QUITO - Former Real Madrid coach Benito Floro has been named as the new coach of troubled Ecuadorean club Barcelona, the club said on their website. The 56-year-old Spaniard has been given a two-year contract to try and revive the fortunes of the Guayaquil-based team, who have won a record 13 Ecuadorean titles but none since 1997. "We're convinced that Professor Benito Floro and his team will do a good job," said club president Eduardo Maruri. Floro replaces Argentine Reinaldo Merlo who quit the club after they finished fifth in the 2008 championship and missed out on a place in the Libertadores Cup on the last day of the season. The supporters' frustration boiled over when around 100 of them tried to invade the dressing room following the 1-1 draw with El Nacional and the team had to be given a police escort out of the ground. Toro has also coached Albacete, Sporting Gijon, Villarreal and Real Mallorca in his homeland, Vissel Kobe in Japan and Monterrey in Mexico. Ecuadorean media also said that Argentine Ruben Insua had agreed terms to take over as coach of champions Deportivo Quito, where he will replace Carlos Sevilla. Sevilla quit one week after Deportivo won the title for the first time in 40 years.
19 December 2008
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