Saudis recruit ex-Barca manager Lluis Cortes to lead women’s national team

December 12 – Former Barcelona and Ukraine manager Lluis Cortes has been appointed as Saudi Arabia women’s national team head coach.

Succeeding former Finland international Rosa Lappi-Seppala, the 37-year-old Cortes has signed a four-year contract. In October, Lappi-Seppala left by mutual consent.

“Lluis was the outstanding candidate to lead our women’s national team in this exciting new era and we are thrilled to have finalized this important appointment,” said Yasser Al Misehal, president of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF).

“We believe Lluís’s coaching capabilities, knowledge of the game, and extensive experience will play a huge role as we look to maintain our sustained and steady progress in the years ahead. He is a deep thinker and is looking to develop the long-term strategy, so I have no doubt he will make an important impact upon Saudi women’s football on and off the pitch.”

In the 2020-21 season, Cortes won the treble with FC Barcelona, claiming the Primera Division, Copa de la Reina, and the Women’s Champions League. He later moved on to coach Ukraine’s national team. 

“Being confirmed as Saudi Arabia’s new women’s national team head coach is a real privilege,” said Cortes. “I want to thank the Saudi Arabian Football Federation for this wonderful opportunity to work in a country that loves the game so much and is really growing football for all.

“The prospect of working with such an ambitious and energetic group of young players is really exciting and I will look to incorporate my philosophy of attractive and attacking football on our journey together.”

Saudi Arabia’s women’s team, who only began international fixtures in February 2022 with a 2-0 win over the Seychelles, are 172nd  in the FIFA rankings.

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1721692750labto1721692750ofdlr1721692750owedi1721692750sni@i1721692750tnuk.1721692750ardni1721692750mas1721692750

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