Serrao succeeds Nishino at Gamba


Gamba Osaka have appointed Brazilian Jose Carlos Serrao as their new manager for next season, the J. League first division club said on Monday.

The 61-year-old possesses a wealth of coaching experience with clubs such as Sao Paulo in Brazil and Suwon Bluewings in South Korea.

Former Japan striker Wagner Lopes was initially offered the hot seat by the 2008 Asian club champions, but the Japan Football Association later said he was ineligible to become manager of a J. League club. Lopes, 42, will take the position of head coach.

Serrao takes over from Akira Nishino, who left after a decade as Gamba’s manager in the J. League’s longest coaching tenure.

Lopes joined Nissan Motors, now Yokohama F. Marinos, in 1987 and obtained Japanese citizenship in 1997 before appearing in the World Cup in France a year later.