Abel Ferreira, the Portuguese architect of the champion of America

There are several proper names to highlight in this new champion of America, but without a doubt the one that stands out among them is that of the ‘Verdao’ coach, Abel Ferreira. Not only for leading the São Paulo team to the second Libertadores in their history, but also for what it means for their personal statistics and for the curious data section.

Only three non-American coaches – European, in all cases – have managed teams that ended up lifting the most important trophy on the continent. Two are Portuguese, and the striking thing is that they succeeded consecutively in the last two editions: Jorge Jesús in charge of Flamengo last year, and now Abel Ferreira with Palmeiras.

Two conquests 'in extremis'

And for more points in common, you have to take into account the way they did it in the final. If in the last edition the team then led by the experienced Jesús turned the scoreboard in the final seconds – two goals from Barbosa in 89 'and 93' to go back to River – now the team led by the young Ferreira will beat Santos with a goal scored by Breno Lopez in the seventh minute added.

(+) Look at the statements of Abel Ferreira

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In this way, the technical director of this champion adds his name to that brief list made up of his compatriot Jorge Jesús and the Croatian Mirko Jozic, who in 1991 led the Chilean Colo-Colo to the title.

Ferreira, 42 years old and with a limited career as a footballer, in which he never left Portugal, has only been sitting on the bench since 2013. His first steps were taken at Sporting B, from where he jumped to Sporting de Braga (in the B and then in the first team) to later go to the Greek PAOK.

After a year there, Palmeiras trusted him to replace on the bench none other than Vanderlei Luxemburg, the former Real Madrid and Brazilian team, who in fact can also feel like champion because he led the team in the first games of this contest.

After this coronation in the ‘Champions of America’, Ferreira already has his sights set on the next Club World Cup, where given the predictions he would be measured for the title with Bayern Munich.