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Around The Uk

banner Wednesday, 20 September, 2000, 12:52 GMT 13:52 UK
Mourinho replaces Heynckes at Benfica
souness
Graeme Souness had a tough time at Benfica and now successor Heynckes has followed him out
Benfica's German coach Jupp Heynckes, jeered by fans at the last home game, has agreed to leave the club.

Club president Joao Vale e Azevedo told journalists the departure of Heynckes, in charge at the Stadium of Light since the start of the 1999 season, was by mutual agreement.

The club's next coach was widely tipped to be former trainer Antonio 'Toni' Oliveira, but they surprisingly turned to assistant coach Jose Mourinho.

"I confirm that an agreement has been reached with Heynckes to end his contract by mutual agreement," Vale e Azevedo said.

According to media reports, Vale e Azevedo offered Oliveira the job but it was Mourinho who took on the mantle.

Heynckes, who coached Real Madrid to the European Cup in 1998 and took over at Benfica from Graeme Souness, was booed by fans on Saturday after a string of indifferent performances.

Fans' ire

"I can't stand this any more. If you want, I'll leave tomorrow," he was reported as saying.

Heynckes also prompted the fans' ire by placing club icon Joao Pinto on the transfer list at the end of last season.

van hooijdonk
Van Hooijdonk in action against Halmstad
After thrilling performances for Portugal in the Euro 2000 championships, Pinto promptly joined city rivals Sporting Lisbon.

Benfica managed to beat lowly Estrela Amadora 2-1 on Saturday but only thanks to two goals from Dutch striker Pierre van Hooijdonk in the dying minutes.

Earlier in the week they had lost 2-1 at Sweden's Halmstad in a Uefa Cup first round first leg match.

The former European champions, who have not won the Portuguese league title since 1993, are joint fifth in the league with seven points from four games.

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