KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Paulo Sousa is the new coach of Poland in succession to Jerzy Brzeczek who was sacked at the start of the week despite leading the national team to the European Championship finals.
The 50-year-old former Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, Inter and Espanyol midfielder was the personal choice of federation president Zbigniew Boniek.
Sousa said: “I am honoured and proud to be Poland’s coach. This is a real football country and together we will pull together for victories in the European Championship. I’m sure the whole country will be proud of their team.”
Victor Manuel Sánchez will act as assistant with Lluís Sala and Antonio José Gómez as physical trainers.
Boniek said: “I am convinced that the Paulo, thanks to his class as a coach, experience and international knowledge, will bring new impetus to the national team.”
Paulo Manuel Carvalho Sousa played for Benfica (1989-93), Sporting (1993-94), Juventus (1994-96), Borussia Dortmund (1996-98), Inter Milan (1998-99), Parma (2000), Panathinaikos (2000-01) and Espanyol (2002).
Remarkably he won the Champions League twice in succession with different clubs – Juventus in 1996 and Dortmund in 1997, a “record” that he shares with Gerard Piqué , Marcel Desailly and Samuel Eto’o.
He was also a member of the Portuguese ‘golden era’ team who won the world youth championship in 1989. Later he played for the senior national team 51 times, including appearances at Euro 1996 and 2000 as well as the 2002 World Cup.
He retired prematurely because of injury at 31 and has coached Queens Park Rangers, Swansea City, Leicester City, Videoton, Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Basel, Fiorentina, Tianjin Quanjian and Bordeaux.