RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The coach of Brazil's most popular club lashed out at team officials after finding out through media reports that he was fired.

Jayme de Almeida said he was "perplexed" by news that he was being replaced even though nobody from the club had contacted him.

He was caught by surprise when local media called to talk about his dismissal, saying he was "already thinking about the team's next match."

He called Flamengo's decision "extremely disrespectful."

A former Flamengo player, Almeida led the club to the Brazilian Cup title last year, but it had won only one of its first four matches in the Brazilian league.

Flamengo later released a statement saying it was making changes to start "a new phase" at the club.

Ney Franco was Almeida's likely replacement.