RIO DE JANEIRO - Former Brazil coach and goalkeeper Emerson Leao has been named coach of Atletico Mineiro and will return for a third stint at the Belo Horizonte club. Atletico's website said on Sunday that Leao had agreed terms with president Alexandre Kalil to rejoin the club almost exactly one year after leaving. Three coaches have been employed since Leao left, Geninho, Gallo and Marcelo Oliveira. Leao played for Brazil at the 1974 and 1978 World Cups and was reserve in 1970 and 1986. He coached the national team for eight months between 2000 and 2001 but was sacked after his side lost to Australia at the Confederations Cup. Leao's coaching career has also taken him to Brazilian clubs including Sport Recife, Palmeiras, Corinthians, Sao Paulo, Sao Caetano, Coritiba, Atletico Paranaense and Cruzeiro, Japan's Verdy Kawasaki and Shimizu S-Pulse and Qatar's Al Sadd. Atletico are the fourth first division club to have changed coaches since the Brazilian championship ended one week ago. Cuca has replaced Caio Junior at Flamengo and Dorival Junior has left Coritiba to take over from Renato Portaluppi at relegated Vasco da Gama. The 2008 season produced 35 coaching changes among the 20 first division clubs, not including the four in the last week. Ipatinga were the most prolific club, employing six coaches, followed by Vasco da Gama and Figueirense with five each. All three clubs were relegated. Geninho and Cuca were the most travelled coaches, each working at three clubs during the season. Sao Paulo, Gremio, Cruzeiro, Palmeiras and Coritiba were the only teams to get through the season without a change of coach.
14 December 2008
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