Paulo Fonseca has been confirmed as Roma’s new head coach on an initial two-year contract. The 46-year-old has agreed to take over ahead of the start of the new season and an optional third year could extend the deal until the summer of 2022.
“I am very pleased to be appointed the head coach of AS Roma,” Fonseca told the club’s official website. “I want to thank the club’s management for the opportunity they have given me. I am excited and motivated by the task ahead of us. “I cannot wait to move to Rome, meet our fans and get started. Together, I believe we can create something special.” Fonseca, a Portuguese national born in Mozambique, joins from Shakhtar Donetsk where he won the league and cup double in all three seasons with the Ukrainian club. He also won the Ukrainian Super Cup in 2017. Fonseca had previously built up a wealth of experience in Portuguese football, having enjoyed spells at clubs including Pacos Ferreira, Braga and Porto.
“We are delighted to welcome Paulo Fonseca to the club,” Roma president Jim Pallotta said. “Paulo is a young and ambitious coach with international experience, a winning mentality and a reputation for bold, attacking football that will excite our fans. “From the very first conversations we had with him, he made it very clear he wanted to come to Roma and was excited about the challenge of working with our players and putting out a team that the fans can be proud of.” A central defender during his playing days, Fonseca spent his whole professional career in Portugal, making over 100 top-flight appearances.
Since starting his coaching career in 2005, his honours also include the Portuguese Cup with Braga in 2016 and the Portuguese Super Cup with Porto in 2013. Roma were interested in Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag, according to Sky in Italy, but the Dutch club rejected an approach for the 49-year-old. Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri, who will be allowed to join Juventus, was also linked to the job after Claudio Ranieri confirmed he would leave his role as Roma head coach at the end of the 2018-19 season.