UEFA Pro Coach

José Miguel Azevedo Cardoso, Portuguese, born in 28 May 1972, graduated in Physical Education and Sports with specialization in football in 1995 and concluded a Masters in Sports Science in 1998 in the College of Sports Science and Physical Education in Oporto University.
Married, father of a 15 year old boy, Cardoso has permanent residence in the historic city of Braga in northern Portugal.
Cardoso started his coaching career in the youth teams of FC Porto while also teaching Physical Education in a school near his hometown of Trofa, in the suburbs of Oporto…

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1993 > 1994SC EspinhoU12 – Head Coach
1996 > 1997FC Porto U10 – Assistant Coach
1996 > 1997FC Porto U16 – Assistant Coach
1998 > 1999FC Porto U14 – Assistant Coach
1999 > 2003FC Porto B Team – Assistant Coach
2003 > 2004FC Porto U15 – Head Coach
2004 > 2006CF “Os Belenenses” Assistant Coach – Portuguese “1st League”
2006 > 2007SC BragaAssistant Coach – Portuguese “1st League”
2007 > 2009AA Coimbra – OAFAssistant Coach – Portuguese “1st League”
2009 > 2011SC BragaAssistant Coach – Portuguese “1st League”
2011 > 2012Sporting CPAssistant Coach – Portuguese “1st League”
2012 > 2013RC Deportivo La CoruñaAssistant Coach – Spanish “La Liga”
2013 > 2016FC Shakhtar DonetskU21 – Head Coach
Professional Academy Technical Coordinator
2016 > 2017FC Shakhtar Donetsk Assistant Coach – Ukrainian “Premier League”
2017 > 2018Rio Ave FCHead Coach – Portuguese “1st League”
2018 > 2019FC NantesHead Coach – French “Ligue 1”
2018 > 2019RC CeltaHead Coach – Spanish “La Liga”
2019 > 2020AEK AthensHead Coach – Greek “Super League”
2020 > 2021Rio Ave FCHead Coach – Portuguese “1st League”

Matches as

Head Coach






Cup League


UEFA Europa League

Matches as

Assistant Coach






Cup League


Super Cup


UEFA Europa League


UEFA Champions League
Career Highlights

Associação Académica de Coimbra Portugal

Season 2008/2009

  • 7º place in the Portuguese “Primeira Liga”
    Best ranking ever achieved by the club

Sporting Clube de Braga

Season 2009/2010

  • Portuguese “1st League” – Vice champion
    Best classification ever achieved by the club

Season 2010/2011

  • Entered Champions League group stage after defeating Celtic FC in the third qualifying round and Sevilla FC in the Play-off.
  • 3rd place in the Champions League group stage with 9 points after defeating Arsenal FC at home and FC Partizan home and away.
  • Entered Europa League, playing the final against Oporto FC after defeating KKS Lech Poznan, Liverpool FC, FC Dínamo Kiev and SL Benfica in the previous rounds.

Sporting Clube de Portugal

Season 2011/2012

  • Portuguese Cup finalist.
  • Winner of Europa League group stage (SS Lazio, FC Vaslui, FC Zurich).

Football Club Shakhtar Donetsk

  • Season 2012/2013
    Ukrainian Champion of U14 and U17.
  • Season 2013/2014
    Ukrainian Champion of U14 and U15.
  • Season 2014/2015
    Ukrainian Champion of U14 and U19.
  • Season 2014/2015
    UEFA Youth League Finalist.
  • Season 2015/2016
    Ukrainian Champion of U14.
  • Season 2016/2017
    Ukrainian Champion and Ukrainian Cup winner.

Rio Ave Futebol Clube

Season 2017/2018

  • 5th place in the Portuguese Professional League “Primeira Liga”
  • Best classification ever achieved by the club
  • Equalising the second time in the Club’s history (Seasons: 1981-1982, 2017-2018)
  • Record of points scored at that time on the League: 51
  • Best championship start ever, with 9 points in 4 rounds, equalising 2014/2015 season
  • Best home campaign ever, with 11 victories and 3 draws

FC Nantes

RC Celta

Season 2018/2019

  • One of the few coaches to train in La Liga and Ligue 1

Degree in Sports Science

Specialization in football

Sports Science and Physical Education College – Oporto University (Physical Education teacher between 1994 and 2004 accumulating functions as school principal).

Master in Sports Science

Specialization in youth sports

Sports Science and Physical Education College – Oporto University.

UEFA Pro Licence Holder



Promoted Players

What they say

“What Miguel Cardoso demonstrated yesterday against the national champion is that it is not necessary for a team to have that much money to play like a big club team.”

Nuno Farinha, “Record”27 Aug. 2017

“It is a relief to see the current Rio Ave among a series of repeated and gray models.”

Carlos Daniel, “Bancada”01 Jan. 2018

“… there is a huge technical and tactical work by the coaching staff, by the coach, fabulous.”

João Alves, “Play-Off”29 Oct. 2017

“This is without any doubt one of the most exciting footballing projects in our football in recent years.”

