Jardim replaces Ferreira as Sporting coach

Leonardo Jardim spoke of his joy at "fulfilling a childhood dream" after signing a two-year contract as Jesualdo Ferreira's replacement at Sporting Clube de Portugal.

New Sporting boss Leonardo Jardim
New Sporting boss Leonardo Jardim ©Getty Images

Leonardo Jardim spoke of his joy at "fulfilling a childhood dream" after being unveiled as Jesualdo Ferreira's replacement at Sporting Clube de Portugal.

The 38-year-old was presented 24 hours following the end of the 2012/13 Portuguese Liga season after Ferreira and the club could not agree terms to extend his five-month stay. It means a return to Portugal for Jardim, the former SC Beira-Mar and SC Braga boss who has been out of work since parting company with Olympiacos FC in January. He has signed a two-year deal.

"I'm very happy because I'm at the club I like," he said. "I'm here to boost the club's potential. It will not be easy because the club just had its worse season ever." Indeed, despite a 4-1 win at Beira-Mar on Sunday, Sporting finished seventh in the Liga, failing to qualify for European club competitions for only the second time in their history – and first time since 1976/77.

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