5 potential FC Pune City managerial replacements for Miguel Angel Portugal
Under head coach Ranko Popovic, Pune City FC last season breached the top-four barrier, a first time in the club’s four-year history. Despite losing out to Bengaluru FC in the semi-finals, the Serbian had a huge impact on the club.
“It has been a great season for FC Pune City and thanks to coach (Ranko) Popovic for making it memorable. His belief in the club’s ethos, especially the youth was remarkable, and it helped us achieve a lot and unearth the hidden talent in our system. He deserves a lot of credit for the historic run the club has had in 2017-18,” said FC Pune City CEO, Gaurav Modwel, to The FreePressJournal.
Apart from his tactical nous, Popovic had a knack of spotting talent and transforming them into full-fledged players. Under his guidance, a host of young players enjoyed a breakthrough season: Ashique Kuruniyan (20), Sahil Panwar (18), Vishal Kaith (21), Sarthak Golui (20) and Rohit Kumar (21) all played key roles during the phenomenal campaign.
In fact, Popovic not renewing his contract with Pune came as a surprise to many. A contract extension would have meant continuity and stability, which was critical to the future success of the project.
After parting with Popovic, Pune City appointed Marcos Paqueta as their new head coach. The Brazilian did not last long as he terminated his contract and joined Brazilian top-flight club Botafogo.
Pune City intensified their search and turned to former Delhi Dynamos coach Miguel Portugal as their replacement for Marcos Paqueta.
Much was expected from the Spaniard but Miguel Portugal was fired after just three games in charge. Miguel Portugal’s reign is the shortest in the Indian Super League era.
Pune City’s hierarchy has already started the hunt for a new manager. It will be interesting to see whom they choose to appoint in the dugout before the season ends- a season that could easily slip away.
Let's look at five candidates that could fill the vacant managerial position at Pune City FC.
#1 Helgi Kolviðsson
Helgi Kolviðsson is currently the assistant coach of the Icelandic national team. In 2016, Kolviðsson joined the national team setup as assistant to manager Heimir Hallgrímsson. The duo performed admirably, guiding Iceland to their first ever FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Iceland's improbable success was truly an underdog story, foiling higher ranked teams like Croatia, Ukraine, and Turkey in the World Cup qualifying campaign. At football's biggest stage, Iceland held giants Argentina to a tie, losing the other two matches to Nigeria and Croatia.
Prior to his role in the national team, Kolviðsson managed Austrian second division sides Austria Lustenau and SV Reid.
According to a report by Khel Now, Helgi Kolviðsson was tipped to take over the top managerial job at Pune City FC.