What José Peseiro can do for Porto

Porto have presented José Peseiro as Julen Lopetegui's successor on an 18-month deal with an option for a further year. UEFA.com's Pedro Marques ponders what he will offer.

Porto are José Peseiro's fourth Portuguese Liga appointment
Porto are José Peseiro's fourth Portuguese Liga appointment ©Getty Images

With Porto having appointed José Peseiro as their new coach on an 18-month deal, UEFA.com's Pedro Marques profiles Julen Lopetegui's replacement and asks whether the 55-year-old is the man to bring success back to the Estádio do Dragão.

What is his background?
Peseiro has a degree in physical education from the same university in Lisbon where José Mourinho gained his. He started coaching in the lower leagues before taking charge of Nacional, steering them into the Portuguese top flight in 2002. He worked as Carlos Queiroz's assistant at Real Madrid in 2003/04, returning home after a season to lead Sporting CP.

However, despite playing some eye-catching football, the Lions finished third in Peseiro's debut campaign and lost the UEFA Cup final on home turf to CSKA Moskva. Sacked in the autumn of 2005, the well-travelled Peseiro has since coached al-Hilal, Panathinaikos, Rapid Bucureşti, Saudi Arabia, Braga, al-Wahda and was most recently with Egyptian heavyweights al-Ahly, who terminated his contract on Monday.

What will he find?
Porto are in the hunt for several trophies, but they must improve if they are to win their first piece of silverware since the 2012/13 Liga title. The Dragons are in the Portuguese Cup semi-finals, the UEFA Europa League round of 32 and sit third in the Liga, five points adrift of leaders Sporting. As well as lifting the mood of a side that has lost four of its last seven games in all competitions, Peseiro will have to get his message across to a team used to the philosophy and style of his Spanish predecessor.

What he can bring?
First of all, Peseiro must restore confidence to his squad. He will need time to implement his ideas, but Peseiro teams are generally known for playing a vibrant brand of football, as was the case during his spells at Sporting and Braga, something that will be crucial to winning back the support of some of the fans.

José Peseiro knows Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas well
José Peseiro knows Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas well©AFP/Getty Images

Peseiro knows Portuguese football better then Lopetegui and his experience as assistant coach in Madrid – where he worked with plenty of big names, including current Porto No1 Iker Casillas – should stand him in good stead. Peseiro promoted young players while at Sporting, where he gave João Moutinho his debut, so a chance for Rúben Neves and André Silva to establish themselves in the starting XI might not be far away.

Will he succeed?
Peseiro's only significant trophy as a coach is the 2012/13 League Cup he won during his sole season at Braga. One thing that has been levelled against Peseiro is that his sides have often fallen short at the crucial moments, Sporting having lost the leadership of the Liga in the same week as that UEFA Cup final defeat nearly 11 years ago, while Saudi Arabia failed to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup after conceding a 93rd-minute equaliser in a play-off against Bahrain.

With Sporting and Benfica ahead of Porto in the standings, his task is far from easy. History is not on his side either: no Porto coach has won the championship after taking over midway through a season. That said, Peseiro is a diligent leader who has at his disposal a group of players that, despite recent results, have shown this term they can upset the likes of Chelsea on a good day.

Top