French second division soccer club Clermont yesterday named Portuguese Helena Costa as coach, becoming one of the highest-level teams in Europe to put a woman in charge.
Costa (36) trained with Benfica before coaching the women’s national sides in Qatar and Iran.
She has also worked as a scout for Scottish champions Celtic and top clubs in Spain and Portugal.
“This nomination will allow Clermont Foot 63 to enter a new era,” said a club statement announcing the appointment.
Costa, a former scout for Scottish Premiership side Celtic, has coached the Iran women’s team since 2012.
The 36-year-old, who has also coached Benfica’s male youth teams and the Qatar women’s side, will join Clermont officially at the end of the season.
“It should help the club enter a new era,” the French Ligue 2 club said.
Before Costa, the highest-profile appointment of a woman as coach of a men’s team in Europe was that of Carolina Morace, who took charge of Italian Serie C1 team Viterbese for two matches in 1999.
Costa, who scouted for Celtic between 2008 and 2011, has also managed Portuguese lower-league men’s team Cheleirense.