Victory lure ex-Sporting Lisbon coach for academy role

Melbourne Victory have appointed Portuguese Paulo Cardoso as the club’s new Academy Director. He has helped develop some of football’s biggest names, including Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

“I’m excited about this opportunity to join Melbourne Victory and I’m looking forward helping the club establish its football academy,” Cardoso told the club. 

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The Portuguese boasts more than two decades of experience as a coach, technical director, professional scout and player development expert.

Cardoso is best known for his time at Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon, where he spent over a decade specialising in coaching, scouting and player development.

Cardoso has recruited, developed and coached a number of world-class footballers, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani, Eric Dier and Ricardo Quaresma, said the A-League club. 

In the past few years, Cardoso furthered his experience in talent development through roles in South Africa, Brazil and Saudi Arabia.

“Through my experience in developing footballers overseas, I understand the importance of clubs having an elite pathway for player development,” he said. 

“I’m looking forward to working with the key football staff, current youth team coaches and, more broadly, key club executives and external stakeholders to start to bring the project together.”

Along with its A-League program, the club currently runs a senior and under-20 team in the PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria competition featuring players aged between 15 and 19, as well as teams in the Foxtel National Youth League and Westfield W-League.

“Paulo’s appointment as Academy Director is a crucial step for Melbourne Victory as we continue to develop plans for our football academy,” Victory CEO Ian Robson said. 

“He has excellent leadership skills, a proven ability to recruit and develop players to a world-class standard, and a football network which extends to over 40 countries.

“These are all attributes that are important to the success of our academy, which we see as critical to the further growth and prosperity of Melbourne Victory.”