When Robinho Lazaró set his heart on becoming a Football Manager 22 in July 2021, he could barely have imagined the egg-citing adventures he’d have enjoyed and successes he’d have achieved 23 years on.
Lazaró had just suffered the ignominy of being sacked by Colombia after “only” reaching the Copa América quarter-finals. But that couldn’t tarnish a cracking career in which he won every top-tier title across North and South America and won the World Cup with Brazil.
Lazaró’s 23-year career saw him take home earnings of £8.75 million. In that time, he took control of 1,038 matches, of which he won 633, drew 192 and lost 213, with a win percentage of 60%. His teams scored 2,014 goals and conceded 1,024. Lazaró won 17 league titles, nine cup competitions and achieved two promotions with one relegation.
Lazaró bought 192 players for a total cost of £67 million and sold 219 for £68 million. His biggest signing was centre-back Fábio Appolinário for £9.25 million at Flamengo in January 2041 and his biggest sale was Joao Neto for £6.25 million at Palmeiras.
Lazaró took a bit of time away from the game to reflect on his achievements from the calm and serenity of his home in the calm Medellín countryside.
Robinho Lazaró’s managerial history
Robinho Lazaró began his managerial career by taking the vacant role at Chilean second-tier side Deportes Puerto Montt. After stabilising the club, he achieved promotion in his second full season in charge then suffered the only relegation of his career, in somewhat controversial circumstances, in 2024.
His success at Puerto Montt caught the eye of Chilean giants Universidad Católica, where he won his first national title in his first season in charge in 2025.
Lazaró’s next adventure took him out of South America for the first time in his life. He joined MLS side New York Red Bulls, where he strengthened the side in his first season then took NYRB to MLS glory in 2027.
That success saw him turn his eye back to South America. And he returned with Uruguayan side River Plate Montevideo. He built an exciting side containing plenty of talented young players that saw off the country’s big two to win the title in 2029.
Lazaró then returned home to Colombia for the first time in nine years as he took charge of América de Cali. He won his first cup competition in his first season in Colombia before winning both the Apertura and Finalizácion stages in his second.
Next was a move to Peru, where he walked to the title in his first season with Alianza Lima. While in Peru, he also led Alianza to the Copa Sudamericana, South America’s second continental trophy.
More of a challenge awaited him in México, where he took charge of second-tier side Puebla FC. He achieved promotion in his first season then, led by two star strikers, won the Mexican title the following season. In México, he also won the Mexican Champions Trophy, Campeones Cup and defended Puebla’s Clausura crown.
Lazaró’s biggest move yet took him to his second nation Brazil with Palmeiras. He finished third in the first half campaign, fourth in the second before becoming champion of Brazil in 2036.
Next was an unusual move as he left Brazil for Canada with FC Edmonton. Despite a slightly disappointing league campaign, Lazaró won the playoffs to win the Canadian Premier League in his first season.
The only nation remaining on his list was now Argentina. He first moved to Newell’s Old Boys in the second-tier of Argentina, where he twice finished fifth. That attracted the attention of Godoy Cruz in the top-tier, where he overcame the giants of River and Boca to lead Godoy Cruz to the title.
With all the domestic leagues won, Lazaró’s next focus was the biggest continental prize available. To do that, he moved back to Brazil with Flamengo. And he finished his domestic career in South America by winning the Rio State Championship, Série A again and, crucially, Copa Libertadores.
While at Flamengo, Lazaró also became Brazil manager and, in 2042, he led Brazil to become World Champion for the seventh time. His time in South America finished by taking Colombia to Copa América, where they lost to México in the quarter-finals, cue Lazaró being sacked.
Lazaró’s all-time best team
In his downtime away from football, Lazaró sat down to work out the best team of players he’d worked with throughout his career to date. His favourite player throughout this time was undoubtedly the outrageously good centre-back Batata, who he had on loan at América and gave his first international caps at Brazil. But the best player had to be Brenner, who scored over 140 goals for Lazaró in his time at Palmeiras.
Lazaró came up with the following as his all-time best XI:
Goalkeeper: Daniel Aguilar (Puebla FC)
Right-back: Oscar Longoni (Palmeiras)
Centre-back: Batata (América de Cali and Brazil), Gabriel Vargas (Godoy Cruz)
Left-back: Beto (Palmeiras and Brazil)
Centre midfield: Juan Felipe Salazar (América de Cali), Eduardo Vilches (Deportes Puerto Montt)
Right-wing: Juan Manuel Vaz (América de Cali)
Left-wing: Diego Valencia (Universidad Católica)
Strikers: Brenner (Palmeiras), Alexander Ferrari (Puebla FC)
The most difficult decision for Lazaró was the striker positions, where he also considered the likes of Samuele Marino at River Plate, Ramón Rodríguez at Puebla, Fredy Méndez at Alianza and Christian Bonetti at Godoy. While other honourable mentions go to his attacking midfielders Alfredo Riascos at América, Walter Gaitán at Godoy, Andrés Posada at Puebla and Palmeiras winger Ali Mehri and midfielder Patryck.
What next for Robinho Lazaró?
But if you thought that was the end, then think again! Lazaró was keen to test his managerial capabilities against the world’s best, which meant casting his eye to the European market. With that in mind, he loaded up the top European leagues – England, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Portugal and Spain – and gave himself a well-earned year away from football until the summer of 2045.
Join us next time to see whether Robinho Lazaró can take his managerial skills to Europe and the opportunities available to him!