Barnsley have appointed a 52-year-old former Champions League winner as their new head coach on an 18-month contract.
Jose Morais, who has a wealth of experience within the game and has coached at the very highest level possible, has taken over from Paul Heckingbottom, who recently departed for Leeds United.
A statement on the Oakwell Club’s website states: “Morais has a haul of medals as part of his armoury and a scholarship alongside one of the world’s greatest ever managers, José Mourinho.
“Having originally met the current Manchester United boss in his native Portugal during a brief spell at Benfica, the pair relinked at Italian giants Inter Milan in 2009 where Morais was a pivotal part of Mourinho’s coaching staff. That relationship lead Inter to an historic treble in the 2009/10 season, where they won the Serie A title, the Coppa Italia and the UEFA Champions League becoming the first Italian Club to ever achieve that feat.
“The new Barnsley Head Coach then moved with Mourinho to Real Madrid for another successful period, adding the La Liga title and Copa del Rey to an already glittering CV. The final stop on the European tour of trophies for the Portuguese pair was Stamford Bridge, where the Premier League was added to the medal cabinet.
“Morais has spent time as Head Coach with Tunisian giants Espérance, where a 74% win ratio saw him gain further plaudits across the footballing world. Spells with Al-Shabab, Antalyaspor and most recently AEK Athens in Greece, has furthered the knowledge of Barnsley Football Club’s new Head Coach who is fluent in an incredible seven different languages.”
Morais took over training this morning, preparing the squad for an important Sky Bet Championship clash with Burton Albion at Oakwell on Tuesday evening.
Chief Executive Gauthier Ganaye said: “We’re really, really pleased to have secured the Club’s number one target from the start of the process. We invited José to the Sheffield Wednesday match and began talks immediately with him and his representatives.
“To be fully transparent, we ran a fair and full interview process. We spoke to a lot of Head Coaches who were both in and out of employment. The interviewed candidates were all strong contenders, but the unanimous decision was to appoint José who instilled the full board with the belief that he is the right man to lead us up the table, whilst bringing excitement back to the Club with an attacking style and goals for the fans to enjoy.
“We now look ahead to a vital part of the season under Jose’s leadership. He is excited about taking training straight away and installing his own vision on the squad, which in turn has excited the Club and its staff about the remainder of the campaign. We fully believe this is the right appointment at the right time.
Another Portuguese, Dimas, has been named as his Morais’ assistant – and he also started work with the Reds today – his 49th birthday!
The former Benfica, Juventus, Fenerbache, Sporting CP and Marseille man will add a further wealth of experience from the highest of levels to the coaching staff with over 400 senior appearances to his name.
As well as all of the European exposure, Dimas has also made close to half a century of appearances for the Portuguese national side, whee he has appeared alongside such distinguished players as Luis Figo.