Just announced officially on the QPR official website, (but first seen on the BBC website!) that QPR have appointed the Portuguese ex-midfielder, Paulo Sousa, as manager on a two-and-a-half year contract.
The good news is that Gareth Ainsworth will be staying on as part of Sousa`s back-room staff.
Sousa is 38 years old (born on 30 August 1970). He was born in Viseu, Portugal. Sousa had an illustrious playing career before injury cruelly and prematurely cut it short. His best position was as a defensive midfielder.
He started life as a youth player with Benfica and he stayed with the club from 1989 until 1993, winning the league title with them in 1991 and the Portuguese Cup in 1993. In all, he made 87 appearances for the Benfica first team, although he only managed to score one goal!
Sousa joined Sporting Lisbon but stayed for only one year, before moving to Juventus from 1994 – 96. He made 54 appearances for the Italian giants before moving on to Borussia Dortmund for one season.
Whilst at Juventus, Sousa won many honours: the Serie A championship, Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italia in 1995 and the UEFA Champions League title in1996. In 1996, Juventus were runners-up in the Serie A and also in the UEFA Cup. He also won the Champions League title whilst playing for Borussia Dortmund.
Injuries started to plague Sousa during his time in Germany, but he was able to continue playing until 2002. He returned to the Serie A in 1998, joining another Italian giant, Inter Milan, before moving to Parma and then to Greek side Panathinaikos in 2000. His last club, before hanging up his boots, was RCD Espanyol.
Sousa has also been very successful on the international stage. In 1989 he was part of the Portuguese squad which won the World Youth Championship. He then went on to represent his country fifty-one times from 1991 until 2002.
After he retired from playing, at the young age of 31, Sousa became an assistant coach for the Portuguese national team, working alongside Luis Felipe Scolari. He also coached the U-15 Portuguese national side.
Working at QPR will be the first time that Sousa will have plied his talents in England. However, I have it on good authority (one of those famous “sauces”!!) that Sousa does speak English – but how good it is, only time will tell!
Speaking today of his appointment to QPR.co.uk, Sousa said: “It is an honour to be part of this project. I am very excited about the opportunity to work for Queens Park Rangers.”
“I have great belief in my ideas and my coaching ability. I believe in playing positive, attacking football,” he added.
Briatore is convinced that he has, at last, found the right man to take our club forward. He admitted that he has been following Sousa closely for the last few months. He is impressed by Sousa`s experience with the Portuguese national team and the world-class players Sousa has been working with.
Briatore also thanked Gareth Ainsworth for all his hard work since Dowie`s departure. He confirmed that Ainsworth has a most important role to play for the club and will work closely with Sousa.
Sousa’s first match in charge will be this weekend’s clash with Watford at Vicarage Road. I wish Paulo Sousa firstly a hearty welcome to our beloved QPR and also the very best of luck for the future. Let us all hope this appointment does work out for all the parties concerned!
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