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Abel Braga (left) with Lula in 2007
|Full name||Abel Carlos da Silva Braga|
|Date of birth||1 September 1952|
|Place of birth||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Height||1.87 m (6 ft 1+1⁄2 in)|
|1976–1979||Vasco da Gama||37||(0)|
|1977||→ Las Vegas Quicksilvers (loan)||11||(2)|
|1994||Vitória de Setúbal|
|1995||Vasco da Gama|
|2000||Vasco da Gama|
|2020||Vasco da Gama|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Since his retirement in 1985, he has managed a number of clubs in Brazil and Portugal, including three spells at Fluminense. In 2006, he won the Copa Libertadores and FIFA Club World Cup for Internacional. He has also managed French club Marseille, as well as Emirati club Al Jazira over two spells.
In 1988, at Internacional, he was runner-up of the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A after losing to Esporte Clube Bahia in the final match. In 1989, he came close to winning the Copa Libertadores, but the club ended up losing to Paraguay's Olimpia on penalties after conceding three goals in the return match at home.
In July 2000, Braga signed for Olympique de Marseille – rivals of his former team PSG – who had only just stayed in Ligue 1 on the last day of the previous season. He spent large amounts of money to buy compatriots Marcelinho Paraíba and Adriano Gabiru, and was dismissed in November with the team in the relegation zone having won five out of 16 games.
In 2004, Abel Braga became Flamengo head coach, winning Taça Guanabara and Campeonato Carioca. He became most remembered, however, because Flamengo lost the Copa do Brasil to underdogs Esporte Clube Santo André, even though the final match was held in Rio de Janeiro, home of Flamengo.
In 2005, as Fluminense head coach, he won the Campeonato Carioca of that year. Abel finished the year, however, carrying the burden of two successive last-minute failures. Against all odds, Fluminense lost to underdogs Paulista of Jundiaí in the Copa do Brasil final match, under circumstances similar to the ones he faced the year before with Flamengo. Paulista, currently in the second division of the Campeonato Brasileiro, eventually qualified for the Copa Libertadores. Fluminense had another chance to qualify for the Libertadores, the most prestigious club football tournament in South America, by finishing the Série A among the top four. Even though Fluminense managed to lead the table for a few rounds, it failed again in the last match. A draw against Palmeiras would have been enough for the team to finish fourth, but they lost.
In the beginning of 2006, Abel transferred to Internacional of Porto Alegre to lead the team in the football tournament of Rio Grande do Sul. Grêmio emerged champions and Abel was criticized as an eternal runner-up. However, he may claim to have changed that image by winning the Copa Libertadores, one of the greatest achievements in the history of Internacional. The IFFHS ranked him as the sixth best club coach in 2006. He also led Internacional to win the 2006 FIFA Club World Cup.
After a spell managing Al Jazira, where he won the league during his last year, he came back to Fluminense. The club was struggling after Muricy Ramalho was fired. Despite having little time to fix the team, which was in the lower positions of the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A when he took over, he managed to finish the year in third place and qualify for the Copa Libertadores. In 2012, he led Fluminense to win the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A and was awarded as the best coach of the league.
On 30 May 2013, after the elimination of Fluminense against Paraguayan Club Olimpia from 2013 Copa Libertadores, competition that Flu were one of favorites, Braga was humiliated by rival fans in the arrival of club. At same time, fans of the Tricolor wrote on the walls of Laranjeiras, headquarters of club, "Fora Abel" (Abel out) and "Time Sem Vergonha" (Team without shame).
Braga returned to Al Jazira for a second spell in the summer of 2015, but parted company with the club in December after a string of poor results.
Fluminense hired Braga on 1 December 2016, to be the head coach for the 2017 season. Fluminense had a decent performance in the first semester of 2017, when Fluminense became champions of Primeira Liga, runner-ups to 2017 Campeonato Carioca, but failed to advance through the round of 16 in 2017 Copa do Brasil. There was speculation of his retirement after his son João Pedro died in midseason. Fluminense ended 2017 Campeonato Brasileiro in 14th position and reached the round of 8 in 2017 Copa Sudamericana.
Abel Braga continued as Fluminense head coach for 2018. Fluminense had early exits in every tournament played in 2018. Before the Brazilian midseason break for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Abel resigned after a 18 month stint. Abel is currently the record holder for the 2nd most matches as a Fluminense head coach.
On 2 January 2019, Flamengo hired Abel Braga as head coach. They confirmed their status as favourites by winning the 2019 Campeonato Carioca. He resigned on 29 May after being contested by fans.
Cruzeiro announced Braga as head coach on 27 September 2019, but sacked him on 29 November after winning three games out of 14. He was announced as Vasco da Gama's head coach for the 2020 season on 16 December 2019, but resigned the following 16 March.
On July 29, 2017, Braga's 18-year-old son, João Pedro, died after falling from the balcony of the family's apartment in the Leblon region of Rio de Janeiro. Braga was informed of his son's death whilst undergoing the final preparations for Fluminense's fixture against Ponte Preta the following day. Ponte Preta agreed to Fluminense's request to postpone the match, which was rescheduled by the CBF.
- Campeonato Carioca: 1971, 1973 and 1975
- Campeonato Carioca: 1977
- Atlético Paranaense
- Campeonato Paranaense: 1998
- Campeonato Paranaense: 1999
- Taça Guanabara: 2000
- Campeonato Carioca: 2005, 2012
- Taça Rio: 2005, 2018
- Taça Guanabara: 2012, 2017
- Campeonato Brasileiro Série A: 2012
- Primeira Liga: 2017
- Al Jazira
- NASL profile
- Madeira, Eduardo (March 19, 2020). "A meteórica passagem de Abel Braga pelo Marseille" [Abel Braga's meteoric spell at Marseille] (in Portuguese). Terra de Zizou. Retrieved August 27, 2020.
- Flu demite Abel mesmo sem opção de consenso para assumir o time
- "Abel Braga perde a paciência e descarta permanência no Internacional em 2015". iG. iG.
- McAuley, John (December 12, 2015). "Al Jazira, languishing in AGL relegation fight, part company with Abel Braga". The National. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- "Braga set to be named Fluminense coach". SPORTSKEEDA.
- "Braga calls it quits as coach of Brazil's Fluminense". EFE.
- "Flamengo introduces Abel Braga as its manager for 2019 season". EFE.
- "Flamengo bate o Vasco e é campeão carioca de 2019". CBF.
- "Abel Braga resigns as Flamengo head coach". Business Standard.
- "Cruzeiro anuncia a contratação do técnico Abel Braga". VEJA.
- "Adilson Batista substitui Abel Braga, que deixa o Cruzeiro após derrota para o CSA". O Globo.
- "Abel Braga é o novo técnico do Vasco". G1. December 16, 2019. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
- "Abel Braga volta ao Internacional" [Abel Braga returns to Internacional] (in Portuguese). SC Internacional. November 10, 2020. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
- Bruno Braz, Leo Burlá e Pedro Ivo Almeida (July 29, 2017). "Morre o filho do técnico Abel Braga; jogo do Fluminense é adiado" [The son of coach Abel Braga dies; Fluminense's game is postponed] (in Portuguese). Retrieved January 1, 2018.
- "Com nove jogadores de Fla e Flu, Ferj divulga seleção do Campeonato Carioca". Globoesporte.com. May 7, 2017. Retrieved May 8, 2017.