Sérgio Paulo Marceneiro da Conceição (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈsɛɾʒiu kõsɐjˈsɐ̃w̃]; born 15 November 1974) is a former Portuguese footballer who played mostly as a right winger, and the current manager of French club FC Nantes.
Known for his speed and strength, combined with his good dribbling and crossing skills and fairly accurate shooting, he played for ten different teams, in five countries: after gaining international recognition with Porto he switched to Italy, where he appeared for three clubs. He amassed Primeira Liga totals of 97 games and 13 goals over the course of four seasons, adding 136/13 in Serie A.
Having won more than 50 caps for Portugal, Conceição represented the nation in one World Cup and one European Championship. In 2012, he started working as a manager.
Born in Coimbra, Conceição began his career playing for the youth teams of hometown's Associação Académica. He started professionally in the second division, consecutively for F.C. Penafiel, Leça F.C. and F.C. Felgueiras, before moving to FC Porto in 1996; two highly successful years with the latter saw his runs down the right flank, combined with a good goalscoring record, help it to back-to-back domestic championships and a Portuguese Cup triumph.
Conceição joined S.S. Lazio and played a significant part in their 1998–99 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup success, while also scoring five goals in 33 games in his first season in Serie A. He also helped the team to a Scudetto, a Coppa Italia (in a 1999–2000 conquest of the double) and the 1999 UEFA Super Cup.
In July 2000, Conceição transferred to Parma A.C. as a makeweight in Hernán Crespo's transfer, along with Matías Almeyda. The following campaign, he was used in the same fashion in the transfer of Sébastien Frey, which saw him go to Inter Milan while Frey went in the other direction. After two seasons and a good number of starts, he would eventually leave Inter by mutual agreement and re-joined Lazio, leaving for former club Porto towards the end of 2003–04, again by mutual agreement, and adding his third Portuguese national championship.
In the 2004 summer, Conceição signed for Belgium's Standard Liège on a one-year deal. He won the Belgian Golden Shoe for best player of the year in his first season. However, in March 2006, he was banned for three years – the first 4.5 months of the ban taking effect immediately and the rest suspended– depending on good behaviour, for spitting on an opposing player and assaulting a referee.
After the 2006–07 season, Conceição failed to win any silverware with Standard, finishing runner-up in 2005–06's league and losing the 2007 final of the Belgian Cup. He decided to move to Kuwait and Qadsia SC on a rather lucrative contract but, quickly unsettled, left.
In January 2008, after failed deals in Portugal, Conceição agreed to join PAOK FC in Greece, signing an 18-month contract. His unlikely signing was largely attributed to club director of football Zisis Vryzas, and the presence of Portuguese manager Fernando Santos on the bench; though he initially struggled even to return to proper fitness levels, he was instantly given the number No. 7 shirt, once worn by legendary former player (and also chairman) Theodoros Zagorakis.
In 2008–09, Conceição was promoted to team captain. Along with compatriot Vieirinha, he was a regular on the team's wings and gradually became a fan favourite for his leadership and his devotion to the club. However, at the beginning of the following campaign, he was regularly troubled by knee injuries for the most part of October, managing only a few appearances.
On 13 October 2009, Conceição announced his decision to retire from professional football, and continue working for the Thessaloniki club as technical director, accepting Vryzas' proposition for the seat the latter left vacant when he assumed presidency early on.
In late May 2010, Conceição left PAOK and rejoined another former team, being made part of Standard Liège's coaching staff. He began his managerial career on 1 January 2012, replacing sacked Daúto Faquirá at the helm of S.C. Olhanense; he left the club from the Algarve on 9 August, following disputes with the board.
Conceição was hired as manager of hometown team Académica on 8 April 2013, less than 24 hours after the club dismissed Pedro Emanuel from the post. He left at the end of the season.
Already in charge of S.C. Braga, with which he signed a two-year contract in May 2014, Conceição led his team to the final of the domestic cup, which they lost in a penalty shootout to Sporting Clube de Portugal despite leading 2–0 at half time. After the semi-final victory at Rio Ave FC, he made the 24-mile journey home from Vila do Conde on foot, as part of a promise to his players.
On 8 June 2015, Conceição was dismissed from his position, resurfacing on 22 September with his fourth top flight management position, at Vitória SC. On 17 January 2016, he led the side to their first home win against Porto (1–0) in 14 years; he left at the end of the campaign, by mutual consent.
