This Wednesday the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final will be played between Argentine team Independiente and Brazilian team Flamengo. The game should be a thrilling contest and something that stands out is Colombian coach Reinaldo Rueda’s success in charge of the Brazilian side.
The Campeonato Brasileiro Série A ended this past Sunday and Flamengo ended the season on a high note with a 2-1 away win against Vitoria. The Scarlet-Black ended the season in sixth place with 56 points, just sneaking into a Copa Libertadores spot in what was a very contested race. Even more impressively the Colombian boss has now led his team on the seemingly endless road to the Copa Sudamericana final.
Flamengo got past Chapecoense in the round of 16 then defeated another Brazilian team, Fluminense in the quarterfinals. The semifinals were Rueda’s biggest task as The Big Mengo faced the very potent Colombian team Junior FC. Flamengo managed to get past Junior FC by an aggregate score of 4-1 and will now fight for the title against Independiente this Wednesday. Flamengo does count with two Colombian players on its squad in Orlando Berrio and Gustavo Cuellar.
Berrio will not play in this final as he is injured for at least a few more months but Gustavo Cuellar has been a consistent starter for Rueda and will likely start this game. Cuellar was very solid throughout the Brazilian league this year playing 25 games, averaging 1.6 interceptions per game and a pass accuracy above 90-percent from a defensive midfield role. The Copa Sudamericana final should be very exciting and regardless of the result, Reinaldo Rueda’s efforts this year should not go unnoticed.