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Former goalkeeper Ceni named Sao Paulo coach

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Rio de Janeiro, Nov 25 (IANS) Record-breaking goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni will coach Sao Paulo for the next two seasons, the six-time Brazilian Serie A champions have announced.

Ceni, 43, was confirmed as Sao Paulo's new manager less than 24 hours after the sacking of Ricardo Gomes, reports Xinhua.

"Rogerio Ceni has always been a protagonist," Sao Paulo said in a statement on Thursday.

"In the last 12 months he has shown his ambition to be a qualified coach. He has studied with the best in the world and he convinced us by presenting a project for the future of Sao Paulo. He is an enormously important figure at this club and he comes with a determination to again be the best, this time as a coach."

Capped 16 times for Brazil, Ceni retired at the end of last year after 1,250 matches for Sao Paulo in a career spanning 24 seasons.

A specialist free-kick and penalty taker, he is regarded by the Guinness Book of Records as the highest-scoring keeper of all time with 131 goals.

Ceni long ago made public his wish to pursue a career in coaching and is in the final stage of acquiring his qualification badges.

In the past year he has worked with the coaching staff at Sevilla, Chelsea, Leicester and Manchester City.

His spell with the latter came after he wrote a personal letter to City coach Pep Guardiola in which he expressed a desire to learn from the former Barcelona and Spain midfielder.

Gomes was sacked on Wednesday after leading Sao Paulo to six wins, five draws and seven losses. They are currently 13th in Brazil's 20-team Serie A standings with two matches remaining in the season.

Ceni will begin in his new role in January.

--IANS

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