As Manchester United fans should know by now, the Brazilian media is full of stories about Red Devils’ loanee Andreas Pereira.
The midfielder’s free-kick goal in Flamengo’s win over Juventude this week is the big reason for it, as club manager Renato Portaluppi even compared the shot to one from Brazilian legend Zico.
That’s why part of the local media already urge the Rio de Janeiro side to trigger the buying option in the contract and sign Pereira permanently on a €20m deal.
Now as we continue to see excitement about his start at the club, we spot claims saying the 25-year-old has now found a better team to play for than Manchester United or his loan clubs.
ESPN’s story, written by Paulo Cobos, isn’t only about Pereira, but regarding all Flamengo players who’ve been in Europe. That includes Gabriel Barbosa, Pedro and Gerson, who’ve all been doing a lot better in Brazil than they did abroad.
Despite acknowledging that European football is ‘evidently’ above Brazilian, he claims that the teams those footballers had been playing for (Manchester United, Roma, Lazio, Fiorentina, Benfica, Valencia, Granada and Marseille) aren’t as good as Flamengo.
“Andreas Pereira spent good years at United, but just when the Manchester giant became a supporting act in the Premier League and even struggling to reach the Champions League,” he writes.
“Gabigol, Andreas Pereira, Pedro and Gerson are very good. But none of them are capable of making mediocre teams shine on their own. It was like that in Europe. And it would be the same if they played at Flamengo in the middle of the last decade.”
Flamengo have indeed done pretty well in the past few years, winning two Brazilian Leagues and one Copa Libertadores. They’re qualified for another final of the continental tournament next month.
It’s always tough to compare them with European sides since they don’t play each other often. The only recent example happened in December 2019, when the Rio de Janeiro side played Liverpool in the Club World Cup final and lost 1-0 in extra time, with a goal scored by Roberto Firmino.