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Sérgio Paulo Marceneiro Conceição ( ; born 15 November 1974) is a former Portuguesemarker footballer, who currently works as technical director for PAOK F.C. of the Greek first division.

Conceição played mostly as a right winger, known for his speed and strength, combined with his good dribbling and crossing skills, and fairly accurate shooting.

Club career

Conceição began his career playing for the youth teams of his hometown's Académica de Coimbramarker. He started professionally in the second division, consecutively for F.C. Penafiel, Leça FC and F.C. Felgueiras, before moving to powerhouse F.C. Porto in 1996. Two hugely successful years with Porto saw Conceição’s marauding runs down the right flank, combined with a good goalscoring record, help his team to back-to-back domestic championships and a Portuguese Cup triumph.

Conceição joined S.S. Lazio for 11.2 million, and played a significant part in their 1998–99 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup success, while also scoring five goals in 33 games in his first Serie A season. He also helped the side to a Scudetto, an Italian Cup (in a 1999–2000 double) and the 1999 UEFA Super Cup.

In July 2000, he transferred to Parma FC as a makeweight in Hernán Crespo's transfer. The following season, Conceição was used in the same fashion in the transfer of Sébastien Frey, which saw him go to Inter Milan while Frey went in the other direction. After two seasons and a good number of starts, he would eventually leave Inter by mutual agreement and re-joined Lazio, leaving for another familiar side, Porto, towards the end of 2003–04, again by mutual agreement, adding his third Portuguese national championship.

In 2004, Conceição signed for Belgianmarker club Standard Liège on a one-year deal. Standard set on Sérgio Conceição He won the Belgian Golden Shoe for best player of the year in his first season. However, in March 2006, he was suspended for three years (4.5 months and the rest suspended), depending on good behaviour, for spitting on an opposing player and assaulting a referee.

After the 2006–07 season, Conceição failed to win any silverware with Standard, finishing runner-up in 2005–06's league and losing the 2007 cup final. He decided to move to Kuwaitmarker and Al-Qadisiya on a rather lucrative contract. Quickly unsettled, the player later admitted that he was amazed at the slack training schedule and low level of professionalism.

In January 2008, after failed deals in Portugal, however, in a surprise move, Conceição agreed to join PAOK Thessaloniki in Greecemarker, signing an 18-month contract. His signing was largely attributed to club technical director Zisis Vryzas, and the presence of iconic Portuguese manager Fernando Santos on the bench. Though he initially struggled even to return to proper fitness levels, he was instantly given the number #7 shirt, once worn by legendary former player (and also chairman) Theodoros Zagorakis.

In 2008–09, Conceição was promoted to team captain. Along with compatriot Vieirinha, he was a regular on the team's wings and gradually became a fan favorite for his leadership and his devotion to the club. However, at the beginning of the next campaign, he was regulary troubled by knee injuries for the most part of October, managing only a few appearances. On November 13, he announced his decision to withdraw from professional football and continue working for PAOK as technical director, accepting Vryzas' proposition for the seat Vryzas himself left vacant when he assumed presidency early on.

International career

Conceição earned 56 caps for the Portuguese national team, scoring 12 goals, his debut being against Ukraine on 9 November 1996, a 1–0 home win in a World Cup qualifier. In his last international game, he was on the losing end of a 3–0 friendly defeat at the hands of Spain on 6 September 2003.

Early in his international career, Conceição was not known for his scoring prowess but, at UEFA Euro 2000, Portugal reached the semi-finals with a major contribution from him. In the third and final match of the group stage, against defending champions Germany in Rotterdammarker, Conceição bagged a hat-trick, scoring all of the match's goals. Portugal had guaranteed first place in the first two games, so the side played mostly with substitutes, but Conceição cemented his place in the starting XI for the rest of the tournament and subsequent call-ups.

In qualifying for the 2002 World Cup, Conceição scored four goals as Portugal finished atop a group that also featured the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands (netting against both). He was not recalled since 2003.

Honours



Personal

Coimbra's municipality governors named a local 2,500-seater stadium after him - the Estádio Municipal Sérgio Conceiçãomarker.

References

  1. Euro 2000 profile
  2. Inter in double swoop
  3. Conceição leaves Lazio
  4. Sérgio Conceição back at Porto
  5. Hefty suspension for Conceição
  6. Conceição out of Steaua tie
  7. Δήλωση του Sergio Conceicao
  8. Portugal host holders
  9. Ultimate accolade for Conceição


External links




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