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Portugal’s Paulo Sousa leaves Poland to be Flamengo coach

Brazilian giants Flamengo announced on Wednesday that Paulo Sousa is their new coach, just hours after he paid a release clause to quit his job as coach of Poland’s national team.

The 51-year-old from Portugal, who began his coaching career in England with Queen’s Park Rangers, has signed a two-year deal, Flamengo said on Twitter.

“Paulo Sousa is the Mengao’s new coach,” said Rio de Janeiro-based Flamengo, the most popular team in Brazil.

Poland’s football federation announced Sousa’s departure on Twitter and said the coach would have to pay “compensation in line with the federation’s expectations.”

Some media said that amounted to 300,000 euros ($340,000).

“I’m very proud and satisfied to represent a club with Flamengo’s incomparable greatness,” said Sousa in a video message on Twitter.

“It is the time to work hard to give joy, titles and to bring the team close to more than 40 million fans.”

Sousa replaces Renato Gaucho, who left the club following their defeat to compatriots Palmeiras in last month’s Copa Libertadores final.

Sousa guided Poland to six wins, five draws and four defeats in 15 matches as they finished second behind England in their 2022 World Cup qualifying group. They face Russia in a playoff next March.

As a player, Sousa won the Champions League in back-to-back seasons with different teams: Juventus in 1996 and Borussia Dortmund a year later, beating the Italians in the final.

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