The hierarchy at Uganda Premier League side Vipers SC have for the past three months or so battled with reports linking the vacant then head coach role at the club to former KCCA FC manager Mike Hillary Mutebi whose reputation as many would argue perfectly fits the bill.
This narrative was mostly driven by the media, informed by the club’s recent deliberate decision to amalgamate the young talent from their academy into the senior team while maintaining the winning formula.
Their desire to pull off a shockwave of mixed emotions amongst both fans and the media has indeed been manifested in the appointment of Brazilian tactician Roberto Oliveira in the most unforeseen ways.
The reality is that Fred Kajoba’s successor isn’t one best known to the Ugandan football fraternity and will take a little of learning or even reading about for many to appreciate his undoubtable qualities.
Hugely known for his offensive brand of football, the Brazilian has been around the game for long and promises an expansive attacking and fluent game as opposed to the barbaric and pragmatic approach as proverbially applied by majority Ugandan coaches.
This and his commitment to development of young talent were the major considerations for the 2019/20 UPL champions to sought him out for this massive job that not only comes with pressure but also demands a lot of concentration.
His most recent job prior to consolidating power at Kitende by signing a three-year contract was with Kenyan side Gor Mahia, where he resigned after Caf and FKFs president Nick Mwendwa claimed he did not possess the requisite qualification papers to oversee the local giants.
The Brazilian’s understanding of African football was shaped by his interaction with players and managers in Tunisia before trying out Rwandan side Rayon Sport and eventually taking the club to their best place in the Caf Champions league.
Robertinho, as commonly known, attended a press conference with the media where he was unable to hide his delight at the appointment and admitted to having the same objective with the club.
“I’m very happy to be with Vipers Sports club with whom we share objectives. This is very important for me and my assistant and our target will be to win the league” Oliveira said.
“My mentality is winning and it is very important that we put together a strong team with a good balance between young and experienced players. I think we have time to organise everything.”
When asked about the idea of job security, the Brazilian had this to say:
“Big clubs come with a lot of pressure, one just has to manage it well. I personally like the emotions and pressure because that will mean that the opponent will have a host of problems from us.”
The 61 year-old becomes the fifth non-Ugandan manager to takeover at Kitende following Andrew Duru Chukuma (Nigeria), Javier Martinez Espinoza (Mexico), Miguel Da Costa (Portugal) and Michael Nam Ouma (Kenya).
He comes with massive experience given his journey across the world managing football clubs. This is something that the Venoms will require considering that their most recent foreign manager Javier Martinez Espinoza struggled to impress.
Who is Roberto Oliveira?
The Vipers SC gaffer is a 61 year old Brazilian national who was born in the capital, Rio de Janeiro. His full name is Roberto Oliveira Goncalves do Carmo though commonly known as “Robertinho”.
He is a former striker with the Brazilian national team where he only featured once in 1980 but made his professional club debut for Fluminense SC in the year 1978. He quickly traded this for Flamingo during the 1982 season.
Apart from the above, Oliveira played for a host of Brazilian clubs including Palmeiras, Sport Club Internacional, Sport Club do Recife, Atlético Mineiro, Clube Desportivo Nacional and Grössembacher where he hung his boots in 1995.
He launched his managerial career in the same year 1995 with Grössembacher as a player manager before immediately switching to Rio Branco (SP) in 1997. He followed this with a move to Brasil de Pelotas where he concluded the millennium.
A most of Brazilian clubs followed starting with São Bento in 2000 which was followed by Fluminense, Clube de Regatas Brasil, Centro Sportivo Alagoano, America FC in Rio de Janeiro before joining Rio Branco (ES) in 2005.
He had a taste of African football in 2008 as he consolidated power at Tunisian side Stade Tunisien but this was short-lived as he moved to Kuwait to take-over as Kazma SC manager the following year.
At this point, the trajectory had changed and the Brazilian was touring the middle-east with short spells at Al-Shamal SC in Qatar, Hammam-Sousse, Legiaõ, Stade Gabēsien, Grombalia Sports, ASA, Rayon Nyanza and Go Mahia FC.
It was from Kenyan side Go Mahia FC that Robertinho moved to claim power at the Venoms. The gaffer left Go Mahia in 2020 following a debacle that was always bound to pose serious ramifications to his position as head coach.
There is indeed a host of expectations surrounding him in light of the fact that Portuguese counterpart Miguel Da Costa experienced instant success during the 2017/2018 season.
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