Soccer / J. League

Antlers hand coaching reins to Brazilian Zago

Kyodo

The Kashima Antlers on Thursday announced Brazilian Antonio Carlos Zago will be the club’s new manager.

The 50-year-old Zago, who played in the J. League for Kashiwa Reysol in 1996 and 1997, takes over from Go Oiwa, who stepped down after the Antlers’ 2-0 loss on Wednesday in the Emperor’s Cup final to Vissel Kobe.

Zago, who played under the name “Antonio” in his time with Reysol, also spent time with Roma in Italy’s Serie A and was capped 37 times. He recently helped second-division Brazilian club Bragantino earn promotion to the top flight.

“I am delighted to be returning to Japan,” Zago said in a comment released by the team, which has won the J. League title eight times.

The club also said that fellow Brazilian Zico, a former Antlers star and one-time Japan manager, has renewed his contract and will stay on in 2020 as the team’s technical director, a post he has held since 2018.