Caio Junior has left his position as Botafogo coach by mutual consent, after a 2-1 defeat at lowly America Mineiro last night effectively ended their Brasileirao title challenge.
The result also left O Fogão hanging on to the last Copa Libertadores qualification berth – a position they will lose if Flamengo take something from the visit of Figueirense tonight. Furthermore, three weeks ago Botafogo were dumped out of the Copa Sudamericana via a 5-1 aggregate reverse by Sante Fe of Colombia.
Caio Junior, a former striker who previously occupied the hot-seats of Palmeiras, Flamengo, Vissel Kobe and Al Gharafa, assumed the Botafogo reins eight months ago. Thereafter, the Rio de Janeiro outfit won 21, drew 12 and lost 14 of their matches.
“I worked tirelessly to make Botafogo a competitive team,” said Caio Junior. “At times we showed Brazil engaging, attacking football that charmed everyone and put us in the fight for the [Brasileirao] title. At other times we could not maintain the same standard, and that put our initial goal to qualify for the Copa Libertadores at risk.
“I hope this change proves positive, and I will root for the team to achieve its targets. I thank president Mauricio Assumpcao and his fellow directors for the opportunity to work for a club as great as Botafogo.”
Botafogo have confirmed that goalkeeping coach Flavio Tenius, who led the side for a short period following the sacking of Joel Santana in March, will take charge for the game at home to Internacional on Sunday.
O Glorioso (The Glorious One) will end their campaign with tussles against relegation-threatened Atletico Mineiro and third-placed Fluminense in a fixture known as O Clássico Vovô (The Grandfather Derby).
Botafogo are bidding to qualify for the Copa Libertadores for just the fourth time and the first since 1996, a distinction they earned by winning the previous year’s Brasileirao with a team including Wilson Gottardo, Goncalves, Beto, Donizete and most notably Tulio.