April 20, 2019 / 9:06 PM / a month ago

Santos kids get Sampaoli back on his bike

FILE PHOTO: Soccer- Copa Sudamericana - First Round - Santos v River Plate (Uruguay) - Pacaembu Stadium, Sao Paulo, Brazil - February 26, 2019 Santos coach Jorge Sampaoli before the match REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli/File Photo

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - A group of Brazilian children who made friends with Santos coach Jorge Sampaoli have given the Argentine a new bicycle after his was stolen from outside a bank in the port city last week.

The kids, in conjunction with the club, handed Sampaoli the new bike on Saturday, two days after the story of the theft went viral.

Sampaoli, who joined Santos in December and became known for cycling around the unusually flat city, left his bike unlocked outside the bank and when he came out it was gone.

The boys gave him a new one “so he can keep on cycling”, Santos FC said on Twitter alongside photos of the coach, the bike and his young friends.

Sampaoli, the former Chile, Argentina and Sevilla coach, struck up a relationship with the children after they climbed trees outside the Santos training centre to watch the players train.

Reporting by Andrew Downie, editing by Ed Osmond

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