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Julio Baptista and Ronaldo together at Real Valladolid. SUR
Brazil legends Ronaldo and Julio Baptista set to head up new project at Estepona

Brazil legends Ronaldo and Julio Baptista set to head up new project at Estepona

After missing out on the play-offs, the club wants to shake things up by appointing the pair as sporting director and coach

Juan Ramón Padilla

Thursday, 16 May 2024, 11:17

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Fourth-tier CD Estepona are set to welcome to two football legends to the club as they look to turn around their fortunes, with Ronaldo Nazario and Julio Baptista coming in as sporting director and head coach, respectively.

Although Ronaldo is currently the president of Real Valladolid, recent rumours suggest that the former Real Madrid, Barcelona and Inter Milan striker might be considering selling his stake in the club.

Meanwhile, Julio Baptista, who resides in Marbella and had a storied playing career with clubs like Sevilla, Real Madrid and Malaga, was previously the coach of Valladolid's youth team. However, he was dismissed last November following controversial comments about the club’s youth policy and a series of poor results.

Now, the pair, who know each other well both personally and professionally, are about to be reunited on the Costa del Sol.

Lofty ambitions

The appointment of the two Brazilians is part of a strategy spearheaded by the club's president, Francisco Mena.

Backed by a consortium led by veteran businessman Juan José Hidalgo of Globalia, Mena is looking to further boost the club's status on the international stage.

Estepona made headlines in the summer of 2022 when they bypassed several divisions by purchasing Extremadura's spot in Tercera RFEF for over half a million euros.

However, despite their ambitious plans, the club has had a turbulent season with three different managers, finishing sixth and failing to secure promotion, despite boasting some of the highest-paid players in the division. However, they have qualified for next season’s Copa del Rey.

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