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By ESPN Staff

Atletico Paranaense the next stop for Matthaeus

SAO PAULO, Brazil, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Former German international and Hungary coach Lothar Matthaeus is to coach Brazilian team Atletico Paranaense, the club confirmed on Wednesday.

'The contract for him to lead the (club) in the 2006 season has been signed,' Paranaense said on its website.

It is the German's fourth job in less than five years. His contract, which starts on Feb. 1, runs to the end of 2006.

'We want to bring a different professional to our team and he has unique characteristics,' club board president Joao Augusto Fleury da Rocha told Reuters.

'Lothar comes from the European school to develop the technical and tactical part of our team,' he said.

Matthaeus, West Germany's 1990 World Cup-winning captain, visited the club's home city Curitiba, in Parana state, last week to look at its set-up. He praised the modern stadium and training facilities, the website said.

'Atletico's structure is like a first world club. I'm happy to know Brazil has such a club,' the German was quoted as saying on the website.

Matthaeus, out of contract with Hungary from last month, steered the Hungarians to 13 wins and three draws in 29 matches dating from December 2003 but failed to take them to the World Cup finals in his home country.

Matthaeus, 44, retired as a player five years ago and has had coaching spells with Rapid Vienna and Partizan Belgrade as well as the Hungarian national squad.

Despite intensive lobbying, he was passed over for the Germany job after Rudi Voeller quit in 2004, the post going to Juergen Klinsmann instead.

'I am looking forward to getting back to working every day with a team,' Matthaeus said in a column written for Sport-Bild newspaper on Wednesday.

Atletico finished sixth in last season's Brazilian championship.