Rumori di Spogliatoio

FC Santos are preparing to conquer Europe

Angelo PalmeriComment

It is not a mystery that FC Santos, second club from Tartu, are very ambitious.

The club founded in 2006 and playing in the third tier of Estonian football pyramid (Esiliiga B - they are second at the moment, four points short of FC Infonet double team) has not hidden ambitions through the mouth of their president, Meelis Eelmäe who, a while ago, declared openly that his aim is to make Santos the first club in Tartu. The challenge against Tammeka was already launched.

Now words have been followed by deeds as FC Santos managed to shock Estonian football by eliminating in the Estonian Cup semifinals the likes of FC Kuressaare, relegated from Premium Liiga to Esiliiga A (second tier) just last season.

A lucky draw will make them face another Esiliiga B side, HÜJK Emmaste whete Flora head coach, Norbert Hurt, plays.

If they will make it to the final (17th of May) there will be only Levadia or Infonet between them and the trophy.

However, meanwhile, they are already equipping themselves for what would be a clamorous European placement.
In fact, in case they should be facing FC Levadia in the A.LeCoq final, they would be automatically qualified for the Europa League qualifiers as Levadia will access the Champions League preliminaries as 2013 Estonian Champions.

In order to fulfill the UEFA condition to obtain a licence to compete in Europe, clubs have to have available, among others, a youth sector (flagship of the white-red striped) and a UEFA licenced coach.

The latter was fulfilled this morning by appointing Lithuanian coach, Algimantas Liubinskas, as FC Santos head coach.

Born in Kybartai in 1951 (he is 62 years old) among many other jobs, he has conducted the Lithuanian national football team from 1991 till 1995 and from 2003 till 2008. He was the one sitting on the bench when Lithuania held on a 1-1 draw the fresh World Champions, Italy, in Napoli in August 2006.

He has coached at clubs like Zalgiris Vilnius (LTU), Jagiellonia Byalistok (POL) and lately at what became Rimo Hunt's club, Kazakhstan FC Kaysar Kyzylorda (2011-12).

Liubinskas own a UEFA Pro licence who will certainly make him the most suitable candidate to guide FC Santos in the European adventure, shall they make it.