Daegu FC confirms split with Brazilian head coachKorean football club Daegu FC said on Tuesday it has cut ties with Brazilian-born head coach Andre Luiz Alves Santos.
Better known as Andre, the 47-year-old tactician first made the announcement in Korean on his Instagram page. His deal with Daegu expired at the end of last season, and the two sides were in talks for a new contract.
“My goal for 2020 was to stay with Daegu, and I did the best I could to make it happen,” Andre wrote. “Unfortunately, things didn’t go the way I wanted them to, and I am really sad that I am writing these words.”
Hours later, Daegu confirmed the split in a press release.
“We tried to bring Andre back, but an overseas club made him a competitive offer,” Daegu said. “We were not able to find the middle ground.”
Andre is the first foreigner to have both played and coached in the K League.
He joined Daegu’s staff as an assistant coach in December 2014 and became an interim head coach in May 2017 after the dismissal of Son Hyun-jun.
He became the full-time boss at the end of that year, as he helped Daegu avoid relegation.
Then in 2018, Daegu won their first FA Cup and competed in their first Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League in 2019.
They finished the 2019 K League 1 season in fifth place with 55 points, just one back of the third-place FC Seoul. Daegu picked up 13 wins, 16 draws and nine losses throughout 38 matches.
“To my players, I’ve been really happy to see you grow each and every year,” Andre said in his parting words to the club. “I’ve learned so much from you all.”
With the start of the 2020 season about a month away, Daegu said they’ll find Andre’s replacement as soon as possible.
This year, Daegu will start their K League 1 season at home at DGB Daegu Bank Park on Saturday, Feb. 29. They will play against Gangwon FC and the match will kick off at 4 p.m.