Archive for the ‘Manager Profiles’ Category

FUTEBOL 2011/2012

The Algarve club announced on Saturday that they have hired Abel Xavier as their next manager on a one-year contract. The 40-year-old will be unveiled to the media at an official news conference on Wednesday, according to football website O Jogo.

Olhanense struggled last season, winning only five matches and missing out on relegation by a single point. The debt-ridden club are taking a big gamble on Xavier who has no formal experience as a manager.

Xavier joins the list of former Portugal internationals that have made a quick transition to coaching in the domestic league in recent years. Sérgio Conceição, Domingos Paciência, and Costinha are the others.

A journeyman defender, Xavier played for Benfica, Real Oviedo, Liverpool, Everton, among others. He retired in 2008 after playing one season with MLS club Los Angeles Galaxy.

Xavier also received 20 caps with Portugal, scoring two goals. He is best remembered for a controversial handball that lead to Portugal being eliminated by France at the 2000 European Championships.

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FC Porto have officially announced that former Paços Ferreira manager Paulo Fonseca will be in charge of the club next season. The 40-year-old Fonseca has signed a two-year contract with the Portuguese Champions, which includes a transfer clause of €15million.

Fonseca is coming off a season where he lead Paços Ferreira to an impressive third place finish in the Portuguese league, which included a Champions League playoff position for next season. He replaces Vitor Pereira who announced on Sunday that he would be joining Al-Ahli in Saudi Arabia next season.

“I feel an enormous sense of pride, a wonderful feeling to be able to represent the national champions FC Porto. I could not be happier anywhere else,” Fonseca told media.

“I am an ambitious manager and this is what my squads have demonstrated. I like to have a good balance, it is important to control possession, this is the trademark of my squads.”

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Photo: Wikipedia Commons/An1997

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/An1997

Jesualdo Ferreira was introduced to media as the next manager of Sporting Braga on Thursday. The 67-year-old re-joins the club he previously managed between 2003-2006 on a three-year deal.

Former manager José Peseiro left the club a week ago by mutual consent. Despite finishing fourth in the league and winning the Portuguese League Cup, Peseiro’s Braga side failed to qualify for the Champions League.

Ferreira is credited with building the foundation that would make Braga a force in Portuguese football. Since Ferreira’s first full season with the club in 2003-04, Braga has finished outside the top five only once. They have qualified for European football an impressive 11 consecutive seasons.

Club president António Salvador spoke about Ferreira’s long-term contribution to the Minho club. “This is a very good day for me and the Sporting Braga family, as we are able to have someone who came here 10 years and created a new period in the club’s history. A period where we grew consistently and became a winner.”

Ferreira said that he looks back fondly on his previous tenure as manager of Os Arsenalistas , and feels great affection and gratitude towards the club, its fans and the city.

“For me, I feel the most noble gratitude. When the president (Salvador) contacted me last week, I was overcome with great emotion,” Ferreira said. “I will continue to be what I have always been: serious, honest and ambitious.”

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SPORTING LISBON: Leonardo Jardim Appointed New Manager At Alvalade On A Two-Year Deal

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Alface

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Alface

Benfica have formally announced the signing of manager Jorge Jesus to a new two-year contract with the club. The deal will see Jesus under contract until July 2015.

The news ends weeks of speculation about the future of Jesus, who has been with the club for four seasons. After winning the Portuguese league in his first year with the club in 2009-10, Jesus has seen FC Porto win the last three champions.

This past season, the club gave up a 4 point lead in the domestic league with only three matches to play after drawing with Estoril and losing 2-1 to eventual champions Porto. To make matters worse, Benfica would lose the Europa League final to Chelsea and the Portuguese Cup final to Vitória de Guimarães.

Since arriving from Sporting Braga in 2009, Jesus has succeeded in restoring the credibility of the club in the domestic game and in European championships. However, Benfica have not been able to break FC Porto’s dominance in domestic football in his time.

Portuguese football publication Record estimates that the club has made almost €170million from players sales during Jesus’ time at the club. Luisão, Maxi Pereira and Oscar Cardozo are the only players that remain with the club from before Jesus’ tenure began in 2009.

