Fit-again Flamengo hero Bruno Henrique 'never stopped believing'

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Seamus Leonard

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Flamengo attacker Bruno Henrique announced his return to form in sensational fashion by hitting a seven-minute hat-trick to sink rivals São Paulo on Sunday.

Flamengo 5
São Paulo 1
Full time

After a scoreless first stanza, Robert Arboleda gave the visitors the lead three minutes into the second half at the Maracanã.

But Henrique, who only returned from a muscle injury in the Copa Libertadores victory over Defensa Y Justicia in midweek, struck in the 70th, 72nd, and 77th minutes to turn the game in the Rubro-Negro’s favour.

A Gustavo Henrique effort and a Welington own goal in stoppage time put the gloss on a fabulous result for the hosts.

“I managed to come back, come back well, with the support of the nation, which is always great to play with fans, and I was able to play well,” Henrique said, per Gazeta Esportiva.

“So I’m coming back bit by bit. I played poorly in some games, but it happens.

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“Every player has ups and downs, but I never stopped believing in myself, I never stopped working, because I know my quality, I know I can help Flamengo.”

The Mengão’s third consecutive league win lifted them into the top six of the Brasileirão, as the new manager bounce brought by Renato Gaúcho’s appointment continues to reap dividends.