Joel Santana

Joel Santana

Football Biography
Football Biography Less

Joel Santana

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Joel Natalino Santana (born on December 25, 1948, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) is a Brazilian football manager and former football player. He is the current head coach of the Cruzeiro Esporte Clube.


Santana played his entire career as a central defender in his native Brazil in the 1970s. He became best known as a player at Vasco da Gama, but failed to earn a cap with the national team. In 1980, he retired as a player and moved on to club management with Al Wasl in the United Arab Emirates. While much of his management career has been with Brazilian clubs, Santana has also coached clubs in Saudi Arabia and Vegalta Sendai in Japan's J-League.

Santana is one of the few managers to win Brazil's Campeonato Carioca with each of the four big clubs (Botafogo, Flamengo, Fluminense, and Vasco da Gama).

In 2004, Santana successfully kept Vasco da Gama from relegation to the second division of Campeonato Brasileiro in his fourth stint as club manager. A year later, he was hired by Flamengo to also save them from relegation, which he did successfully. Having established a reputation as an "escape artist" capable of rescuing teams from relegation, he returned to...
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