The colours of Brazil’s most popular club will always have a magnetic hold on us, and our latest Kit of the Week toasts Flamengo’s late, late Copa Libertadores show in Lima.
The eyes of the world were on Lima’s Estadio Monumental on Saturday night for the first Copa Libertadores final to be staged in a single match format, as Flamengo staged an almighty comeback to crush 2018 champions River Plate.
River were moments away from their fifth South American title when on-loan Inter Milan striker Gabriel Barbosa struck on 89 minutes to level the scores at 1-1.
The man they call Gabigol then slammed home a stoppage time winner to etch his name into football folklore and earn Mengão their second Copa Libertadores crown.
In truth, the pre-match favourites had been second best up until that point but few waking up with a sore head back home in Rio de Janeiro will remember that.
Gabriel’s night was not finished there and before the fireworks could be lit and a Star Wars stormtrooper had handed over the cup (no, really!), he saw red for his part in a tangle with River’s Exequiel Palacios.
The Scarlet and Black hoops of Flamengo had last won South América’s top prize back in 1981, but the 2019 shirts were a departure from the usual Rubro-Negro look of Brazil’s most beloved club side.
With thinner hoops and a 3D effect spelling out “MENGO” across the design, the red of these Adidas shirts appeared much darker than we’ve become accustomed to.
Thirty-eight years ago, the great Zico & Co followed their first South American title by beating Liverpool in the Intercontinental Cup to become world champions.
As fate would have it, Jurgen Klopp’s men await Flamengo at next month’s FIFA World Club Cup in Qatar.
Whether they complete the job in Doha or not, Saturday night’s victory was a fitting tribute to the young players who lost their lives in a tragic fire at the club’s academy earlier this year.
This football shirt split opinion on its release but will now forever be associated with the glory of Flamengo’s 2nd Copa Libertadores crown.