Malaysia appoint Nelo Vingada head coach ahead of North Korea qualifier

Former Saudi Arabia and Jordan boss Nelo Vingada has been appointed Malaysia national coach, given the task of guiding the team in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifying campaign.

The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) put their faith in Vingada on Monday, with the 64-year-old Portuguese signing a two-year contract. He will arrive on May 25 ahead of the scheduled trip to North Korea on June 8.

"With his experience and age, we see him as the best coach to guide the national team to success. His work with previous national teams -- both youth and senior sides -- and the clubs he has coached, speaks volumes of his work ethic," FAM president TMJ said via a statement.

But the Crown Prince of Johor admitted that he was guided by his personal intuition in making his first major appointment since taking over at the end of March.

"After having seen numerous coaches doing their stuff, my gut instinct tells me that Vingada is the right man for the job. I may be wrong, but only time will tell," TMJ said.

Vingada, 64, comes with an impressive coaching resume dating back to 1981, but has had limited success in recent years. He has also never worked previously in Southeast Asia.

He was assistant to ex-Manchester United coach Carlos Queiroz as Portugal won back-to-back U20 World Cup titles in 1989 and 1991, and guided the Saudi Arabia national team to the Asian Cup title in 1996.

After a proposed move to Real Madrid as assistant to Queiroz fell through in 2003, Vingada carved his name with Egyptian club El Zamalek. There, he inspired the team to the Egyptian Premier League (2002-2003), before leading them to the CAF Super Cup, Saudi-Egyptian Super Cup (2003), and the 2003 Arab Champions League.

Vingada was head coach of the Jordan national team between 2007-2009 before taking over South Korean side FC Seoul in 2010.

He won the league and Cup title that year ahead of spells in China and Iran.

He was sacked after Iran's disastrous showing at the 2014 Asian Games where the U23 side lost 4-1 to Vietnam before drawing 1-1 with Kyrgyzstan to be eliminated from the tournament in South Korea.

Vingada's last stint as manager was with Indian Soccer League side North East United in 2016.

FAM said in the statement that the national coach elect's no-nonsense coaching style and direct approach were the main factors in him taking over the role previously held by Datuk Ong Kim Swee.

Ong was demoted to the Malaysia U23 side ahead of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Kuala Lumpur in August.

Vingada added in the statement that he couldn't wait to start work with Malaysia.

He will have only two weeks to prepare his players for the rescheduled trip to Pyongyang on June 8, followed by the clash against Lebanon at Larkin Stadium in Johor Bahru five days later.

Vingada is expected to have former Kedah coach Tan Cheng Hoe as his assistant after FAM confirmed that the new arrival won't be bringing any coaching personnel.