Former Newcastle player put in charge of Brazilian football’s next generation

Remember Claudio Cacapa? Well the injury ravaged centre-back is about to get his coaching career under way with the Brazil under-15's.

When Newcastle United snapped up Brazilian international Claudio Cacapa in 2007 it was deemed something of a coup. The free transfer signing arrived with a great reputation from the Champions League exploits of the French outfit Lyon and was supposed to help shore up a leaky Toon defence.

His time at St James Park was in the end unfortunate and he spent the majority of his time on the treatment table with knee and groin problems plaguing him throughout his career on Tyneside.

So when they were relegated in 2009 the board decided not to offer him an extension to his contract and he left on a free transfer.

After that he moved back to Brazil with Cruzeiro, returned to France with Evian-Thonon for six months before joining Avai in 2011.

But when that contract expired the injury-prone defender decided to retire at the age of 35.

Now however he has re-emerged - as the coach of the Brazilian under-15 national team.

His appointment was confirmed yesterday, and he will lead the side to the South American Youth Cup and under-15 World Cup.

Alexandre Gallo, the Brazilian under-20 coach who had a major say in the decision said of Cacapa’s appointment:

“We saw the need for this division, because 2014 will be a preparatory year for the official competitions of 2015. We will have many calls for the three categories to get stronger in 2015 and win all the titles.”

Cacapa is now in charge of the lowest rung of the official youth ladder in Brazil - and in doing so is the starting point in many future stars careers.

Brazil ‘import’ more footballers around the globe than any other nation and many of the better players who go on to play abroad started their careers in terms of international recognition with the team that Cacapa now commands.

Big responsibilities for a player who is likely a distant memory to most Newcastle fans.

image: © the_junes

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