Braga face Paulo Sérgio on CFR Cluj trip
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
SC Braga will face a familiar foe in the shape of CFR 1907 Cluj's Portuguese coach Paulo Sérgio when they visit Romania for a Group H fixture they cannot afford to lose.
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SC Braga have never visited Romania before but will face a familiar rival in CFR 1907 Cluj's Portuguese coach Paulo Sérgio.
• Paulo Sérgio, who replaced Ioan Andone in late October, was once at the helm of Braga's local rivals Vitória SC and has coached three of the visiting team's players.
• This is a match of major significance to both teams. A victory for either could put them second in Group H, depending on the Galatasaray AŞ-Manchester United FC result, but equally a defeat would end Braga's hopes and could potentially do the same for CFR.
• Braga lost 2-0 at home to CFR on matchday one – their former player, Rafael Bastos, scoring twice – but the Stadionul Dr. Constantin Rădulescu should hold no fears for the Portuguese side given their away form so far in 2012/13. José Peseiro's men drew at Udinese Calcio in the play-offs, then won 2-0 at Galatasaray before losing narrowly at United after leading 2-0.
• With their defeats by United and Galatasaray, CFR have won just one of eight home fixtures in the UEFA Champions League proper, against FC Basel 1893 in 2010/11.
• Paulo Sérgio coached FC Paços de Ferreira, Vitória SC and Sporting Clube de Portugal in Portugal's top flight, following spells in the second tier with CD Santa Clara, SC Beira-Mar and SC Olhanense. He knows three Braga players particularly well, having coached Baiano at Paços de Ferreira, Custódio at Guimarães and Nuno André Coelho at Sporting.
• Paulo Sérgio's Portuguese Liga coaching debut with Paços de Ferreira brought a 2-0 home loss to Braga in August 2008, Paulo César scoring as a late substitute. Braga also won the return fixture 2-0. Paulo César later found the net against Paulo Sérgio's Sporting team in a 2-1 Braga defeat in Lisbon in January 2011.
• Paulo Sérgio had mixed fortunes in the Minho derby against Braga as Vitória SC coach in 2009/10. He enjoyed a 1-0 home win on 7 November 2009 against a Braga side including Mossoró, Hugo Viana, Paulo César and Alan. On 2 April 2010, his team were beaten 3-2 at Braga, with Alan scoring and Guimarães ending with seven players having had three sent off in added time.
• Peseiro was in charge of FC Rapid Bucureşti between July 2008 and January 2009, working with Vasile Maftei. He earned a 1-0 home win against CFR in his third league match as Rapid coach.
• Beto spent 2011/12 on loan at CFR from FC Porto, making 27 league appearances and winning the Romanian title. His successor at CFR, Mário Felgueiras, was Braga's reserve goalkeeper in 2008/09, playing once alongside Alan as a substitute in a league fixture against Porto. In between loan spells elsewhere, Felgueiras started Braga's two UEFA Champions League qualifying ties against Celtic FC in 2010/11.
• Felgueiras was Sporting's third-choice goalkeeper under Peseiro in 2004/05, sharing a dressing room with Custódio and Viana. He also played with Coelho at Portimonense SC in 2007/08 and with Hélder Barbosa in the Portugal team that won the 2003 UEFA European Under-17 Championship.
• Diogo Valente made eight league appearances for Braga in 2009/10. He played with Alan at Porto in 2006/07.
• CFR's other Braga old boy is Rafael Bastos, who made eight league outings in 2009/10.
• CFR's connections with Braga include António 'Toni' Conceição, a former Braga player and assistant coach who held the CFR reins between April and November 2009, winning the Romanian Cup. Jorge Costa, Braga coach in 2007, was in charge of the Cluj-Napoca club last season.
• Cadú was sent off playing for Boavista FC against Braga in a 0-0 home draw in 2005/06.
• Ivo Pinto played with Hélder Barbosa on loan at Vitória FC in 2009/10. He was once a Portugal U21 colleague of Cristiano Pereira.
• Five other CFR squad members have played in Portugal: Camora, Rui Pedro, Nicolas Godemèche, László Sepsi and Modou Sougou, taking the total to ten.
• Braga's assistant coach Fernando Couto helped Portugal beat Romania 1-0 in the UEFA EURO 2000 group stage.