SAO PAULO (AP) — Former New York City FC coach Domenec Torrent has been named coach of Copa Libertadores and Brazilian defending champions Flamengo, the Rio de Janeiro-based giants said on Friday. His contract is valid until the end of 2021.
The 58-year-old Catalan will replace Portuguese coach Jorge Jesus, who was signed earlier this month by Benfica. Torrent was one of Pep Guardiola’s assistants at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City for almost 10 years.
Little known in Brazil before his signing, Torrent published a video holding a Flamengo shirt and speaking in Portuguese. “I am very happy to be part of this great nation. We will fight to win titles. See you soon,” he said.
Flamengo initially tried to sign another Portuguese coach, with former Everton manager Marco Silva and former Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim among the favorites, but eventually opted for Torrent.
In the MLS, Torrent coached New York City FC for two seasons in his first job as coach since he stopped working with Guardiola. The team was eliminated in the semifinals in 2019, but showed great offensive flair, a characteristic that is also in Flamengo’s current squad.
Jesus became a Flamengo hero after winning the South American crown after a 38-year wait and the Brazilian championship a short time later. He initially extended his contract for another year in June, but left to join Benfica instead.
The Brazilian championship begins on Aug. 8. Flamengo are currently the favorites to defend their title and are among the top contenders in the Copa Libertadores, which is also expected to begin in August.