Levir Culpi (born 28 February 1953) is a Brazilian professional football manager and former player who played as a central defender.

Levir Culpi
Levir Culpi, técnico do Santos (34705477433).jpg
Personal information
Full name Levir Culpi
Date of birth (1953-02-28) 28 February 1953 (age 68)
Place of birth Curitiba, Brazil
Position(s) Centre back
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1972–1973 Coritiba 20 (0)
1973Botafogo (loan) 1 (0)
1974–1978 Santa Cruz 57 (0)
1978–1979 Colorado
1979–1980 Atlante 32 (1)
1980 Vila Nova
1980–1981 Colorado 5 (0)
1982–1983 Figueirense
1984–1985 Juventude
National team
1972 Brazil U20
Teams managed
1986 Juventude
1986 Caxias
1986–1987 Atlético Paranaense
1988 Marcílio Dias
1988–1989 Inter de Limeira
1989–1990 Criciúma
1990 Internacional
1991 Coritiba
1992 Criciúma
1992 Al-Ittifaq
1993 Paraná Clube
1994 Guarani
1994–1995 Atlético Mineiro
1995 Portuguesa
1996 Cruzeiro
1997 Cerezo Osaka
1998–1999 Cruzeiro
2000 São Paulo
2001 Sport
2001 Atlético Mineiro
2002 Palmeiras
2003–2004 Botafogo
2004 Atlético Paranaense
2005 Cruzeiro
2005 São Caetano
2006–2007 Atlético Mineiro
2007–2011 Cerezo Osaka
2012–2013 Cerezo Osaka
2014–2015 Atlético Mineiro
2016 Fluminense
2017 Santos
2018 Gamba Osaka
2018–2019 Atlético Mineiro
2021 Cerezo Osaka
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Playing careerEdit

Known as Levir during his playing days, he was born in Curitiba, Paraná and started his career with hometown club Coritiba, in 1972. After spending a six-month loan deal at Botafogo the following year, he signed for Santa Cruz in 1974.[1]

Levir subsequently represented Colorado (two stints), Atlante, Vila Nova, Figueirense and Juventude, retiring with the latter in 1985.[2][3]

Managerial careerEdit

Immediately after retiring Culpi took up coaching, starting with his last club Juventude. After a stint at Caxias he was named Atlético Paranaense manager in 1986, but left the club in the following year.

After a period in charge of Marcílio Dias,[4] Culpi took Internacional de Limeira to their second national title, a Campeonato Brasileiro Série B in 1988. He subsequently managed Criciúma, Internacional and Coritiba before returning to Criciúma in 1992 and taking the club to the quarterfinals of the 1992 Copa Libertadores (being knocked out by eventual champions São Paulo).

In the following years Culpi rarely settled into a club, being in charge of Al-Ittifaq, Paraná Clube, Guarani, Atlético Mineiro, Portuguesa and Cruzeiro before moving abroad to manage Cerezo Osaka in 1997. He returned to Cruzeiro in 1998, notably winning the year's Recopa Sudamericana with a 5–0 aggregate success over River Plate.

In January 2000 Culpi took over São Paulo, but was sacked in November. After spells at Sport and Atlético Mineiro in 2001, he replaced Flávio Murtosa at the helm of Palmeiras on 3 September 2002,[5] but could not avoid the club's first-ever relegation from the top tier.

In December 2002 Culpi was appointed manager of Botafogo,[6] taking the club back to the main category after finishing second. On 27 April 2004 he returned to Atlético Paranaense, after resigning with Bota.[7]

Culpi again managed Cruzeiro during the 2005 campaign, but was relieved from his duties in July of that year. He subsequently managed São Caetano[8] before achieving another promotion with Atlético Mineiro in 2006.[9]

In May 2007, J. League Division 2 side Cerezo Osaka sacked Satoshi Tsunami and appointed Culpi as manager. During his spell in charge of the team, he discovered Shinji Kagawa, who then played as a defensive midfielder, and used him as an attacking midfielder. Kagawa combined well with Takashi Inui, another talented young player, and the team under Culpi were promoted to the J. League Division 1 in 2010. He continued to display his ability to develop young players and construct an attacking team. With such players as Kagawa, Inui, Akihiro Ienaga, Hiroshi Kiyotake, Adriano, and Martinez, the team finished 3rd in 2010 and qualified for the AFC Champions League.

In November 2011, Culpi decided not to extend his contract, saying "I've come to the conclusion that now is the time to return to the far distant Brazil and spend time with my family."[10] The following 26 August, however, he returned to the club after replacing compatriot Sérgio Soares.[11]

In April 2014, Levir Culpi was announced as Atlético Mineiro coach for the fourth time in his career.[12] He managed to perform a double in 2014, winning both the Recopa Sudamericana and the Copa do Brasil. In 2015, in the first official match of the season, Atlético defeated Tupi 2-0 and he reached his 228th match ahead of the team, becoming the third coach with more games for the club, only behind Telê Santana (434), and Procópio Cardoso (328).[13]

On 3 May 2015, Culpi lifted the Campeonato Mineiro trophy for the fifth time in his career, becoming the fifth coach to do so.[14] He left Atlético Mineiro on 26 November, exactly one year after winning the Copa do Brasil. He was dismissed after a total of 288 matches, with 154 wins, 60 draws and 74 defeats, with 493 goals scored 184 goals conceded.[15]

On 4 March 2016, Culpi was announced as new coach of Fluminense.[16] He won the inaugural Primeira Liga, but was relieved from his duties on 6 November.[17]

On 6 June 2017, Culpi agreed to a six-month contract with Santos, replacing fired Dorival Júnior.[18] On 28 October, he was himself dismissed after a 2–1 loss against São Paulo.[19]

On 17 October 2018, Culpi returned to Galo for his fifth spell, replacing dismissed Thiago Larghi.[20] He was sacked the following 11 April, after a 4–1 loss against Cerro Porteño.

