SC Braga has announced Carlos Carvalhal as their new manager. The 54-year-old signs initially on a two-year deal at the club he previously worked at in 2006. This move comes after Carvalhal’s highly successful season as manager of Rio Ave where he managed to break the club’s record points total in Primeira Liga (55) guiding them to fifth place in the table, earning them a spot in the Europa League qualifiers.
SC Braga have had a difficult time with managers of late so will be looking to Carvalhal for some much-needed stability. They started the 2019/20 campaign with Ricardo Sá Pinto at the helm, Sá Pinto performed well in the UEFA Europa League but had Braga struggling in the league. He was then replaced by the-then inexperienced Rúben Amorim who turned around their form whilst managing to promote youth and play some attractive football, with the likes of Francisco Trincão excelling under him. It wasn’t long until Sporting CP came calling and the Leãos subsequently bought out Amorim’s contract, once again leaving Braga without a manager. This time around it was youth coach and former player Cústodio who was given the role. The decision to hire Cústodio mirrored Amorim’s initial hiring at the club, Cústodio however could not replicate Amorim’s academy-to-senior success and resigned from his post on July 1st with Artur Jorge taking over on a caretaker basis.
A fresh faced Carlos Carvalhal during his stint at SC Braga 14 years ago.
Speaking to Sky Sports earlier this week, Carvalhal spoke of his managerial transition which saw him change his style of play and some of his footballing principles, something rare to see a veteran manager do.
“I have been doing this since I was 32. Sometimes we need to take some time to reflect. Sometimes we need to do something different. Sometimes we need to do something not because others are doing it so we want to do the same, but because it is different.” Carvalhal then went on to talk about why he decided to spend a year at Rio Ave and what he’s gained from it: “I chose Rio Ave because I had something in my head about wanting to do it differently to how I had done it in my past. Something new. Something that I think will be the future…It is a quiet club with good players. I knew Portuguese football and I knew that Rio Ave was a medium-sized club but I also knew they are organised off the pitch. We felt that we could achieve something special playing in a different way.”
Carvalhal will be eager to get started at an ambitious club that have automatically qualified for the UEFA Europa League group stages thus don’t have to play extra early season games.