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Fernando Chalana
Personal information
Full name Fernando Albino de Sousa Chalana
Date of birth February 10, 1959 (1959-02-10) (age 50)
Place of birth    Barreiro, Portugal
Height 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)
Playing position Winger
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Barreirense (loan)
Estrela Amadora
193 (32)

012 0(1)
032 0(4)
013 0(0)
009 0(1)   
National team
1976–1988 Portugal 027 0(2)
Teams managed
Paços Ferreira
Benfica (assistant)

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Fernando Albino de Sousa Chalana (Portuguese pronunciation: [fɨɾˈnɐ̃ðu ʃɐˈlɐnɐ]; born 10 February 1959 in Barreiro) is a former Portuguese professional footballer and manager.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest talents in national football, among the likes of Eusébio, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luís Figo and Rui Costa, the diminutive winger's main asset was his above-average ball control and dribbling skills.


Football career

After a loan at Lisbon neighbours F.C. Barreirense, Chalana established himself at S.L. Benfica for the following eight years, scoring and assisting alike as he helped the Reds conquer, amongst other accolades, five leagues and three cups.

Aged only 17 (fourth youngest ever), on November 17, 1976, Chalana won his first cap for the national team, against Denmark, for the 1978 World Cup qualifiers.

The peak of his career took place precisely on the international front, at UEFA Euro 1984, in France; there, the Little Genius[1] was one the team's leading figures, excelling in dribbling throughout the tournament, notably in the 2–3 semifinal loss against the hosts, setting up both goals for Rui Jordão.

Moving to club in that country after the tournament, FC Girondins de Bordeaux, Chalana failed to impress in three full years, mainly due to persistent injuries. In 1987, he returned to Benfica, never being able to reproduce his previous form; his last international cap was a friendly with Sweden on 12 November 1988, which finished with a goalless draw.[2] He wrapped his career at 33, with one (unassuming) season apiece with Lisbon-based C.F. Os Belenenses and C.F. Estrela da Amadora, the latter in the second division.

In 1999–2000, Chalana coached the juniors of Benfica, winning the title team and was the champion. Three years later, he had his first head coach experience, with modest F.C. Paços de Ferreira, in an eventual relegation, as 17th.

For the following years, Chalana served as assistant to several coaches at Benfica. However, in March 2008 he replaced José Antonio Camacho after the Spaniard was dismissed.[3] In 2002, he had already had a one-game spell as interim, filling in for sacked Jesualdo Ferreira - days before precisely Camacho arrived; in that match, he placed winger Miguel as a right back, where he ultimately gained worldwide recognition.

After one more season as assistant, now to Quique Sánchez Flores, Chalana returned to coaching the junior side.






Other than his main nickname, Chalana was also dubbed Astérix, Chalanix (as his moustache resembled the comic character) and Cyrano de Bergerac (because of his nose).


External links


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