Paulo Sousa has stunned Polish football by making clear his intention to leave his job ahead of their World Cup qualifiers in March, after agreeing to join Brazilian giants Flamengo.

Poland, who along with Portugal are vying for a place at Qatar 2022 in the play-offs, have refused to allow Sousa to leave easily, while star striker Robert Lewandowski’s agent released a statement revealing the Bayern Munich striker is disappointed by the news.

The story of Sousa’s impending departure broke on Sunday afternoon, with various Portuguese outlets informed that Flamengo’s extensive search for a Luso coach had finally been fulfilled. The Rio de Janeiro club have spent the last week speaking with various candidates, including the heavily favoured Jorge Jesus – a club hero at Maracanã owing to a glittering spell in 2019.

The likes of Carlos Carvalhal, Paulo Fonseca, André Villas-Boas and Rui Vitória were all thought to be on Mengão’s shortlist. However, the much-travelled Sousa was the man chosen to take the job ahead of the 2022 season, much to the surprise and displeasure of the Polish FA and widespread online reaction.

Cezary Kulesza, president of the Polish football federation, declared: “Today I was informed by Paulo Sousa that he wanted to terminate the contract with Poland by mutual agreement because of an offer from another club. This is extremely irresponsible behaviour, inconsistent with the manager’s earlier declarations. Therefore, I firmly refused.”

Poland’s star striker Robert Lewandowski is “shocked and disappointed” by Sousa’s actions according to his agent, who added “this is something he did not expect to happen” in a statement on Sunday evening. Meanwhile, Poland’s daily sports paper Przegląd Sportowy labelled Sousa a “deserter” on their front cover for Monday morning.

Despite the backlash, it appears likely Sousa will terminate his contract and head to Brazil, where he will continue a managerial career which has spanned a wide range of countries. The former Seleção midfielder began his ventures abroad in British football with Queens Park Rangers, Swansea City and Leicester City, before enjoying stints in Hungary, Israel, Switzerland, Italy, China and France.

With Flamengo routinely a strong candidate for the Brazilian championship, Sousa would be aiming to win the league title in a fourth different country, having been national champion in Hungary (Videoton), Israel (Maccabi Tel-Aviv) and Switzerland (Basel).

Spells with Fiorentina in Serie A and Bordeaux in Ligue 1 are other notable stops as Sousa has built a wealth of coaching experience to add to a playing career which saw him win back-to-back Champions League titles with Juventus and Borussia Dortmund, as well as various trophies with Benfica.

By Sean Gillen

@SeanGillen9

Comments (12)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Sousa means traitor in portugease? Unhonour thing. Paolo "Ju das" Sousa?

warnings
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Hmm, timing of the decision was not great I must say. He could have left after the distrous European Championships..

jimi
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No surprise. Of course he is not the only one, but Sousa already has a certain reputation of being illoyal. Or „whorish“: Sleeps with one partner who feeds him until another one with a bigger wallet and status shows interest and suddenly, he...

No surprise. Of course he is not the only one, but Sousa already has a certain reputation of being illoyal. Or „whorish“: Sleeps with one partner who feeds him until another one with a bigger wallet and status shows interest and suddenly, he f…..s with the other.

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Rolf Gerber
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I thought after the Euros, Poland would be relieved

Samuel
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He was signing documents with Flamenco at Xmas in Fatima
Holly Portuguese …
Contract is bigger than with Polish federation about 30 thousand “silvers”
Pecunia non olet

Viralbullshit
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What a scumbag move to pull.

His reputation will be forever tainted. In 3 Months when Flamengo want him out, he'll regret this.

Bad Karma
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j3bac siwego tyle w temacie pozdro

siwycw3l
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So Robert Lewandowski left “shocked and disappointed”. We lost to Serbia at home in the last WC qualifier when we only needed a draw. So we are way ahead of you on the shocked and disappointed scale. Paulo probably did you a favor. However...

So Robert Lewandowski left “shocked and disappointed”. We lost to Serbia at home in the last WC qualifier when we only needed a draw. So we are way ahead of you on the shocked and disappointed scale. Paulo probably did you a favor. However if it will make him feel better you can have Fernando Santos in Paulo Sousa's place.

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John Senos
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^ ^ ^ non sequitor

Bad Karma
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Not one to always comment but John Sanos' comment here is one of the stupidest ones I've ever read...so I'm going to have a go at his style of writing.

If you were shocked and disappointed by Portugal losing to Serbia you should talk to fans of...

Not one to always comment but John Sanos' comment here is one of the stupidest ones I've ever read...so I'm going to have a go at his style of writing.

If you were shocked and disappointed by Portugal losing to Serbia you should talk to fans of AC Milan who themselves were SHOCKED AND DISAPPOINTED WHEN THEY LED LIVERPOOL 3-0 AND LOST THE FINAL.

See its easy.

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Dawg
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Dawg, it was meant as sarcasm. As a Portugal supporter, do I really care what or how Robert Lewanowki feels or thinks about some coach resigning? The answer was a no.. I was just putting it in a sarcastic frame and comparing it to my own...

Dawg, it was meant as sarcasm. As a Portugal supporter, do I really care what or how Robert Lewanowki feels or thinks about some coach resigning? The answer was a no.. I was just putting it in a sarcastic frame and comparing it to my own disappointment. For good measure. I gave up Fernando Santos as the sacrificial lamb as I do not care about Poland national tram losing their coach. Actually i was a little jealous that the Poland coach resigned.

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John Senos
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