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MEXICO CITY, Dec 24 (Reuters) - Uruguayan Hugo de Leon has been named coach of Mexican first division club Monterrey where he will replace former Argentina captain Daniel Passarella.

De Leon came out top of a long list of candidates which also included former Real Madrid coach Vicente del Bosque and former Mexico coach Manuel Lapuente, the Notimex news agency said on Wednesday.

De Leon coached Nacional, where he also spent much of his playing career, in his homeland from 1999 to 2002 before leaving to take a coaching course.

Passarella, who captained Argentina when they won the 1978 World Cup on home soil, was fired last Friday over what the club described as 'sporting differences'.

He had been in charge of 18 months, during which he led Monterrey to only the second Mexican championship title in their history.

Monterrey are the third Mexican club to name a new coach for the Clausura championship, which starts on January 17.

Alexandre Guimaraes, who coached Costa Rica at the 2002 World Cup, has taken over at Irapuato and Eduardo de la Torre has been named the new coach of Santos Laguna.
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