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Sérgio Conceição
Personal information
Full name Sérgio Paulo Marceneiro Conceição
Date of birth November 15, 1974 (1974-11-15) (age 35)
Place of birth    Coimbra, Portugal
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 9+12 in)
Playing position Winger
Youth career
1986–1991
1991–1993
Académica
Porto
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
1993–1994
1994–1995
1995–1996
1996–1998
1998–2000
2000–2001
2001–2003
2003–2004
2004
2004–2007
2007
2008–2009
Penafiel
Leça
Felgueiras
Porto
Lazio
Parma
Inter
Lazio
Porto
Standard Liège
Al-Qadsiya
PAOK
Total
30 (2)
24 (3)
30 (4)
56 (9)
63 (7)
25 (5)
41 (1)
7 (0)
11 (0)
73 (21)
7 (5)
37 (5)
407 (57)   
National team
1996–2003 Portugal 56 (12)

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

Sérgio Paulo Marceneiro da Conceição (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈsɛɾʒiu kõsɐiˈsɐ̃ũ]; born 15 November 1974) is a former Portuguese footballer, who currently works as technical director for PAOK F.C. of the Greek Super League.

Conceição played mostly as a right winger, known for his speed and strength, combined with his good dribbling and crossing skills, and fairly accurate shooting.[1]

Contents

Club career

Born in Coimbra, Conceição began his career playing for the youth teams of hometown's Associação Académica. He started professionally in the second division, consecutively for F.C. Penafiel, Leça FC and F.C. Felgueiras, before moving to powerhouse F.C. Porto in 1996. Two hugely successful years with Porto saw Conceição’s marauding runs down the right flank, combined with a good goalscoring record, help his team to back-to-back domestic championships and a Portuguese Cup triumph.

Conceição joined S.S. Lazio for 11.2 million, and played a significant part in their 1998–99 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup success, while also scoring five goals in 33 games in his first Serie A season. He also helped the side to a Scudetto, an Italian Cup (in a 1999–2000 double) and the 1999 UEFA Super Cup.

In July 2000, he transferred to Parma FC as a makeweight in Hernán Crespo's transfer. The following season, Conceição was used in the same fashion in the transfer of Sébastien Frey, which saw him go to Inter Milan while Frey went in the other direction.[2] After two seasons and a good number of starts, he would eventually leave Inter by mutual agreement and re-joined Lazio, leaving for another familiar side, Porto, towards the end of 2003–04, again by mutual agreement,[3][4] adding his third Portuguese national championship.

In 2004, Conceição signed for Belgian club Standard Liège on a one-year deal.[5] He won the Belgian Golden Shoe for best player of the year in his first season. However, in March 2006, he was banned for three years (the first 4.5 months of the ban taking effect immediately and the rest suspended),[6] depending on good behaviour, for spitting on an opposing player and assaulting a referee.[7]

After the 2006–07 season, Conceição failed to win any silverware with Standard, finishing runner-up in 2005–06's league and losing the 2007 cup final. He decided to move to Kuwait and Al-Qadisiya on a rather lucrative contract. Quickly unsettled, the player later admitted that he was amazed at the slack training schedule and low level of professionalism.

In January 2008, after failed deals in Portugal, however, in a surprise move, Conceição agreed to join PAOK Thessaloniki in Greece, signing an 18-month contract. His unlikely signing was largely attributed to club technical director Zisis Vryzas, and the presence of iconic Portuguese manager Fernando Santos on the bench. Though he initially struggled even to return to proper fitness levels, he was instantly given the number #7 shirt, once worn by legendary former player (and also chairman) Theodoros Zagorakis.

In 2008–09, Conceição was promoted to team captain. Along with compatriot Vieirinha, he was a regular on the team's wings and gradually became a fan favorite for his leadership and his devotion to the club. However, at the beginning of the next campaign, he was regularly troubled by knee injuries for the most part of October, managing only a few appearances. On November 13, he announced his decision to withdraw from professional football and continue working for PAOK as technical director,[8] accepting Vryzas' proposition for the seat Vryzas himself left vacant when he assumed presidency early on.

International career

Conceição earned 56 caps for the Portuguese national team, scoring 12 goals, his debut being against Ukraine on 9 November 1996, a 1–0 home win in a World Cup qualifier. In his last international game, he was on the losing end of a 3–0 friendly defeat at the hands of Spain on 6 September 2003.

Early in his international career, Conceição was not known for his scoring prowess but, at UEFA Euro 2000, Portugal reached the semi-finals with a major contribution from him. In the third and final match of the group stage, against defending champions Germany in Rotterdam, Conceição bagged a hat-trick, scoring all of the match's goals.[9] Portugal had guaranteed first place in the first two games, so the side played mostly with substitutes, but Conceição cemented his place in the starting XI for the rest of the tournament and subsequent call-ups.

In qualifying for the 2002 World Cup, Conceição scored four goals as Portugal finished atop a group that also featured the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands (netting against both). He was not recalled since 2003.

Honours

Personal

Coimbra's municipality governors named a local 2,500-seater stadium after him - the Estádio Municipal Sérgio Conceição.[10]

References

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Eric Deflandre
Standard Liège Captain
2005-2007
Succeeded by
Steven Defour
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Simple English

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