Football: Portuguese champions Porto name inexperienced Fonseca as coach

LISBON (REUTERS) - Pacos de Ferreira coach Paulo Fonseca has signed a two-year contract to take charge of Portuguese football champions Porto, the club said on Monday.

Fonseca, 40, moves to one of Portugal's top clubs after leading unfashionable Pacos to third in the championship last season, their best finish which earned them a Champions League qualifying play-off spot.

"We have reached an agreement with Fonseca, who will become the main team coach," Porto said in a statement to market regulator CMVM (www.cmvm.pt).

Fonseca will have a tough task to live up to the demands of a club used to winning as much as Porto, who have claimed 14 of the last 20 Portuguese titles.

He replaces Vitor Pereira, who on Sunday joined Saudi Arabian club Al-Ahli after winning the championship in his two seasons at Porto.

Pereira's achievements were not always enough to win over Porto's demanding fans and he was often criticised for the team's failings in the Champions League and domestic Cup competitions.

Just like his predecessor Pereira, who was an assistant coach at Porto before getting the top job, Fonseca has little high-level experience before taking on the high-pressure role.

He only started coaching at a professional level two years ago, making it another bold move by Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa.

A former centre-back, Fonseca won over pundits in Portugal by moulding Pacos, a club from a tiny town north of Porto, into a tactically organised side who conceded few goals.

Seen as a demanding and rigorous coach, he is a self-professed admirer of Arsenal's French manager Arsene Wenger and Benfica's Jorge Jesus.

Comments