Conceição played 56 times with the Portugal national team and scored 12 goals, his debut being on 9 November 1996 in a 1–0 home win against Ukraine for the 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. In his last international game he was on the losing end of a 0–3 friendly defeat at the hands of Spain, on 6 September 2003.
Early in his international career, Conceição was not known for his scoring prowess but, at UEFA Euro 2000, Portugal reached the semi-finals with a major contribution from him: in the third and final match of the group stage, against defending champions Germany in Rotterdam, he netted a hat-trick for all of the game's goals; the national side had guaranteed first place in the first two rounds, so it played mostly with substitutes, but he cemented his place in the starting XI for the rest of the tournament and subsequent call-ups.
In qualifying for the 2002 World Cup, Conceição scored four goals as Portugal finished atop a group that also featured the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands (netting against both). He was not recalled after 2003.
|1||11 October 1997||Estádio da Luz (1954), Lisboa, Portugal||Northern Ireland||1–0||1–0||1998 World Cup qualification|
|2||26 March 1999||Estádio D. Afonso Henriques, Guimaraes, Portugal||Azerbaijan||4–0||7–0||Euro 2000 qualifying|
|3||20 June 2000||Feijenoord Stadion, Rotterdam, Netherlands||Germany||1–0||3–0||UEFA Euro 2000|
|4||20 June 2000||Feijenoord Stadion, Rotterdam, Netherlands||Germany||2–0||3–0||UEFA Euro 2000|
|5||20 June 2000||Feijenoord Stadion, Rotterdam, Netherlands||Germany||3–0||3–0||UEFA Euro 2000|
|6||7 October 2000||Estádio da Luz (1954), Lisbon, Portugal||Republic of Ireland||1–0||1–1||2002 World Cup qualification|
|7||11 October 2000||De Kuip, Rotterdam, Netherlands||Netherlands||0–1||0–2||2002 World Cup qualification|
|8||1 September 2001||Camp d'Esports, Lleida, Spain||Andorra||1–6||1–7||2002 World Cup qualification|
|9||5 September 2001||Antonis Papadopoulos, Larnaca, Cyprus||Cyprus||1–3||1–3||2002 World Cup qualification|
|10||27 March 2002||Estádio do Bessa, Porto, Portugal||Finland||1–2||1–4||Friendly|
|11||17 April 2002||Estádio José Alvalade (1956), Lisbon, Portugal||Brazil||1–0||1–1||Friendly|
|12||16 October 2002||Ullevi, Gothenburg, Sweden||Sweden||2–1||2–3||Friendly|
Coimbra's municipal government named a local 2,500-seater stadium after him – the Estádio Municipal Sérgio Conceição. He fathered five sons, four of whom were footballers.
|Portugal||League||Taça de Portugal||Europe||Other||Total|
|Portugal||League||Taça de Portugal||Europe||Other||Total|
|2004–05||Standard Liège||Belgian Pro League||27||10||5||0||—|
|Kuwait||League||Emir Cup||League Cup||Asia||Total|
|2007–08||Al-Qadsia||Kuwaiti Premier League||7||5|
|Greece||League||Greek Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
- As of 18 January 2017
|Olhanense||1 January 2012||7 January 2013||34||10||13||11||43||45||−2||29.41|
|Académica||8 April 2013||26 May 2014||41||12||14||15||34||45||−11||29.27|
|Braga||26 May 2014||30 June 2015||44||23||10||11||78||38||+40||52.27|
|V. Guimarães||23 September 2015||18 May 2016||31||8||10||13||43||52||−9||25.81|
|Nantes||8 December 2016||present||6||5||0||1||8||3||+5||83.33|
- Primeira Liga: 1996–97, 1997–98, 2003–04
- Taça de Portugal: 1997–98
- Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira: 1996
- UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: 1998–99
- UEFA Super Cup: 1999
- Serie A: 1999–2000
- Coppa Italia: 1999–2000, 2003–04
- Supercoppa Italiana: 1998
- Coppa Italia: Runner-up 2000–01
- Belgian Cup: Runner-up 2006–07
- UEFA European Championship: Third-place 2000
- UEFA European Under-18 Championship: Runner-up 1992
- Belgian Golden Shoe: 2005
- Taça de Portugal: Runner-up 2014–15