Ricardo Sa Pinto was appointed as the new manager of the Persian Gulf Pro League champion Esteghlal, the Iranian club confirmed.
The Portuguese coach arrived in Tehran late on Tuesday ahead of signing a two-year deal with the Iranian Blues.
Esteghlal will be the 14th club on the 49-year-old’s CV since his managerial debut with the Portuguese giant Sporting CP in 2012.
His longest spell as coach came with the Belgian outfit Standard Liège, where he capped off his one-year stay with a Belgian Cup title in 2018 – the sole trophy for him as a manager.
His latest stint, an underwhelming one, was at Moreirense, which ended with relegation from Portuguese top-flight last season, after a run of 10 defeats in 15 matches.
The Iranian champion will be the second Asian team in Sa Pinto’s career, after he was in charge of Saudi side Al Fateh for five games in 2016.
The Portuguese’s appointment ends weeks of speculations surrounding the future of the Tehran-based Blues’ bench, after the abrupt departure of Farhad Majidi.
Having led Esteghlal to a first league title in nine years – following a remarkable unbeaten season – Majidi parted ways with the club to join Emirati club Ittihad Kalba.
Numerous names – including former Esteghlal players Javad Nekounam and Reza Enayati, as well as German-Iranian Alex Nouri – had been linked with the Esteghlal job before Sa Pinto was eventually unveiled as the new boss.