Tokyo Verdy on Thursday named former Japan international midfielder Ruy Ramos as manager of the once-mighty club, which was relegated to the J. League second division this season.

News photoRuy Ramos

Ramos was a key member of the Verdy side, then known as Kawasaki Verdy, that won the J. League in its inaugural season in 1993 and again the following year.

The 48-year-old obtained his coaching badge last year and guided Japan to fourth place at beach soccer’s World Cup in May.

In September, he was made assistant coach at Kashiwa Reysol, but the Chiba club was relegated along with Verdy and Vissel Kobe.

Verdy finished 17th in the 18-team first division and dropped out of the top flight for the first time in the club’s history.

Reysol went down after its loss to Ventforet Kofu in the promotion/relegation playoff.

Ramos will take over from Brazilian manager Vadao, who was told he would not be getting a new deal when his contract expires next month.

Ramos, who obtained Japanese citizenship in 1989, has been capped 32 times for Japan.

He played in the famous “Tragedy of Doha” in 1993, when Japan let in a last-gasp equalizer against Iraq in their World Cup qualifier and missed out on the finals in the United States.

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