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Tuesday, 06 May 2014 15:15

Julen Lopetegui appointed new Porto coach

“We’re going to get this club winning again”

julen-lopetegui-presentation.jpgFC Porto president Pinto da Costa today announced Spaniard Julen Lopetegui as the club’s new coach. The 47-year-old has signed a three-year contract and ex Porto striker Rui Barros will be one of his assistants.
 
“It’s with pleasure, pride and a sense of responsibility that I come to FC Porto,” Lopetegui said at today’s unveiling. “It’s a great challenge to defend the history of this club. It’s a club used to winning and we will get it winning again. It’s better to lose from time to time than to win from time to time.”
 
Lopetegui, a former goalkeeper who played for both Barcelona and Real Madrid, has enjoyed successful stints as coach of Spain’s U19, U20 and U21 teams. He becomes Porto’s first foreign manager in almost a decade. Since Dutch coach Co Adriaanse left in 2006, the Dragons have put their trust in Portuguese coaches, winning the league 6 times in 8 seasons.
 
Pinto da Costa explained his reasoning for opting for a Spanish coach. “Spain has got probably the best league in the world and it is not by chance that three of the four finalists in European competition this season are from La Liga. It is not by chance that Lopetegui led Spain’s U19 and U20 teams to trophies in successive years.
 
“He was my first, second and third choice. We have been in talks for several weeks. I didn’t give him a chance to say no. I didn’t contact any other coach.”
 
Neither Lopetegui nor Pinto da Costa would be drawn on transfer targets. “We will analyse thoroughly what happened this year. We know the type of game we want to implement for FC Porto,” said the new coach.
 
 
Comments (11)
Thoughts
11 Friday, 09 May 2014 16:57
Andrew Finn / UK
When I heard that Vitor Pereira had left Al-Ahli at the start of the week, I thought that was him coming back to FCP then this news was released, and, to be honest, I am looking forward to this.

Obviously he lacks experience at club level, but he deserves a chance.
I am in the wait and see mode..
10 Friday, 09 May 2014 06:38
Orlando Mac
Like Chris I think there are pros and cons ti the hire..

Like Miguel stated PDC has an impressive record in manager selection so will give him the benefit of the doubt until proven wrong.

I also wonder like NJ about him being such a youth leader and if PDC is looking to start a more sustainable future, as I think LFV also should.

With the cheaper rates of buying local grown talent.. and a higher return on sale.. it would make more sense to fill up the cupboards with a majority of Portuguese talent and then add some quality imports to the senior squad. I hope that will be the case in the future at both Benfica & Porto.. we need the Big clubs in Portugal to continue to produce in Europe so that we can generate more money in tv deals to sustain that growth.

Hopefully Porto will be firing on all cylinders again next season, as are Benfica & Sporting also.. hopefully Braga can get back up there again... that way we can push each other to the pinnacle of the Euro Cups... not too mention have some battle royales...
Thoughts
9 Thursday, 08 May 2014 12:14
NJ/USA/SLB
I'm not sure about this one. As stated you can't deny the success Lopetegui has had at the youth level. But as also stayed by Mdot, managing an international side is very different than a club, and when you throw in the youth aspect it could become daunting.
If I was cynical, this could look like a oh oh moment. Porto should be doing great financially, yet Quaresma came on for free, rumors of Fernandes possibly coming for free. Is this a hire to help a more youth orientated squad? By that I mean, Fernando, Malaga and Jackson will most likely leave, probably for less than originally thought. Porto, into opinion overpaid for Danilo and Sandro (remember they arrived late).
Are we looking at a club that will look inward for replacements?

I hope all is well financially with the Tripeiros. I hoped they landed third this campaign, because I felt they had a better chance in getting through qualifiers. It would be fantastic to three Portuguese clubs in the CL group stages, once again.
I, for one, hope it works out. As long as they finish behind Benfica.
It's a gamble
8 Thursday, 08 May 2014 01:03
Mdot
I'll admit that this guy has been outstanding in the various youth national tournaments. He could be an asset to Porto in utilizing some of their youth talent.

On the negative he has no club experience. Managing national teams vs. club teams takes very different skill sets. Throw in this will be his first time dealing with senior players and his pep talks/training may or may not work on them.

At the end of the day Porto were unable to replace their gutted mid-field. It also looks like they are set to lose Fernando and Jackson. So there are other things that will make the job difficult for any manager.

If Lopetegui can properly manage the team, Porto need to not only replace a couple of key positions, they have several key areas that are weaknesses at the moment. It could play well if Lopetegui has a say in the type of team he wants to build but historically it's been the PdC that's made all the transfer calls. Before we event talk about management, the main question should be can Porto find the large amount of needed players to build a team that can compete with Benfica.

