Title-winning ex-Brazil Under-17 coach Caio Zanardi has answered crisis-club Al Nasr’s alarm call for a second time this season after Benat San Jose was sacked in the wake of zero victories from eight woeful matches in charge.
San Jose, 39, was a surprise hire by the Blue Wave in December on a one-and-a-half-year deal once a decision was made to end Serbian Ivan Jovanovic’s second stint at the helm. The Spaniard came with a strong reputation after he became the youngest manager in Middle East history to win a title – the 2013 King Cup at the age of 33 with Saudi Arabia’s Al Ittihad – and later claimed the 2018 Primera Division de Chile with Universidad Catolica.
But he presided over elimination in the 2019 AFC Champions League play-offs, President’s Cup quarter-finals and Arabian Gulf Cup semi-finals. Nasr also dropped from ninth upon arrival to 11th in five dismal Arabian Gulf League fixtures, Saturday’s 2-1 loss at bottom-placed Dibba Al Fujairah proving terminal to hopes of continued employment.
Nasr have, once again, turned towards technical director Zanardi. The 45-year-old won three times and lost twice in December when he, temporarily, took over from Jovanovic.
“Al Nasr appoints Brazilian Caio Zanardi to take over the training of the club’s first team,” the Blue Wave tweeted. “All the best for Caio.”
Zanardi’s immediate task is to prepare his charges for Wednesday’s Bur Dubai derby versus Al Wasl at Al Maktoum Stadium.
The troubled hosts sit just two places and five points ahead of the relegation zone to First Division League.
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