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FUTEBOL -  Leonardo Jardim apresentado como o novo treinador do Sport

Former Beira-Mar and Sporting Braga manager Leonardo Jardim was officially unveiled as the new manager of Sporting Lisbon on Monday. The 38-year-old replaces Jesualdo Ferreira who took over the club in late December 2012.

“I come to stabilize Sporting with the objective to win. Throughout my career I have consistently won matches and it is this objective that I will bring here. It will not be easy. Sporting is coming off their worst campaign in history and I want to change that by restructuring the club, with hard work and with the unity of all Sportinguistas,” Jardim told journalists at a press conference on Monday.

Club president Bruno de Carvalho told media that Jardim was an easy choice for Sporting manager and added that he fits in well with the club’s philosophy.

“It was a personal choice, as well as one for the club. I am not always easy to work with, but we understand one another very well and for that I want to say that in terms of ideology, projections, will, reach and ambition, there are many things that connect the two of us,” Carvalho said.

Jardim first came to prominence with Beira-Mar when he lead the Aveiro-based club to promotion to the first division of Portuguese football in 2010. A streak of bad results lead to his firing the next season but he was soon hired by Sporting Braga.

Jardim lead Sporting Braga to one of their best campaigns in their history in 2011-12, finishing third behind FC Porto and Benfica. But Jardim left before the start of this season due to his tense relationship with the club’s president António Salvador.

The young manager quickly joined Greek giants Olympiacos where he put up an impressive record. However this January, he was again let go despite the club being undefeated and leading the Greek League by 10 points.

Many Sportinguistas will lament the departure of veteran manager Jesualdo Ferreira who was the only manager since Paulo Bento left in 2009 to produce some positive results. He made the announcement that he would not return at a post-match news conference after the club’s 4-1 defeat of Beira-Mar.

“We never talked about money. This was not motivated by financial issues. I came to this decision with great sadness, it was one of the most difficult moments in my career but it was also a moment of honesty. I could not be the manager for next year if I did not feel that the conditions were not right,” Ferreira told Journalists.

Ferreira was the third manager of Sporting Lisbon this season and replaced Franky Vercauteren in late December. His decision to play young players like Tiago Ilori, Bruma, Andre Martins and Englishman Eric Dier lead to a noticeable improvement in the club’s performance.

Jardim and club president Bruno de Carvalho will no doubt have their work cut out for them turning around the fortunes of a club that has greatly underachieved in the last several years and is burdened by debt. Estimates vary but it is believed to be at least €220 million.

Carvalho will no doubt have to decide on the future of several underperforming players who were brought in under his predecessor Godinho Lopes. They include Khalid Boulahrouz, Stijn Schaars, Evaldo, Elias, Oguchi Onyewu, Danijel Pranjić, Valeri Bojinov and Gelson Fernandes.

Also with Dutch striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel’s departure to Norwich, Sporting need to find a replacement. They have been linked with Lazio’s Libor Kozák in recent weeks.

The good news is that Sporting have many assets under contract. Their youth development system rivals the best in European football. Forward Wilson Eduardo and defender Nuno Reis spent this year on loan and played well. Will they get their chance to play at Alvalade regularly next season.

In addition, the club has many quality players that other clubs want. Tiago Ilori has been linked to Premier League giants Liverpool. Winger Bruma has been linked with just about every major club in Europe. Cedric Soares is likely to leave for England or Germany this summer.

Goalkeeper Rui Patricio has been strongly linked to Arsenal as well. Plus there is also Andre Carrillo, Zakaria Labyad, Marcos Rojo who Carvalho might choose to cash in on this summer. Many promising young players like Ricardo Esgaio, João Mário, Betinho, Zézinho and Gaël Etock are looking to take their places.

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Porto's coach Pereira claps during their Champions League Group G soccer match against APOEL Nicosia at the Dragon stadium in Porto

Football website Goal is reporting that Vitor Pereira may become Everton’s next manager, if David Moyes decides to leave at the end of the campaign. Pereira’s contract with Porto expires in the summer, and it is believed that negotiations on a new deal have yet to begin.

