Joaquim Francisco Filho, a former assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, has been named as coach of Mauritius.
Filho succeeds Belgium-born Congolese Joe Tshupula who announced his resignation after the African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers where Mauritius failed to reach the next round. Filho’s main task will be to prepare the national team for the Indian Ocean Islands games, scheduled in Mauritius in 2019.
“I have noticed that there is a great willingness to learn and improve here in Mauritius,” Filho said. “It is most important. You have to learn the basics, and then climb the ladder step by step.”
Last February, Filho shared his knowledge for a week with some 30 coaches and aspiring coaches in Mauritius and made a great impression.
“A lot remains to be done in Mauritius especially at technical level. In football, the most important thing is technique whereas the physical part comes next. Above all, with these youngsters, we must make them footballers before we make them athletes. We must promote the skill and execution of movement,” added Filho.
Born in São Paulo in 1940, Joaquim Francisco Filho began his career as a professional player at the age of 16.
He played in Brazil, Venezuela, Portugal and France. As a coach, Filho made his name at the French development centre in Clairefontaine for nearly 30 years where he met Jonathan Bru, who is currently the assistant technical director of Mauritius.
In 2002 he joined Manchester United as a youth coach, working with Sir Alex Ferguson. He also acted as an interpreter for Cristiano Ronaldo when he arrived at Old Trafford in 2003.