Lincoln Opens Up Time With Flamengo
The young Lincoln had a chance to be a part of history as he played for the Rubro Negro, the team that he has been rooting for since he was just a boy.
Flamengo’s spectacular run last season was a magical one, winning the Brazil Serie A, defeating River Plate in the Copa Libertadores final and qualifying for the Club World Cup. It seemed that those moments will be forever in the fans and players’ minds.
Lincoln recalled a lot of great experiences with the team. One of those was the team’s game against Rio rivals Botafogo back in November 2019, where the team nearly had a draw, but he had a chance to save the team’s unbeaten run that time.
‘It’s always good to play derbies, especially the regional ones when the stadium is crowded’, Lincoln said. ‘Rivalry matches always have a special taste. To score a goal like that was an amazing feeling. Imagine securing a victory in your rival’s home in the last minute. It was wonderful’.
Flamengo boss Jorge Jesus came into the team earlier in the year, leading them since June 2019. The so-called ‘Messiah’ has changed the team’s playing style, adapting a European taste to their Brazil style during that time.
Jorge Jesus focused on high-tempo, fast-paced, pressure gameplay. That was very common in Europe - where the coach came from. That was a new experience for Lincoln, who was used to the country’s playing style.
‘It was a new experience for me. He brought different methodologies and pressing, not just for me, but for the entire team’, Lincoln said of Jesus’ arrival. ‘He always talked to me and gave me attention I didn’t even imagine. He always encouraged me to seek the goal in a more straightforward way, to be more direct towards goal. He has helped me grow up and mature more on the field. Definitely’.
With Jorge Jesus at the helm, the team changed and became a fearsome one on the field. The club finished with an impressive 28-6-4 record to notch the title, and had a 24-game unbeaten run that tied the all-time record set by Cruzeiro, Corinthians, and Palmeiras in the previous years.
Lincoln nearly had a chance in showing off what he is made of in the team’s win against River Plate. He was about to come in, but then Gabriel Barbosa sank a goal to break the tie that eventually became the game-winner.
‘To be honest, I was very confident that my time would come. He gave me a lot of confidence and always told me to seek the goal. I knew that if I moved in that direction something good would happen. I could feel it’, Lincoln said of the moment. ‘I was delighted that Gabigol scored the goals and give us the title, I celebrated a lot on the edge of the pitch’.
‘It was something I will take with me for a lifetime. Being a champion of the Libertadores after the club has been waiting 38 years, and not only that but Flamengo is a club that has always been in my heart, so to achieve this with them is a really special feeling’, Lincoln added.
Lincoln played in the Club World Cup after that. Jorge Jesus gave him a lot of playing time, and he did not disappoint, as the 18-year-old played well despite losing to Liverpool in an extra-time goal.
‘It was another dream come true’, he said. ‘Seeing world-renowned players and facing them was an enriching experience. I hope we can face them more often’.
Words: Paul Daniel Flores