RIO DE JANEIRO - Former Brazil
striker Renato Portaluppi and fans were in tears on
Thursday as he quit his beloved club Gremio after poor results
Renato resigned from Gremio, the club he inspired to the
South American and world club titles in 1983 as a player, after
10 months in charge.
The 48-year-old steered Gremio clear of relegation last year
and up to fourth place to qualify for the 2011 Libertadores Cup.
However, this year Gremio lost the southern Gaucho (Rio
Grande do Sul) state championship final in May to arch-rivals
Internacional and were eliminated in the first knockout round of
South America's elite club competition.
Renato handed in his resignation after a 2-2 draw at home to
Avai in the Brazilian championship on Wednesday and confirmed
his decision on Thursday despite a demonstration of support from
Gremio fans outside the club.
"Above all, I'm a 'gremista' like them. I learnt to love
this club," Renato, fighting back the tears, told reporters.
"When I accepted this challenge last year it's because I
wanted to see Gremio at the top again. I hope the next trainer
can carry the task forward."
As Renato drove out of the club, his car was surrounded by a
multitude of fans, many of them in tears over their idol's
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