Former ISL champions Bengaluru FC have finally found a successor to Carles Cuadrat in 52-year-old Marco Pezzaiuoli. Joining as their head coach post the ongoing ISL season, Pezzaiuoli has signed a three-year performance-based contract that could see him stay at Bengaluru FC until the end of 2023-24 season.
Mellowing down since their title-winning ISL campaign in the 2018-19 season, Bengaluru FC are on the verge of going trophyless for two consecutive seasons.
“I’m very proud to be a part of Bengaluru FC, and excited about the challenge to bring the team back to the top,” Pezzaiuoli said after his appointment.
“I am always keen to gather experiences in life and football and to be able to make a difference wherever I go. I’m also keen to share my experience to help Indian football grow. I’m really looking forward to joining the team as soon as I can,” he added.
Bengaluru FC director Parth Jindal said, “Marco brings with him the tremendous experience of having worked with clubs in the top tier in Europe and Asia, along with a significant stint with the age-group sides of the German National Team.”
After Cuadrat was sacked mid-season, as he moved away from the club's 'philosophy', Naushad Moosa has steadied the ship for BFC so far with the team reeling in the seventh position on the ISL points table.
This has been quite uncharacteristic of BFC, who have been on a marvellous run of form since appointing Ashley Westwood at the helm during their maiden I-League season. After Westwood led them to two I-League titles and a Federation Cup, BFC reached the AFC Cup and ISL finals through Albert Roca.
Though Roca led them to another Federation Cup, BFC’s dream of an ISL title was fulfilled by Cuadrat before the team plummeted down the dominance hierarchy with a string of star departures over the past two transfer windows.
Pezzaiuoli, who will be BFC’s first coach, comes with an impressive resume at the youth as well as professional level. He was the one who succeeded the current German national team coach Joachim Low at German second division club Karlsruher SC in 2000. Apart from that, Pezzaiuoli had also been the head coach of Hoffenheim during the 2010-11 Bundesliga season.
Not only in Europe, but the German coach has worked in Asia as well. Apart from being an assistant coach at South Korea's Suwon Bluewings, Pezzaiuoli had succeeded former Pune City coach Ranko Popovic as the head coach of Japan's Cerezo Osaka.
Pezzaiuoli’s first assignment as the BFC head coach will start from April 14 during the AFC Cup Preliminary Stage campaign.
Feature Image Courtesy: JOHANNES EISELE / AFP