Rio de Janeiro, Oct 25 (IANS) Brazil’s 1994 World Cup-winning left-back Claudio Leal, better known as Branco, has been appointed coordinator of the country’s national youth teams, the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) said.
The appointment will ease the workload on former Arsenal midfielder Edu Gaspar, who has filled the role along with his job as senior national team coordinator since February 2017, reports Xinhua news agency.
The position was previously held by Erasmo Damiani, who was sacked after Brazil’s failure to qualify for the 2017 under-20 World Cup.
Branco, who was capped 72 times for the Selecao from 1985 to 1995, was also Brazil’s youth teams coordinator from 2003 to 2007.
“I’m very happy to return,” the 54-year-old said in a CBF statement on Wednesday. “I’m here to work in line with the objectives of the national team, monitoring all of the competitions and maintaining a close relationship with the clubs.”
Branco will work closely with Brazil’s under-20 coach Carlos Amadeu, under-17 boss Guilherme Dalla Dea and under-15 manager Paulo Victor Gomes, the CBF said.
The next major competition for Brazil’s youth categories is the under-20 South American championship, to be played in Chile from January 20 to February 13 next year.