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Cacau to coach Kairat in finals

Kairat Almaty have appointed FK EP Chrudim's player-coach Cacau to the helm for the UEFA Futsal Cup finals and he told UEFA.com that he is "returning home".

Cacau is back at Kairat
Cacau is back at Kairat ©Eldar Zhuma

UEFA Futsal Cup finalists Kairat Almaty made another coaching change ahead of the tournament in Tbilisi by appointing former player Cacau to the helm on a three-month deal from FK EP Chrudim.

The Brazilian takes over from Marcão, who will now be Cacau's assistant. Marcão was named a fortnight ago as the replacement for João Carlos Barbosa following his departure to Russian side Sibiryak, but after Kairat suffered a rare Kazakh Futsal Championship loss to Tulpar Karagandy, the board turned to the 41-year-old.

Cacau has signed a deal lasting until after the European finals – which run from 26 to 28 April – after which he will return to Czech side Chrudim, where he has been a player-coach. Indeed, Cacau played for Chrudim in the 6-5 elite round defeat by Kairat that proved decisive in the group.

Having played in his native Brazil and with Playas de Castellón FS, FC Spartak Moskva and Chrudim, Cacau was also part of the Czech Republic coaching set-up at the 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup. In five years at Kairat he helped them to three UEFA Futsal Cup semi-finals, finishing third in 2009 before departing for Chrudim.

Cacau told UEFA.com: "I gave many years to Kairat as a player and claimed [a 2009] UEFA Cup bronze medal here, as well as winning a few national titles. Now I return to my home club as a coach. The forthcoming UEFA Futsal Cup finals will be a good test for me. Kairat have experienced players and they are capable of achieving even more than I did."

Also in the UEFA Futsal Cup semi-finals are holders FC Barcelona, hosts Iberia Star Tbilisi and former winners MFK Dinamo, of Russia. The draw will be held next month.