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Cyprus hopes Ketsbaia can revive fortunes

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Former Newcastle United player Temur Ketsbaia is the national team’s new coach after a dismal run of results that saw Cyprus drop to 107 in the FIFA rankings.

The Cyprus Football Association announced an agreement with the Georgian manager who replaced the ineffectual Greek Nikos Kostenoglou appointed last year.

The change of manager came after Cyprus only registered one win in their last 13 internationals and scored in only three of them.

It is hoped the manager can usher a change of fortune for the national team and bring the supporters back.

According to the CFA, the agreement foresees a contract until the 2026 World Cup qualifiers are completed.

In September, Cyprus’ next game is home to Greece in the Nations League.

Cult hero Ketsbaia, 54, is known for his fiery temper but has won major honours at club level.

He was born in Georgia on 18 March 1968 and first came to Cyprus as a footballer for Anorthosis 30 years ago, in 1992.

He returned to Cyprus and Anorthosis in 2002 after playing for AEK Athens, Newcastle, Wolves and Dundee United.

He won two championships with Anorthosis in 2005 and 2008 and, in the same year, became the first coach to lead a Cypriot team to the group stages of European competition (Champions League).

From 2009 to 2014, he coached the Georgian national team and worked at Olympiacos Piraeus, APOEL, AEK Athens and Orenburg, Russia.

In 2019 he returned to Anorthosis to win the 2021 FA Cup while leading the team to the UEFA Conference League group stages.

He left Anorthosis at the end of last season.