Rampant Flamengo must avoid 'euphoria', says defender Rafinha

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-11 07:59:15|Editor: Liu
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RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Veteran Flamengo defender Rafinha has warned his teammates to avoid being caught up in "euphoria" as the Rio de Janeiro giants bid for a historic Brazilian Serie A-Copa Libertadores double.

Flamengo have won five consecutive league matches and lead the 20-team Serie A standings with 39 points from 18 matches, two points ahead of second-placed Santos, their next opponents on Sunday.

"From my experience I know that you have to be very careful in football," Rafinha told a news conference on Tuesday.

"We have to forget about the euphoria. The manager [Jorge Jesus] is always making that point. We have to keep our feet on the ground. In football it makes no difference how things start. The only thing that matters is how they end."

In addition to their Serie A winning run, Flamengo have advanced to the semifinals of the Copa Libertadores. They are aiming to win South America's top club competition for only the second time and the first since 1981. Never before have Flamengo secured the Copa Libertadores and Brazilian Serie A titles in the same year.

Rafinha praised the impact of former Sporting Lisbon and Benfica boss Jesus, who replaced Abel Braga as Flamengo's head coach in June when the club was languishing in mid-table.

"For me he's been great," said the 34-year-old, who joined Flamengo in July after parting ways with Bayern Munich. "I already knew about him. He is known in Europe for his [tactical] systems and way of working.

"He's brought a lot of intensity to training and the hard work has been evident during games. The players are getting the message," Rafinha added.