Fonseca at Milan: who is on his staff

Paulo Fonseca will have a team for the team. They are first and foremost friends and trusted collaborators, who will support the new Rossoneri coach in his adventure in Milan. There are different figures on the staff: someone has worked with the Portuguese since his time at Roma, someone since the beginning, while someone else supported the coach in his last positive experience in France.

the right arm

First speech on the deputy. Fonseca’s second at Milan will be Paulo Ferreira, a former defender known to fans and with a successful career behind him at Estoril Praia, Vitoria Setubal, Porto and Chelsea. Born in ’79, Ferreira worked as a player with coaches such as Mourinho and Ancelotti and between Porto and Chelsea he achieved 19 titles (with two Portuguese championships and three Premier Leagues): it is above all in Europe that he has gained more than a few satisfactions, thanks to the doubles with the Portuguese (2003 UEFA Cup and 2004 Champions) and with the English (2012 Champions and 2013 Europa League). Fonseca called him last summer to replace Jorge Maciel, who moved to Valenciennes: “I was pleased that he thought of me” he told with satisfaction to the official channels of Ligue 1. “It was a small surprise, but it arrived at the right time because I was ready for a new challenge. I have known and followed his work for some time. Paulo started with small clubs in the lower divisions in Portugal, progressing steadily.” At Lille, Ferreira lent a hand above all from a defensive point of view, sharing knowledge and experience gained on the pitch.

the tactician caught online

Tiago Leal has been alongside Fonseca for years, providing fundamental support on the tactical side. The story is funny: born in 1985, Leal started coaching at 22, during his university days. However, he doesn’t have a past as a footballer on his side and so he spent the first years mainly studying through books and videos, creating content and putting it on Facebook and YouTube. Fonseca noticed him while searching online for a tactical analysis of the 2-2 draw between Portugal and the United States in the 2014 World Cup. He was struck by the similarities in the interpretation of football, he called him and proposed that he join his staff, entrusting him match analysis. During matches Tiago does not take his eyes off the monitors, he notes movements and game situations useful for the coach and is in constant contact with the assistant for suggestions on possible corrections. Starting from Football Manager, a well-known football management video game, he is one of the men most accustomed to handling (and crunching) data on the staff.

the preparators

After a negative season in terms of injuries, the eyes at Milanello will be focused above all on athletic preparation. The man who has been dealing with this aspect on the staff for a couple of years is coach Paulo Mourao. Born in 1980, Fonseca called him from Spartak Moscow and previously worked with Vitoria Guimaraes (2012-15), Benfica (2015-19) and Al Nassr (2019-20). In France, together with him there were Stephane Caterina, Karim Hader and Mario Sandua. The goalkeeping coach should instead be Antonio Ferreira, who has worked with the former Roma for over a decade. His first experience in the Portuguese coach’s team dates back to the 2011-12 season with Desportivo Alaves. Then, he followed him to Pacos Ferreira, Shakhtar Donetsk and Lille. The curiosity is that he trained in the Italian Association of Football Goalkeeper Trainers, with which he also collaborated as a speaker. For him, some more doubts remain.

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