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By ESPN Staff

Corinthians name Braga as permanent boss

RIO DE JANEIRO, March 30 (Reuters) - Brazilian champions Corinthians named Ademar Braga as coach on a permanent basis on Wednesday.

Braga, who took over in an interim capacity earlier this month, becomes the fifth man to occupy the hot seat since the club signed a controversial partnership with a London-based group of investors 15 months ago.

Corinthians said in a statement that Braga would be in charge until the end of the Libertadores Cup, the South American equivalent of the Champions League, in August.

'His vast experience in football, his knowledge of the squad and the good job he has done since he came to Corinthians last September give him the credentials for this job,' said the club.

Braga has spent most of his career as a fitness coach working at various clubs in Brazil, the Middle East and Japan.

The 61-year-old took over earlier this month when Antonio Lopes resigned under intense pressure from the supporters, three months after winning the 2005 championship.

'I've never won the Libertadores before but I think I'm going to win this one and so do the directors,' said Braga.

INTERIM COACHES

'We're all interim coaches because as soon as you start losing, they kick you out.'

Corinthians became rich overnight when signing their deal with Media Sport Investments (MSI) in December 2004.

They have since paid $18 million for Argentina forward Carlos Tevez, a South American record, and $15 million for his compatriot, midfielder Javier Mascherano, among others.

Tite, coach when the deal was signed, was fired in February last year and replaced by Argentina's Daniel Passarella, who lasted 10 weeks.

Passarella's assistant Marcio Bittencourt took over, initially as caretaker, and kept the job until September.

Despite steering the team from 18th to second in the championship, the club did not consider him experienced enough and he was replaced by Lopes.

Since Lopes resigned, Corinthians have attempted to sign Paulo Autuori from Kashima Antlers.

But Autuori, who won the world club championship and Libertadores last year with Sao Paulo, said he did not want to break his contract with the Japanese club.