Lopes quits as Corinthians coach

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:39 IST

Antonio Lopes quit as coach of national champion Corinthians, hours after the club lost 2-1 to archrival Sao Paulo.

Sao Paulo:

Antonio Lopes quit as coach of national champion Corinthians, hours after the club lost 2-1 to archrival Sao Paulo in the Sao Paulo state football championship on Sunday. "I quit to ease the pressure coming from the fans and the press," Lopes said Monday on the club's Web site. Lopes led Corinthians - Brazil's second most-popular club after Flamengo - to its fourth national title last year. With financial backing from Media Sports Investment (MSI), the club assembled a stellar lineup led by Argentine nationals Carlos Tevez, Sebastian Dominguez and Javier Mascherano. But the team has won only three of its past seven matches in the prestigious Sao Paulo state championship or Paulista, falling to fifth place after the loss to Sao Paulo. Lopes said the determining factor was a 2-0 loss to Mexico's Tigres on Thursday in the Copa Libertadores, which dropped the Brazilians to third place in Group 4. "The loss in the Libertadores, in the game against Tigres, was what weighed in my decision," Lopes said. Lopes is the fourth coach of Corinthians to lose his job since 2005. Tite, Marcio Bittencourt and Argentina's Daniel Passarella also coached the club and quit or were fired. Midfielder Roger said changing coaches wouldn't solve the team's problems. "The pressure isn't only on the coach, it's on the whole squad," he told Pele's Web site. "The only way we can relieve the pressure is to play better and win. We're all involved in this - not just the coach." (AP)

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