Vasco da Gama will be glad when they
have head coach Ricardo Gomes back fully fit after Wednesday's
upset at home to Uruguay's Nacional in a key Libertadores Cup
The 47-year-old is still recovering from a stroke five
months ago and felt compelled to tell Vasco fans he will not
sign a new contract until he feels 100 percent fit to return to
Nacional surprised Vasco 2-1 at their San Janaurio ground in
Rio de Janeiro in the opening Group Five match with assistant
coach Cristovao supervising.
"The Vasco management insisted I signed a contract renewal
at the end of last year but I'm only going to sign when I'm 100
percent," Gomes, who required brain surgery, told the club's
"It was my choice. We have a verbal agreement and I consider
myself Vasco's trainer," added Gomes, who had a stroke while on
the bench during the Rio derby against Flamengo in the Brazilian
championship on August 28.
Midfielder Juninho, who helped Vasco win the Libertadores
Cup in 1998 before spending eight successful years at Olympique
Lyon, praised three-times champions Nacional for their
"Their team were very good, they marked our buildup and were
quick to attack. Our team play a possession game and find it
difficult to counter-attack," he told reporters.
Nacional's Marcelo Gallardo, in his first season as a coach
having hung up his boots in June, was thrilled with his team's
"They tell me Nacional had not won in Brazil for four
decades in the Libertadores. This is magnificent," the former
Argentina international told the Montevideo daily El Pais.
"Against Brazilians we generally suffer, so we had to be
dynamic and defend as far from our goal as possible."
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