Paulo Fonseca becomes the new manager of Lille

(Football news) LOSC Lille have confirmed that they have appointed former AS Roma boss Paulo Fonseca as their new manager on a two year contract. This comes after the club and Jocelyn Gourvennec agreed to part ways two weeks ago, after less than a year since they had appointed him. 

Following their 2020/21 Ligue 1 title win under Christophe Galtier, a lot was expected from LOSC Lille this season but due to their financial issues combined with the fact that they had to sell players saw the club really struggle in Ligue 1. Not only that, their title winning coach Galtier left for OGC Nice and his replacement Jocelyn Gourvennec, struggled to keep up with the club’s expectations. So much so, that the defending Ligue 1 champions failed to finish even in the European spots, finishing in tenth place on the table. Off the field issues saw Gourvennec leave the club earlier this month and Lille since then have moved and replaced him with former AS Roma boss Paulo Fonseca. The club confirmed that Fonseca has signed a two year contract with the club and is bringing three new coaches to the club with him.

Fonseca was a former central defender who began his career as a player in his native country, for fourteen years, before hanging up his boots in 2005. Since then, his coaching career has been taken notice of. After starting out coaching the youth team of Estrela Amadora, he managed a number of lesser Portuguese teams. Before that he achieved a marvellous feat during the 2012-2013 season with Pacos Ferreira, finishing 3rd in the Portuguese league ahead of the likes of Sporting and Braga. He subsequently helped his club qualify for the Champions League for the first time in Pacos Ferreira’s history. After a failed coaching stint in Porto, he bounced back with Braga to win the Portuguese Cup.

In 2016, he joined Shakhtar Donetsk and built a squad with many Brazilians which was an added benefit as he is Portuguese. He was a profitable choice for both parties. The Ukrainian club achieved the league and cup double during his three seasons in charge of the team, while he mostly made a name for himself on the European scene at the same time. In Rome, Fonseca had a mixed record as in his first season, the Giallorossi finished in fifth place in the Serie A. The following season (2021) they were eliminated in the semi-finals of the Europa League by Manchester United but he was sacked for a poor finish in the league. 

A statement released by the club read “LOSC today formalises the arrival of Paulo Fonseca as head coach. The Portuguese technician (49), who worked for FC Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk and AS Roma, signed a two-year contract today with the Lille club. LOSC are pleased to be able to begin their collaboration with their new coach, who arrives accompanied by Tiago Leal (assistant coach), Paulo Mourão (assistant coach in charge of physical preparation) and António Ferreira (assistant coach in charge of goalkeepers). Already present at the club, Jorge Maciel also composes the staff of Paulo Fonseca, as assistant coach. A new page is being written. We wish it long and full of success.”

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