Dorival lands Atletico Mineiro job

RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Three days after being sacked by Santos, Dorival Junior was appointed by Atletico Mineiro in the latest spin of Brazil's coaching merry-go-round on Saturday.

Former Real Madrid and Brazil coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo was dismissed on Thursday by struggling Atletico, who are 18th in the championship with 21 points from 24 matches.

Dorival lost his job this week in a row with the Santos board after he had banned teenager Neymar from the squad for disciplinary reasons. The team are seventh in the championship.

"The deal was closed this Saturday... the new Atletico coach will already be in charge of the team this Sunday for the match against Gremio," the club said on their website.

Santos and Atletico were the only sides in the 20-team top flight not to have changed coaches this season.

The dismissals of Dorival and Luxemburgo took the total number of changes since January to 33.

Luxemburgo's spell in charge of the team from Belo Horizonte ended after a little less than 10 months with Atletico's 5-1 defeat at Fluminense.

Despite being one of the teams with the biggest recruitment drives this season, including Brazilian internationals Diego Souza, Daniel Carvalho and Ricardinho, Atletico have been waging a battle against relegation.

Atletico signed a deal until December 2011 with the 48-year-old Dorival, who steered Santos to the Paulista (Sao Paulo) state and Copa Brasil titles in the first half of the season.

He lost the Santos job after extending controversial teenage prodigy Neymar's suspension to a second match, something the board were unhappy about.

They sacked him and reinstated Neymar hours before the big match against Corinthians which they lost 3-2 on Wednesday.

Promoted Ceara are the team with most coaching changes, having made five. Three other teams are under their fourth coach of the year.