Soccer-Rogerio Ceni replaces Hernan Crespo as Sao Paulo coach

FILE PHOTO: Brasileiro Championship - Fluminense v Sao Paulo
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Brasileiro Championship - Fluminense v Sao Paulo - Estadio Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - September 12, 2021 Sao Paulo coach Hernan Crespo reacts REUTERS/Alexandre Loureiro/File Photo

October 14, 2021

SAO PAULO (Reuters) -Sao Paulo appointed former goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni as their new coach on Wednesday, just hours after parting ways with Argentine Hernan Crespo “by mutual accord.”

Former Argentina striker Crespo took over in February after a successful spell with Defensa y Justicia in Argentina and led Sao Paulo to the state championship in May, their first since 2005.

But the club have struggled in the Serie A and currently sit 13th in the 20-team league with just six wins from 25 games.

Almost immediately the club announced he would be replaced by the popular Ceni, who played more than 1,000 times for the Sao Paulo side.

Although Ceni had an unsuccessful spell as Sao Paulo coach in 2017, he won the Brazilian league last year with Flamengo.

“We needed to make a quick decision….and the correct option was Rogerio Ceni,” Sao Paulo president Julio Casares said. “It didn’t take more than 15 minutes to secure his return home.”

In a bid to limit clubs hiring and firing coaches – some clubs would use as many as four each season – the Brazilian Football Confederation announced last year that clubs could only fire one coach each season.

However, a loophole allows them to get round that rule if changes are made “by mutual accord,” leading to a string of such announcements this season.

(Reporting by Andrew Downie;Editing by Toby Davis and Muralikumar Anantharaman)