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Atlanta United have appointed Gabriel Heinze as head coach on a two-year contract, the MLS club announced on Friday.

Former Manchester United, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain defender Heinze replaces Frank de Boer, who departed Atlanta by mutual agreement in July.

Heinze arrives after leading Velez Sarsfield to a third-place finish in 2019-20, having joined the Argentine outfit in 2017.

The 42-year-old and 72-time Argentina international also spent time in charge of Argentinos Juniors (2016-17) and Godoy Cruz (2015).

“I’m excited to be taking on this new challenge with Atlanta United,” said Heinze, who won the Premier League with United and LaLiga with Madrid.

“I believe that my football philosophy is aligned with the vision of the club and their structure and facilities are world-class. I can’t wait to meet the players, the staff and the fans and get to work in 2021.”

Atlanta president Darren Eales added: “This is a milestone moment in Atlanta United history, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome Gabriel as our next head coach.

“We cast the net widely for this important hire, and Gabriel quickly emerged as the number one candidate. Gabriel is one of the top coaches in South American soccer and we are delighted that he chose Atlanta United.

“Whilst his resume speaks for itself, Gabriel’s playing philosophy and commitment to youth development closely align with our ideas at Atlanta United, and we are happy to welcome him as we move into our club’s next chapter.”

Atlanta did not qualify for the MLS playoffs this season after finishing 12th.

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December 19, 2020
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