GdS: Right-hand man, trainers and analysts – the staff Fonseca will have at Milan

By Oliver Fisher -

One of the factors that often gets overlooked when a new head coach arrives is the staff that they bring with them to revolutionise the way a standard week at Milanello works and the matchday preparations.

La Gazzetta dello Sport have looked into the team that Paulo Fonseca will bring with him, starting with Paulo Ferreira who we have already profiled. He is best known as the defender who achieved success with Porto and Chelsea, working under Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti.

He won the Portuguese league twice and the Premier League three times as a player but it is above all in Europe that he stood out, winning the 2003 UEFA Cup and 2004 Champions League with Porto and then the 2012 Champions League and 2013 Europa League with Chelsea.

Fonseca called him last summer to replace Jorge Maciel, who moved to Valenciennes, and now the feeling is that the pair might not be separated for years yet. Speaking of which, that brings us to Tiago Leal.

Leal has been alongside Fonseca for years, providing fundamental support on the tactical side. He doesn’t have a past as a player and so he spent the first years mainly studying through books and videos, creating content and putting it on Facebook and YouTube.

Fonseca noticed him while searching online for a tactical analysis of the 2-2 draw between Portugal and the United States in the 2014 World Cup. He was struck by the similarities in the interpretation of football, he called him and proposed that he join his staff, entrusting him match analysis.

During matches Tiago does not take his eyes off the monitors, he notes movements and game situations useful for the coach and is in constant contact with the assistant for suggestions on possible corrections.

He started from Football Manager, a well-known football management video game, and is one of the men most accustomed to handling (and crunching) data on the staff.

After a negative season in terms of injuries, the eyes at Milanello will be focused above all on athletic preparation. The man who has been dealing with this aspect on the staff for a couple of years is coach Paulo Mourao.

Born in 1980, Fonseca hired him from Spartak Moscow and previously worked with Vitoria Guimaraes (2012-15), Benfica (2015-19) and Al Nassr (2019-20). In France, together with him were Stephane Caterina, Karim Hader and Mario Sandua.

The goalkeeping coach should instead be Antonio Ferreira, who has worked with the former Roma for over a decade. His first experience in the Portuguese coach’s team dates back to the 2011-12 season with Desportivo Alaves. Then, he followed him to Pacos Ferreira, Shakhtar Donetsk and Lille.

Tags AC Milan Antonio Ferreira Paulo Ferreira Paulo Fonseca Tiago Leal


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