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Porto's Paulo Fonseca has big shoes to fill in his first season

July 26, 2013 By Mike Goncalves
Paulo Fonseca took a big step in his managerial career last season, having taken the job at Paços de Ferreira. Having been his first job at the top level, the 40-year-old manager now prepares for a much tougher task.

Over the last 20 years, Porto has done an incredible job not only from a titles aspect, but their ability to sell players for big money has become somewhat of a trademark for them. They not only have helped market and evolve players, but their manager's have also benefited from their time at Porto.

As a Portuguese Football fan, when you think of Porto, given their track record as of late, you think of titles. It goes without saying that they have essentially dominated the Portuguese League, after Benfica enjoyed a similar spell of dominance.

Pinto da Costa and his staff will now prepare themselves, and hope that they made the right decision in signing 40-year-old Paulo Fonseca.


In order to continue their dominance, they will need Fonseca to pick up where Vítor Pereira left off, which was with two consecutive league titles, and two Portuguese Super Cups. That will not be easy to do, but the pressure is on for the young Mozambique born manager.

Having to go up against a star studded list of former managers who enjoyed success at the club, not many have failed during their time with the Dragões.

Since Artur Jorge was appointed manager in November of 1988, Porto has only had four out of 17 managers who left the club without winning a single title. That is 25 years of consistent titles for Porto, which Fonseca will be looking to continue.

He joins the club coming off a stellar campaign with Paços de Ferreira last season. Os Pacenses finished third in the league, which gives them a spot in the 2013/14 Champions League Qualification Round, something they had never achieved. 

A two year contract makes Fonseca the fifth successive Portuguese manager to take charge at Porto. Prior to his arrival, Porto had enjoyed great success with Vítor Pereira, Andre Villas-Boas, Jesualdo Ferreira, and Rui Baros, who filled in for one match.

Making the jump to one of Portugal's biggest clubs, as well as one of Europe's biggest will not be an easy transition for Fonseca given the amount of pressure that is on his shoulders. 

Unlike at Paços de Ferreira, Porto is always on the radar and any minor slip-up or negative result will require a proper answer from him. Winning is a mentality that has been part of Porto for years now, and looking at how successful they have been as of late, the new Porto manager will be expected to do great things, as were the other managers.

He will now not only have to deal with a bigger club and more pressure, but he will also have to deal with higher profile players, which can be difficult for some managers. Grabbing hold of the locker-room is something many managers struggle with, especially at a big club.

I for one think he will be able to succeed at the club, based on the fact that Porto's management has built a winning system over the years, which makes it hard not to succeed. His tactical approach and style of play is very similar to that of Vítor Pereira and AVB, which should make for a smooth transition for the players. 

With the season set to kick-off in a little under a month, Fonseca will try to avoid being the next manager since Jose Couceiro (2004/05) to not win anything at the club. He will also try to have a better spell at Porto as a manager, than he did as a player. 

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