May 7, 2014, 7:23 AM EDT
History has been made in France.
Helena Costa has been selected as the new manager of French Ligue 2 club Clermont Foot, becoming the “highest-profile female manager of a European men’s team.”
Costa, 36, has held club jobs at Celtic and Benfica in addition to coaching the Iran and Qatar women’s national teams.
She also was the head coach for a lower-league club in Portugal named Cheleirense.
Before Costa, the highest-profile appointment of a woman as coach of a men’s team in Europe was that of Carolina Morace, who took charge of Italian Serie C1 team Viterbese for two matches in 1999.
At Clermont, she will replace former Montpellier midfielder Regis Brouard, whose contract as head coach expires at the end of the season.
The club are 14th in the French second-tier with two matches to play.
It’s a trailblazing move, and one which will certainly be monitored, criticized and celebrated more than most at the Ligue 2 level. Here’s hoping it’s a successful hire we’ll be talking about for years and years.
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