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Primeira Liga

Portuguese clubs place faith in home-grown managers

In an increasingly globalised football landscape, the fact that all 18 Primeria Liga sides have Portuguese coaches is a curious footnote.

Jorge Jesús dirige actualmente al Sporting de Portugal tras su paso por el Benfica.

The Portuguese League enters its second round of fixtures this weekend with an unusual make-up in terms of club bosses in today’s footballing free market: every one of the 18 Primeira Liga clubs is coached by a home-grown manager.

The most successful and longest-serving is Jorge Jesús, who is currently in charge of Sporting after a career that has taken him to Benfica, Braga, Belenenses, Leiria, Moreirense and Guimarães.

Bucking a trend across Europe’s top divisions, Portugal’s other heavyweights also have national coaches. Sérgio Conceição took the helm at Porto this summer, replacing Nuno Espírito Santo while Rui Vitoria continues as Benfica boss.

Portugal playing at home in 2017-18

Sporting CP head coach Jorge Jesús.
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Sporting CP head coach Jorge Jesús.MIGUEL A. LOPESEFE

The remainder are as follows: Abel Ferreira (Braga), Pedro Martins (Guimarães), Luis Castro (Chaves), Miguel Cardoso (Río Ave), Domingos Paciência (Os Belenenses), Vasco Seabra (Ferreira), José Couceiro (Setúbal), Daniel Ramos (Marítimo), Manuel Machado (Moreirense), Pedro Enmanuel (Estoril), Miguel Leal (Boavista), Ricardo Soares (Ares) and Vítor Oliveira (Portimonense).

LaLiga, meanwhile, has just four foreign coaches this season: Zinedine Zidane (Madrid), Diego Simeone (Atlético), Eduardo Berizzo (Sevilla) and Luis Zubeldía (Alavés).

Serie A will have 18 Italian coaches in charge in 2017-18, with the only exceptions being Sinisa Mihaljovic (Torino) and Ivan Juric (Genoa).

Premier League the most international

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The Premier League is by far the most foreign-influenced league among Europe’s elite divisions, with 14 international managers. By contrast, when Arséne Wenger took over at Arsenal in 1996-97, he and Ruud Gullit were the only two non-UK and Ireland coaches in the English top flight.

The Premier League is by far the most foreign-influenced league among Europe’s elite divisions, with 14 international managers: Pep Guardiola (Manchester City), Antonio Conte (Chelsea), Arsène Wenger (Arsenal), José Mourinho (Manchester United), Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham), Jürgen Klopp (Liverpool), Ronald Koeman (Everton), Mauricio Pellegrino (Southampton), Slaven Bilic (West Ham), Frank de Boer (Crystal Palace), Rafa Benítez (Newcastle), Marco Silva (Watford), Chris Hughton (Brighton) and David Wagner (Huddersfield).


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