another year.

The Portuguese coach joined Flamengo in June 2018, and won five trophies in 13 months, the most recent on Wednesday after beating Fluminense 1-0 in the final of the Rio state league.

The most important was the club’s first Copa Libertadores crown since 1981, after a thrilling final against Argentina’s River Plate last November. Flamengo won 2-1 with both goals in the final minutes of the final.

Shortly later, he also won the club’s first Brazilian championship in 10 years.