Even if Benfica lose a couple of players in the transfer window, they have an amazing amount of quality and depth to keep pushing for more titles next season. I disagree that it's the end of Porto being competitive but it's at the point where Benfica is extremely competitive where it takes near perfect seasons by Porto to keep up with Benfica.
What a dumb move
7 Wednesday, 07 May 2014 23:08
Mike/canada
A junior, b-team coach, who is qualified because he's Spanish?

It's been all downhill since VP. He's gotta be laughing right now
Settle down Joao/and some thoughts
6 Wednesday, 07 May 2014 13:30
Chris (Canada)
Porto have one bad season and suddenly it's the end? Did the Benfas write JJ off after years of failure? Oh, now he's a smashing success all of a sudden? I love it. There's no middle ground anymore. Things are either really good or really bad, there's no in-between to sheep that just believe whatever their club president or Benfica TV force feed them. Hilarious.

Anyways, now to some thoughts. Julen could be a stroke of genius or a very underwhelming reality. So it's literally the same situation we found ourselves in last May with Paulo Fonseca. I was not convinced by PF at the time, and sadly turned out to be onto something. Wish I was wrong.

With Julen, I have my doubts but they are rooted in different areas. He has extensive experience with youth players, so he would be ideal to groom guys like Josue, Reyes as well as ToZe, Kiyembe, Mikel and Paciencia in the B team.

He also has no internal connections to the Portuguese league so he could bring some positive outsider perspective. He will also be assisted by Rui Barros who is Porto royalty and a legend, and not a bad coach in his own right. If anything, it'll be hilarious to see 6'2 Lopetegui standing on the touchline conferring with 5'4 Barros.

The cons are pretty daunting though. Porto has not done well with foreign coaches at all in recent memory (think del Neri, Fernandez and Adriaanse). He will also have a lot of research to do about the squad and league, and it's rumoured that his tactical set-up is exactly like Paulo Fonseca's.

The biggest con is that Porto stands a real chance of becoming the Spain U-21 farm team, which would really be upsetting. We need a blend of excellent Portuguese prospects with highly-rated (scouted) foreign talent. I won't be surprised to see this guy go out and buy at least 3-4 Spaniards, which only helps the Spanish FA instead of the FPF.

Would I have preferred Marco Silva? Too early to tell. The word is that Silva will be signing a contract extension with Estoril. I actually see Silva going to Braga next year. Benfica in turn, will be coached by none other than every Benfiquistas favourite coach... Vitor Pereira!!! Who just left Al Ahli and will replace JJ who is probably leaving the country.

Should be interesting!!

Good luck to Lopetegui, and keep the team Portuguese pal!

Cheers.
About experience
5 Wednesday, 07 May 2014 11:57
Miguel - Madrid
Managed British Virgin Islands and portuguese mid-table team during 5 months (Académica): Won the treble with FCPorto (Europa League, Portuguese Cup and League title) - André Villas-Boas (no past as football player)

Played good football with a mid-table team (Leira): Won UEFA cup, Champions League with FCPorto - José Mourinho (no past as football player)

Managed several teams low and mid-table clubs on portuguese top, relegated 4 times and sacked 3 times. Managed Portugal under-21. Won 3 titles in row with FCP - Jesualdo Ferreira (regular past as football player)

Managed a low profile team from portuguese second league (Santa Clara). Won two leagues in a row with FCP - Vitor Pereira (no past as football player)

Managed a mid-table (today extinct) team from portuguese football (Estrela Amadora): two time champions with Porto - Fernando Santos (regular past as football player)

Two times sacked on dutch league. Made the UEFA cup semi-finals with a top dutch team. Won the League title with Porto and then he went crazy - Co Adriaanse.
Porto's gateway to hell.
4 Wednesday, 07 May 2014 03:53
Joao Caravela/Canada
I believe it's an irrational hiring, just listen to Pinto's reasoning. You need experience at the top level, just because he's of a certain nationality, it doesn't make him a natural born genius. The darkness for FC Porto will only continue, and all i can do is laugh. Finally, the time has come when Benfica & Sporting will be the top two for a decade or more.


It looks like Porto's
Porto
3 Tuesday, 06 May 2014 21:27
Gomes
Next season everything will be back to normal!!
Força PORTOOOO
Here we go
2 Tuesday, 06 May 2014 20:32
Andrew-ny
And so the Foreign Coach Trend Re-Begins
Pros and Cons
1 Tuesday, 06 May 2014 19:02
Jonah/UK/FCP
Pros:
-Spanish manager, will (hopefully) get us playing some good football
- He isn't Paulo Fonseca


Cons:
- He has no club level experience
- He has no UCL/EL experience
- He has no experience coaching players older than 20

I'm going to reserve my judgement until midway through the 2014-15 season, after VP left I was looking forward to Paulo Fonseca

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