Portuguese coach Paulo Sousa was formally introduced on Wednesday as the new coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv.
"Despite the rumors in the media, he was always our only candidate, and as a club we're very proud to have such an excellent professional," Maccabi technical manager Jordi Cruyff said at a press conference.
Sousa replaces Oscar Garcia, who left Maccabi for personal reasons after leading the club to its first title in a decade.
Cruyff said Wednesday that he knew Garcia would be leaving after the last game of the season. He said he had always had a plan B, and that it took no more than 24 hours to convince Sousa to come to Israel.
Sousa noted Wednesday that he and Cruyff had already developed a good working relationship, and that he has been happy to discover they see things eye to eye.
He praised Maccabi and said it was an honor to work for such a big club with so many fans, and he promised to continue to improve the club and to take it to the next stage.
He said he intended to work with the players on their weaknesses, and pledged that the team would try to win every game. Sousa added that he hopes to see the players happy and passionate at training sessions.
Before joining Maccabi Tel Aviv, Sousa coached Hungarian side Fehervar. He has also coached the Portuguese Under-16 national side and Queens Park Rangers, Swansea City and Leicester City.
As a player, he collected 51 caps for Portugal.