September 28, 2023

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Pablo Mari, Rafinha, Reinier and Rodolfo have already left the club Photo: compilation on promotional photos

Ukraine legend and attacking ideas: who he is and how he likes to play Paolo Fonseca, Flamengo’s target

Amid Flamengo’s search for a new coach following the departure of Renato Gaúcho, O GLOBO has analyzed names linked or surveyed by the club. Check out game ideas Carlos CarvalhalAnd Eduardo Berezzo e Victor Pereira.

Among his options to take command of the bench, Flamengo remain focused on the Portuguese coaches. In addition to Carlos Carvalhal and Jorge Jesus, another name on the rubo-negro pad’s radar is Paolo Fonseca. At 48 years old, the coach already has a lot of experience in European football: he is one of the idols of Shakhtar Donetsk, from Ukraine, a club for which he won everything he played for, but still pursued his goals. For a great job at one of the main clubs on the continent.

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Fonseca nearly took charge of Tottenham in September, in what would be his first experience in the Premier League, in one of the members of the so-called “Big Six” of the tournament. But negotiations broke down and compatriot Nuno Espirito Santo ended up taking over the London team, now coached by Antonio Conte.

In his last job at Roma, he experienced the ups and downs that have characterized his career thus far: he led the club to the semi-finals of the Europa League last season – and ended up with a 6-2 win over Manchester United. First match – The Italian Championship finished in seventh place, with only a place for the Conference League qualifiers. A practically opposite function for his debut season in the Italian capital, when he left the fifth team at the national level, seeded to the European League, but fell in the round of 16 of the competition.

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Regardless of the irregularities, the Portuguese are still targeted in the international market, largely due to his achievements in Ukraine. He was one of the names Newcastle considered to be the Artistic Director of the New Millionaire Project at St James’ Park.

Made in Shakhtar

He arrived in Ukraine in May 2016, amid a period of instability at Shakhtar, one of the country’s most traditional clubs, replacing the legendary Mircea Lucescu. The club had not won the league since 2014 and was living the tragedy of the pilgrimage after the Donbass region became a war zone due to the Crimean conflict – even Donbass Square was bombed. The Portuguese shook the spirits of the club, which would be the champion of the Ukraine and Ukraine Cup three times in the next three seasons.

The duo came with the help of the Brazilians, a traditional presence at the club: Tyson, Marlos and Maicon were central names in building the Portuguese coach’s match there. Fonseca is a fan of the modern 4-2-3-1 game, with great participation from players on both sides of the field. In their playing style, full-backs and wingers can change positions, play central or penetrate spaces in the opponent’s defences. Offensive display, transfer and exchange of passes.

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My basic philosophy is to keep my team playing with the high lines (ahead of the opponent’s field), while keeping them very compact. I want the distance between my last defender and my main attacker to be small, as well as the distance from one end to the other. The idea is to go ahead and squeeze, but in a compact and dense way. This makes it difficult to find spaces in us – summed up the coach, in a statement reissued by Roma when this was announced.

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For a daring style to work well, Fonseca demands a lot from her positioning players. The central attacker and the midfielder, who can play the role of the second attacker, exchange fixed cards: they are left with the task of returning to the center to get the ball, playing backwards, and making room for defenders and wings to penetrate into the remaining spaces when they can attract tags. Defensive midfielders in their teams are usually creative and able to hit many vertical passes, they are ultimately the key to a transitional attack. The coach bets on an existing construction of the defense, with the large participation of goalkeepers.

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The main problem tends to be defensive fragility. Without the intensity of staying on the attacking field all the time – which is normal – Fonseca teams defend in an intermediate block, that is, without retreating from the lines into their own area, but also without putting pressure on opposing defenders. the ball. In the defensive phase, the coach bets on organizing, pressing and helping the midfielder and striker to close the first spaces. The proposal worked very well in Ukraine, but Roma won many goals – they had the worst defense in the top ten in the Italian 2020/21.

In addition to titles in Ukraine, Fonseca won the Portuguese Cup with Braga and the Portuguese Super Cup with Porto. He started his career at smaller teams in the country: he drew attention when he took Pacos de Ferreira to his first Champions League experience, when he left the team in a surprising third place for the Portuguese in 2013. It was also in the Champions, he had a strange moment: he dressed up in character Zoro after Shakhtar beat Pep Guardiola 2-1 Manchester City in 2017.

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– It’s the funniest press conference of my career. Not only Shakhtar fans should be proud, but all Ukrainians – he said at the time.