FIFA today released the nominees for The Best Coach award, and their list seems to be causing some rage in the Brazilian media.
The managers picked were Leeds United’s Marcelo Bielsa, Bayern Munich’s Hans-Dieter Flick, Liverpool’s Jugen Klopp, Sevilla’s Julen Lotepegui and Real Madrid’s Zinedine Zidane.
Europeans may not find any outrage in that list, but when you think of what Jorge Jesus did at Flamengo, then it looks like some injustice towards him.
The Portuguese manager only needed a few months in Brazil to win the Brazilian league and the Copa Libertadores in 2019. That’s something that only Santos did in 1962 and 1963, when both competitions had a lot less games.
That’s why the Brazilian media feels like he deserved to at least be reminded by Fifa. And UOL’s Julio Gomes writes a column today titled ‘Bielsa yes, Jesus no. List for FIFA award shows wide Eurocentrism’.
The story brings the obvious arguments over why Jorge Jesus deserved more, and brings some special criticism towards the nomination of Marcelo Bielsa, who’s there for getting promotion to the Premier League with Leeds United.
“But, among the candidates for the best coach of the year, there’s something bizarre. What is Marcelo Bielsa doing there? The ‘Loco’ is very important for the history of world football, has a legacy, has inspired many important people. But being in the top five of the year for winning the English second division? Give him a symbolic prize for services, then! Not for moving Leeds up to the Premier League.”
Regarding the other candidates, Gomes says: “The Best’s list has Klopp (fair), Flick (fair and my favourite), Zidane, Lopetegui and Bielsa. I’d only leave Jesus behind Flick and Klopp.”
Following Jorge Jesus’ historic season with Flamengo, he chose to return to Europe this year by taking an offer from Benfica. And if he was looking for more acknowledgement for his work, he was probably right by doing that.