Sacked Real Madrid coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo has
agreed to return to Santos, the Brazilian club he left 11 months ago to join the
Luxemburgo's spokesman Luiz Lombardi told Reuters on Tuesday that the
53-year-old had negotiated a two-year deal with Santos, the team he led to the
Brazilian championship last year.
A Santos spokesman confirmed a deal had been reached and the former Real coach
is expected to sign the agreement next week.
Real fired Luxemburgo on Dec. 4 following a 1-0 win over Getafe the day before.
Santos have employed three different coaches since Luxemburgo's departure,
Oswaldo Oliveira, Alexandre Gallo and Nelsinho, plus Serginho Chulapa as a
Pele's former team finished 10th in the championship this year, failing to
qualify for the 2006 South American Libertadores Cup.
Luxemburgo returns for a third stint at the club where he has had a love-hate
relationship with the fans.
He walked out on Santos in 1997 to take up an offer from rivals Corinthians and,
on subsequent visits to the Vila Belmiro, was routinely pelted with coins and
greeted with chants of "mercenary".
Luxemburgo returned in 2004 and apparently won back the supporters after leading
the team to the championship. He later said the coin-throwing was a sign of
"It was a demonstration of how much the fans liked me," he said. "They were
hostile to me but did it with affection."
Luxemburgo won the championship with Corinthians in 1998 and later the same year
fulfilled his dream of coaching Brazil when he was appointed after the World Cup
However, his spell in charge of the national team ended after two years which
mixed poor results and performances with scandal over his financial affairs.
Brazil lost their way as an indecisive Luxemburgo chopped and changed his side,
losing World Cup qualifiers to Paraguay and Chile in 2000.
The final straw came when the under-23 team, also coached by Luxemburgo, lost to
nine-man Cameroon in the quarter-finals of the Sydney Olympics.
Luxemburgo, already swamped by allegations from a former business associate
about unethical behaviour earlier in his career, was dismissed before being
grilled by a Congressional commission inquiry.
The investigators, probing Brazilian football's finances, questioned Luxemburgo
over his tax returns in a session broadcast live on television.
But Luxemburgo, a bitter personal rival of Brazil's other internationally
well-known coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, waited for the storm to die down and
bounced back by winning the championship with Cruzeiro in 2003.