Leading Lady: Soccer Team Hires First Female Coach in French History

Helena Costa has become the first female coach in France's professional men's soccer history after being hired by Clermont, a club in France's second-tier league, Ligue 2.

Helena Costa became the first female coach in the history of men's professional soccer in France.
Costa, 36, will replace former head coach Regis Brouard at Clermont, a club which is currently in 14th place in Ligue 2 — France's second tier league — with two games remaining. She previously coached the women's national teams of Qatar and Iran, and worked as a scout for top Glasgow club Celtic. Costa also managed youth teams for Benfica — a club in her home country of Portugal — and led the Under-17 team to two World Youth titles.

Her appointment is a major breakthrough in a sport where coaching is dominated by men. Not only has Costa become the first female coach in French professional soccer, but,according to Eurosport, she is the first women to be hired as head coach of a team in the top two divisions of Europe's top five leagues.
The only other female coach of a professional men's team in European history was Caroline Morace, who coached a third-tier Italian team for two matches before quitting — citing pressure from the media attention — in 1999.
While there have been female executives and directors at the top of football clubs, Costa's appointment marks a breakthrough at the coaching level. Twitter users expressed excitement:

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