Luxemburgo to coach Atletico Mineiro

RIO DE JANEIRO - Former Real Madrid and Brazil coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo agreed on Tuesday to take charge of Atletico Mineiro on a two-year contract from next year.

"Atletico has signed coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo for the next two seasons," the club from Belo Horizonte said in a brief statement on their website.

Mineiro were top of the Brazilian championship for several weeks but finished seventh, outside the 2010 Libertadores Cup qualifying berths, at the close of the season on Sunday.

The 57-year-old Luxemburgo, who steered Santos to a modest 12th place, decided to leave the club when president Marcelo Teixeira lost his seat in the weekend's elections.

"I'm happy to return to Belo Horizonte and sure we'll have many good times," Luxemburgo said on his blog. Luxemburgo is the most successful coach in the Brazilian championship with five titles, including the 2003 championship when he steered Mineiros' bitter local rivals Cruzeiro to victory.

He took charge at Santos mid-year, having resigned as coach of Palmeiras after differences with the board over the transfer of striker Keirrison to Barcelona against his will.

Luxemburgo, who held the Brazil job from 1998 to 2000 and spent a year at Real Madrid in 2004/05, also won the national title with Palmeiras (1992 and 1993), Corinthians (1998) and Santos (2004).