Porto hires Nantes coach Sergio Conceicao as next manager

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FC Porto has hired Portuguese boss Sergio Conceicao to take over after a disappointing season.

Conceicao comes from French club FC Nantes, where he spent half a season. At Nantes, he performed wonders, taking over with the team second-bottom in early December and working them up to a seventh-place finish. Of the 51 points Nantes collected last season, 38 of them came under Conceicao.

Conceicao was a rumored candidate for the open Leicester City position much of the second half of the year, but Nantes president Waldemar Kita insisted he would see out his two-year contract.

The 42-year-old, who owns 52 caps for Portugal from his playing days, has experience in the Portuguese top flight, having managed SC Braga where the team had a magical cup run, losing in the final to Sporting CP on penalties. After the semi-final win in the tournament, Conceicao walked 24 miles home from the game as a promise to his players for the win.

He takes over for Nuno, who was fired after failing to gather silverware of any kind this past year. They finished second in the Primeira Liga table, six points back of champions Benfica. They did finish six points above rivals Sporting. In tournament play, they were knocked out of the Champions League in the Round of 16 by Juventus 3-0 on aggregate, and they were upset by GD Chaves in the 4th round of the Taca de Portugal on penalties. Nuno is now the manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Conceicao returns to Porto where he played for two seasons between 1996 and 1998.