Abel Braga with President of Brazil Lula
|Full name||Abel Carlos da Silva Braga|
|Date of birth||1 September 1952|
|Place of birth||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Height||1.87 m (6 ft 1 1⁄2 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
|1976–1979||Vasco da Gama||37||(0)|
|1977||→ Las Vegas Quicksilvers (loan)||11||(2)|
|1994||Vitória de Setúbal|
|1995||Vasco da Gama|
|2000||Vasco da Gama|
|2000||Olympique de Marseille|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Abel Carlos da Silva Braga, also known as Abel Braga or just Abel during his playing days (born 1 September 1952), is a football manager and a former football player.
After his retirement as a player, he became a head coach, and worked at clubs such as Vasco da Gama, Internacional, Olympique de Marseille, Atlético Paranaense, Coritiba, Atlético Mineiro and Ponte Preta.
In 1988, at Internacional, he was runner-up of the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A after losing to Esporte Clube Bahia in the final match. In 1989, he came close to winning the Copa Libertadores, but the club ended up losing to Paraguay's Olimpia on penalties after conceding three goals in the return match at home. The two defeats left a stain on his career and would haunt him for many years to come.
In 2004, Abel Braga became Flamengo head coach, winning Taça Guanabara and Campeonato Carioca. He became most remembered, however, because Flamengo lost the Copa do Brasil to underdogs Esporte Clube Santo André, even though the final match was held in Rio de Janeiro, home of Flamengo.
In 2005, as Fluminense head coach, he won the Campeonato Carioca of that year. Abel finished the year, however, carrying the burden of two successive last-minute failures. Against all odds, Fluminense lost to underdogs Paulista of Jundiaí in the Copa do Brasil final match, under circumstances similar to the ones he faced the year before with Flamengo. Paulista, currently in the second division of the Campeonato Brasileiro, eventually qualified for the Copa Libertadores. Fluminense had another chance to qualify for the Libertadores, the most prestigious club football tournament in South America, by finishing the Série A among the top four. Even though Fluminense managed to lead the table for a few rounds, it failed again in the last match. A draw against Palmeiras would have been enough for the team to finish fourth, but they lost.
In the beginning of 2006, Abel transferred to Internacional of Porto Alegre to lead the team in the football tournament of Rio Grande do Sul. Grêmio emerged champions and Abel was criticized as an eternal runner-up. However, he may claim to have changed that image by winning the Copa Libertadores, the greatest achievements in the history of Internacional. The IFFHS ranked him as the sixth best club coach in 2006. He also led Internacional to win the 2006 FIFA Club World Cup.
After a spell managing Al Jazira, where he won the league during his last year, he came back to Fluminense. The club was struggling after Muricy Ramalho was fired. Despite having little time to fix the team, which was in the lower positions of the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A when he took over, he managed to finish the year in third place and qualify for the Copa Libertadores. In 2012 he led Fluminense to win the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A and was awarded as the best coach of the league.
On May 30, 2013 after the elimination of Fluminense against Paraguayan Club Olimpia from 2013 Copa Libertadores, competition that Flu were one of favorites, Braga was humiliated by rival fans in the arrival of club. At same time, fans of the Tricolor wrote on the walls of Laranjeiras, headquarters of club, "Fora Abel" (Come out from club, Abel) and "Time Sem Vergonha" (Shameless players).
- Campeonato Carioca champion in 1973 and 1975 with Fluminense, and in 1977 with Vasco.
Head coaching honors
- Campeonato Paranaense champion in 1998 with Atlético Paranaense.
- Campeonato Paranaense champion in 1999 with Coritiba.
- Campeonato Carioca champion in 2000 with Vasco.
- Campeonato Carioca champion and Taça Guanabara champion in 2004 with Flamengo.
- Campeonato Carioca champion and Taça Rio in 2005 with Fluminense.
- Copa Libertadores de América and FIFA Club World Cup in 2006 with Internacional.
- Campeonato Carioca champion and Taça Guanabara champion in 2012 with Fluminense.
- Campeonato Brasileiro Série A champion in 2012 with Fluminense.
- The UAE Etisalat Emirates Cup in 2010 with Al Jazira.
- UAE Arabian Gulf League in 2010–11: Al Jazira.
- UAE President's Cup in 2010-11 with Al Jazira Club.