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Santos says it has fired coach Ramalho

Updated: 2013-06-01 11:14

RIO DE JANEIRO - Santos says it has sacked coach Muricy Ramalho, just days after selling Brazil starlet Neymar to Barcelona.

The role will be temporarily filled by the Brazilian club's under-20 coach Claudenei Oliveira until a permanent replacement is found, Santos said on Friday.

"The management committee decided Muricy Ramalho is no longer coach of Santos FC's professional team. The trainer was told of the decision on Thursday," the club said in a statement.

The announcement follows the club's 2-1 defeat to Botafogo in Brazil's Serie A championship on Wednesday.

Ramalho, who took charge of the club in April 2011, led Santos to their third Copa Libertadores trophy, two Paulista championships and the South American Supercup.

His departure, and that of 21-year-old Neymar to the Camp Nou, marks the end of arguably Santos's most successful era since Pele made the club famous in the late 1950s and 60s.

"Santos are beginning a reformulation process after one of the best periods in the 101-year history of the club," the statement said.

Former Corinthians and Brazil boss Mano Menezes and Atletico Bilbao's Argentine manager Marcelo Bielsa have reportedly been short-listed as candidates for the vacant position.

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