Flamengo introduces Abel Braga as its manager for 2019 season

Rio de Janeiro, Jan 3 (efe-epa).- Flamengo has officially introduced its manager for the 2019 season, Abel Braga, who returns to the Rio de Janeiro-based club after 15 years.

"Flamengo has the best public following, that shows how great the club is. It is a big challenge, and I like challenges. I'm thrilled," Braga said in a press conference in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday.

In 2004, Braga led Flamengo in 44 matches, achieving a 19-13-12 record, winning the Campeonato Estadual do Rio de Janeiro and finishing second in the Copa do Brasil.

The 66-year-old coach, who has won over 20 titles in his career, said he would work to fix the situation and help Flamengo find its "identity."

"Flamengo fans have the mentality of a European club. Regardless of the standings, fans come to the stadium. We need to have an identity and know what that jersey represents," Braga said.

Before coaching the club for a second time, Braga managed rival Fluminense, but he quit in June 2018 during a break in the Brazilian league season.

Braga ranks as the No. 2 manager in total matches in Fluminense's history at 329.

Under Braga, Fluminense won the Brazilian league championship in 2012 and the Rio de Janeiro championship in 2005 and 2012, among other tournaments.