||Fernando Albino Sousa Chalana
|Date of birth
February 10, 1959 |
|Place of birth
||1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)
||Paços Ferreira (assistant)
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Fernando Albino de Sousa Chalana (Portuguese pronunciation: [fɨɾˈnɐ̃ðu ʃɐˈlɐnɐ]; born 10 February 1959) is a Portuguese retired professional footballer and manager.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest talents in national football, among the likes of Eusébio, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luís Figo and Rui Costa, the diminutive left winger's main asset was his above-average ball control and dribbling skills.
His career, highly troubled by injuries, was mainly spent at Benfica, where he also later worked as a manager. Prior to his physical problems, he was one the leading figures at UEFA Euro 1984, helping Portugal to the semifinals.
Born in Barreiro, Setúbal District, Chalana began his football career at F.C. Barreirense, then moved to Lisbon neighbours and national powerhouse S.L. Benfica in 1974, where he established himself for the following eight years, scoring and assisting alike as he helped the Reds conquer, amongst other accolades, five leagues and three cups.
Aged only 17 (fourth youngest ever), on 17 November 1976, Chalana won his first cap for the national team, against Denmark for the 1978 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. The peak of his career took place precisely on the international front, at UEFA Euro 1984, in France; there, the Little Genius was one the team's leading figures, excelling in dribbling throughout the tournament, notably in the 2–3 semifinal loss against the hosts, setting up both goals for Rui Jordão.
Moving to club in that country after the tournament, FC Girondins de Bordeaux, Chalana failed to impress in three full years, mainly due to persistent injuries. In 1987 he returned to Benfica, never being able to reproduce his previous form; his last international appearance was a friendly with Sweden on 12 November 1988, which finished with a goalless draw. He wrapped his career at 33, with one (unassuming) season apiece with Lisbon-based C.F. Os Belenenses and C.F. Estrela da Amadora, the latter in the second division.
In 1999–2000 Chalana coached the juniors of Benfica, winning the national championship. Four years later he had his first coaching experience, assisting at modest F.C. Paços de Ferreira in an eventual top flight relegation as 17th.
For the following years, Chalana served as assistant to several coaches at Benfica. However, in March 2008 he replaced José Antonio Camacho after the Spaniard was dismissed. In 2002 he had already had a one-game spell as interim, filling in for sacked Jesualdo Ferreira – days before precisely Camacho arrived; in that match he placed winger Miguel as a right back, where he ultimately gained worldwide recognition.
After one more season as assistant, now to Quique Flores, Chalana returned to coaching the junior side.
Other than his main nickname, Chalana was also dubbed Astérix, Chalanix (as his moustache resembled the comic character) and Cyrano de Bergerac (because of his nose).
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