Ex-Chelsea striker Hernán Crespo was always expected to move to a bigger club after leading underdogs Defensa y Justicia to the prestigious Copa Sudamericana title. However, the move appears to have come sooner than expected, with Brazilian Série A side São Paulo announcing the 45-year-old as their new manager on a two-year contract on Friday.
The legendary striker-turned-manager earned high praise for his time at Defensa y Justicia, with his philosophy, tactical nous and strategic management well above expected levels. His success at the Argentine Primera División club certainly caught the eyes of the football world, and São Paulo evidently didn’t want to have this opportunity pass them by.
Crespo will now be in-charge of a much stronger roster, which features extremely talented youngster like Igor Gomes and Gabriel Sara, experienced Brazilian league stalwarts Luciano and Reinaldo, as well as European veterans in Juanfran and Hernanes. Crespo will no doubt be expected to deliver the Série A title, with São Paulo last winning the trophy in 2008, and finishing between the 4th and 6th positions in the last three seasons.
São Paulo President Julio Casares was extremely pleased with the signing, and elaborated on what was expected from their new manager.
“After a very technical, careful and judicious evaluation, in which we consulted different professionals, we understand that Hernán Crespo fits perfectly in what we think for São Paulo. He has a winning history, was a great athlete and is a very promising coach. We will have a commander with a winning mentality and São Paulo’s DNA.”
-Julio Casares; source: São Paulo official site (via Google Translate)
Wishing Hernán all the very best for his new adventure! Here’s to hoping that we see him back in Europe someday!