Current Everton chairmen Bill Kenwright has reportedly been monitoring Pereira this campaign and even invited the Portuguese to a Premier League match over the Christmas break. Current Wigan manager Roberto Martinez is also believed to be in the running.

The 44-year-old Pereira first had success with small clubs in Portugal’s lower divisions which include Sanjoanense, Espinho and Santa Clara. He also has experience with developing young players having coached the junior squads of Padroense and Porto on two occasions.

In 2010-11, he was hired as Porto’s assistant under former Chelsea and current Tottenham manager André Villas-Boas. After Villas-Boas’ departure to Chelsea, Pereira was promoted to the top job in charge of Os Dragões.

In his first year in charge of Porto, the club won the Portuguese League but Pereira was heavily criticized after the club was eliminated in the group stage of the Champions League. This year, Porto remains 4 points behind archrivals Benfica in the domestic league with 5 matches to go.

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GOAL.Com Everton eye Porto boss Pereira as potential Moyes successor

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Former Sporting Lisbon manager Domingos Paciencia has left Spanish club Deportivo La Coruna after only 6 matches in charge after a 3-0 lose to Granada on Saturday. Paciencia had only one win, one draw and four defeats in that time.

The 44-year-old manager released a statement on the club’s website thanking the fans for their support. “Apart from the mistakes we made, we had some bad luck in decisive moments, and there were also referring errors that cost us greatly,” he added.

Paciencia also added that he hopes the club will avoid relegation this year. They are currently last in La Liga and remain 6 behind 17th place Osasuna.

The Galician club currently have 7 Portuguese nationals in their squad including highly tauted young players Pizzi and Nelson Oliveira. Though only defender Ze Castro and midfielder Bruno Gama have permanent contracts with the club.

André Villas-Boas

Former Porto and Chelsea manager André Villas-Boas proved many of the doubters wrong after his Tottenham-side earned a well deserved 1-1 draw against Manchester United.

American international Clint Dempsey scored well into injury time at White Hart Lane to earn a draw for Tottenham, but Villas-Boas’ side were clearly the better team throughout the match.

Villas-Boas was thrust into the spotlight in 2011 when Chelsea owner Roman Abramovitch hired the young Portuguese manager to lead his ageing club after a recording breaking year at Porto. Villas-Boas was not able to turn the club around and he was fired in March 2012.

But Chelsea was never a good place for any young manager to go. Fact is, given Villas-Boas lack of experience, a club like Tottenham was always going to be a better fit for him.

Villas-Boas took charge of a talented team that played poorly for Harry Redknapp in the second half of last season and fell out of a Champions League spot.

Upon arriving, Villas-Boas began putting his stamp on the London club. He let Croatian international midfielder Luka Modrić leave for Real Madrid with an incredibly elevated price of nearly 50 million Euros.

Modrić had been linked with moves to Chelsea and Real Madrid for almost two years. Many fans began to suspect that the rumours were beginning to take a toll on the club’s on-field performance.

With Modrić gone, Villas-Boas set out to sign Clint Dempsey, Emmanuel Adebayor, Jan Vertonghen, Gylfi Sigurðsson, and French international goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. These players have contributed greatly to Tottenham’s revival.

They also narrowly missed out on Portuguese midfielder João Moutinho, who Villas-Boas is very familiar with from his time in charge of Porto. They are widely rumoured to be pursuing him during this month’s transfer window.

Villas-Boas’ decision to use Dempsey as a winger and sometimes midfielder has greatly paid off in terms of production. He has also managed to get the best out of English striker Jermaine Defoe after a few bad years under Redknapp.

Currently standing in 4th position, Tottenham still have a lot of work to do to remain in a Champions League position for next campaign. Signing Moutinho and perhaps a left-back would go a long way.

But, Sunday’s draw with United in a snowy afternoon in London proved to many that Tottenham and Villas-Boas for that matter are a force to be reckoned with in the Premier League.