“Goalpoint”9 Dec. 2017

“The team that most impresses excluding the big ones (and many times including them) is always Miguel Cardoso’s Rio Ave. It is never too much to compliment the courageous way in which he takes on each game, in any field, with daring football, all without reservations in rostering several talents at the same time.”

Carlos Daniel, “Bancada”11 Dec. 2017

“The football of this Rio Ave is not born out of fantasy; they risk because they know, with security, that such risk can be rewarding. Before Benfica, Braga had already fallen, victim of the same disguised calculism. Yesterday, in a game complex to analyze, stood out the coherence of repeating, over and over, the same ways, without allowing the changing scoreboard to affect the confidence of the team, finally translating that resistance into 3 goals. Rio Ave won the knockout. That cannot be doubted.”

José Manuel Ribeiro, “O Jogo”14 Dec. 2017

“There is no sole way to victory, but Miguel Cardoso is faithful to his. For the conviction with which he defends his ideas one can tell that it’s about coherence and not stubbornness.”

Nuno Travassos, “Mais futebol”1 Dec. 2017

“Today, Rio Ave is justly considered an oasis for the singular football it imposes on the field regardless of the opponent’s emblem. Audacious and unnegotiable, the game record of the vila-condenses accompanies the attacking tendencies of the most exhilarating teams of the European circuit.”

Luís Catarino, “Bancada”15 Dec. 2017

“If I were a football team, I would want to be Rio Ave 2017. Definitively.”

Pedro Jorge da Cunha, “Mais Futebol”16 Dec. 2017

“… from what I’ve seen thus far, Miguel Cardoso can be the voice, the flag bearer for the smaller clubs’ change of mentality that will allow them to change and balance the state of things.”

João Gobern, “Trio d'ataque”30 Oct. 2017

“If Rio Ave continues to deserve praises for the positive football that it plays, Miguel Cardoso is also deserving of praise for the way he communicates, frank and unapologetic.”

Manuel Fernandes Silva, “Bancada”21 Mar. 2018

“It was the triumph of the football and system of the Vila-Condenses, proving that one doesn’t need to “kick it forward” to attain clarity. It is the behaviour that makes teams evolve and carries the strategists to other heights.”

João Vasco Nunes, “Bancada”08 Dec. 2017

“In Vila do Conde lives one of the teams with the most praised football in our country.”

“Record”17 Apr. 2018

“Impressive Rio Ave boss who is thriving in his first senior appointment… he is an excelent defensive organizer.”

“World Soccer”March 2018

“To take on a team average national dimension and have it play quality football, elaborate and that enchants those who see it must be valued. For the idea, for the courage and for the work that has been getting results in little time. Everything is simple, everything is perfect. Even when the ball stubbornly doesn’t go in and the results stubbornly do not correspond to what was seen on the pitch. Even when the vila-condense fans boo and ask for direct football. That will not happen, not with Miguel Cardoso. Good that it is so.”

José Miguel Machado, “Record”21 Dec. 2017

“Softly spoken, unorthodox and charismatic – is currently the darling of the Portuguese press.”

“FourFourTwo”April 2018

“This Rio Ave coach has great quality… there is an excellent philosophy that makes the team play well...”

Rui Santos, “Play-Off”29 Oct. 2017

“Rio Ave stands out for the will of having the ball in their control, something that is not very usual in the teams from our championship. They feel comfortable playing in possession and carrying the game to the opponent’s half, playing with high lines and with great rigor in marking the opponent. In practical terms, Rio Ave has the mentality of a big club team and its players are assimilating just that.”

“A Bola”17 Nov. 2017

“Miguel Cardoso was one of the revelations of this season in Portugal. Besides the results, a number of impressive transfers for Rio Ave.”

Nicolas Vilas, "RMC Sport"

“In Portugal, Miguel Cardoso is rated for the quality of his team’s play as well as the ability to improve players (Ruben Ribeiro, Marcelo, Nelson Monte, João Novais, Pélé). A highight of the season, and a manager to follow.”

Manu Lonjon, "Yahoo Sports France"

“Miguel Cardoso didn’t conquer this around him only with his football. His personality also plays strongly in his favour.”

"Ouest France"

“Positive impression with and the jury’s congratulations for Cardoso’s first press conference.”

"Ouest France"

“In 4 months, a major part of the Nantes supporters “fell in love” with the coach.”

David Phellipeau, "20 Minutes"

“Cardoso, a specialist in creating football players”

"Sport", Juan Carlos Gracia

“The Celta players have once again become a team that puts in practice a recognizable blueprint, which step by step returns hope and confidence to Celta.”

Manuel Bragado, "Faro de Vigo"

“The Vigo team have a recognizable style, adapted to the specificities of the squad. They like to treat the ball well, following a clear game plan and a starting eleven that is developing as the league progresses. Although the new Celta is still work in progress, Cardoso has managed to turn around the team radically, a change in face that the Portuguese coach has matched with good results, strategic quality and tactical rigor. He has brought back the self-esteem to players who were rarely seen under his predecessor.”

Manuel Bragado, "Faro de Vigo"

“Miguel Cardoso brought a new style of play to the Canaries, based on total possession. It’s an attractive but risky style, which is now beginning to show results.”

Antoine Longeville, "L'Équipe"