SC Braga President António Salvador seems to have let loose on what pretty much everyone knows already, but is still not official, that Domingos Paciência will be Sporting CP coach next season.
Salvador told SportTV after the final: “Domingos is a great coach, we must thank him for work he did in those two years. I wish you much success personally and professionally, but not at Sporting because it is a direct rival of Braga and I would be a hypocrite if I did.”
Presumably the deal for Paciência, whose Braga side lost 1-0 to Porto in the Europa League final last night, has been done for some time. It was always very strongly hinted that he was Godinho Lopes’ man, and although they can’t admit it, it’s very likely an agreement has been in place for some months now.
It starts what appears to be a new era for Sporting under Lopes, who, if he he is true to his word and invests in the squad, can once again be challenging for the title and perhaps end the recent vast dominance of Benfica and Porto in Portugal.
Now that the season has ended it would not be surprising that an official announcement is made very soon.