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Brazilian club Palmeiras hires former player Dorival Jr. to replace Argentine coach

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SAO PAULO — Palmeiras says it has hired former player Dorival Jr. to replace Ricardo Gareca, the Argentine coach fired only three months into the job after losing seven of nine Brazilian league matches.

Dorival Jr. arrives with the mission of saving the club from relegation in the national championship. Palmeiras is 16th in the 20-team standings, only one spot outside the relegation zone, one round before the halfway point.

Dorival Jr. has deep connections with Palmeiras, where he played as a defensive midfielder from 1989-92. He is also the nephew of star 1970s midfielder Dudu.

The 52-year-old Dorival Jr., hired until June 2015, last coached Fluminense, which was nearly relegated last year. He also had stints with Rio de Janeiro clubs Vasco da Gama and Flamengo.

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