Managerial statisticsEdit


Team From To Record
G W D L Win %
Cerezo Osaka 1997 1997 32 16 0 16 050.00
Cerezo Osaka 2007 2011 196 100 42 54 051.02
Cerezo Osaka 2012 2013 45 20 15 10 044.44
Santos 2017 2017 31 14 12 5 045.16
Gamba Osaka 2018 2018 17 4 3 10 023.53
Total 321 154 72 95 047.98



Santa Cruz


Inter de Limeira
São Paulo
Atlético Mineiro


  1. ^ "Levir Culpi… um "negócio da China" para o Santa Cruz" [Levir Culpi... a "big business" for Santa Cruz] (in Portuguese). Tardes de Pacaembu. 14 July 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Levir Culpi" (in Portuguese). Terceiro Tempo. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  3. ^ "Levir volta ao estádio 35 anos após único gol marcado no México" [Levir returns to the stadium 35 years after only goal scored in Mexico] (in Portuguese). Hoje em Dia. 14 April 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  4. ^ "O mito do busto secador no Marcílio Dias" [The myth of the willing bust in Marcílio Dias] (in Portuguese). Zero Hora. 2 July 2008. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  5. ^ "Palmeiras acerta com o técnico Levir Culpi" [Palmeiras sign manager Levir Culpi] (in Portuguese). Folha de S.Paulo. 3 September 2002. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  6. ^ "Levir Culpi deve assumir o Botafogo" [Levir Culpi may take over Botafogo] (in Portuguese). Folha de S. Paulo. 25 December 2002. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Levir Culpi é o novo técnico do Atlético-PR" [Levir Culpi is the new manager of Atlético-PR] (in Portuguese). O Estado de S. Paulo. 27 April 2004. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Cruzeiro e São Caetano é o reencontro para Levir" [Cruzeiro and São Caetano is the reencounter for Levir] (in Portuguese). Gazeta Digital. 20 August 2005. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  9. ^ "Levir Culpi é o novo técnico do Atlético-MG" [Levir Culpi is the new manager of Atlético-MG] (in Portuguese). Terra. 28 May 2006. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  10. ^ "レヴィー・クルピ監督との契約について" Archived 8 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine (in Japanese)
  11. ^ 「監督交代のお知らせ」 Archived 4 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine (in Japanese)
  12. ^ "Horas após saída de Autuori, Galo age rápido e acerta contratação de Levir" [Hours after Autuori's departure, Galo move quickly and agree the signing of Levir] (in Portuguese). Globo Esporte. 24 April 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  13. ^ "Levir Culpi supera marca e se torna o 3º técnico com mais jogos pelo Galo" [Levir Culpi overcomes landmark and becomes the 3rd manager with more matches for Galo] (in Portuguese). Globo Esporte. 1 February 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  14. ^ "Levir conquista o quinto Mineiro e marca nome na história como maior vencedor da competição" [Levir conquers the fifth Mineiro and marks name on history as the biggest winner of the competition] (in Portuguese). SuperEsportes. 4 May 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  15. ^ "Levir anuncia saída do Atlético-MG e não resiste ao choro: "É um até logo"" [Levir announces departure from Atlético-MG and cannot hold the tears: "It is a see you soon"] (in Portuguese). UOL Esporte. 26 November 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  16. ^ "Flu continua reformulação e anuncia Levir Culpi como novo treinador" [Flu continue rebuilding and announce Levir Culpi as new manager] (in Portuguese). Globo Esporte. 4 March 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  17. ^ "Levir Culpi não é mais o técnico do Fluminense" [Levir Culpi is no longer the Fluminense manager] (in Portuguese). Lance!. 6 November 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  18. ^ "Santos contrata o técnico Levir Culpi para substituir Dorival Júnior" [Santos sign manager Levir Culpi to replace Dorival Júnior] (in Portuguese). Globo Esporte. 6 June 2017. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  19. ^ "Levir Culpi não é mais treinador do Santos FC" [Levir Culpi is no longer manager of Santos FC] (in Portuguese). Santos FC. 28 October 2017. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  20. ^ "Horas depois de demitir Thiago Larghi, Atlético-MG anuncia Levir Culpi como treinador" [Hours after sacking Thiago Larghi, Atlético-MG announce Levir Cupi as manager] (in Portuguese). Globo Esporte. 17 October 2018. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  21. ^ J.League Data Site(in Japanese)

External linksEdit