ISL 2018: Bengaluru FC part ways with manager Albert Roca
What's the story?
Bengaluru FC, on Thursday, parted ways with head coach Albert Roca just one day after the Spaniard helped the Blues reach the Intercontinental Playoffs of the AFC Cup. The former FC Barcelona assistant manager had spent two years at the club.
In case you didn't know...
The news of Roca's departure comes just a day after the Spaniard led a remarkable comeback by the Blues,who were behind in the race to make it to the knockout stage of the AFC Cup.
However, a 4-0 victory against Abahani Dhaka and Aizawl FC's 2-1 win against former Group E leaders New Radiant SC meant that Bengaluru FC made it past the group stage yet again.
The heart of the matter
Roca has been one of the most influential managers in Indian football over the last couple of years. His side won the Federation Cup in the 2016/17 season, and followed that up with a Super Cup win in 2018. To add to that, the Blues also finished on the top of the ISL table last season, and only went on to lose the final against eventual champions Chennaiyin FC.
“It was one of the toughest decisions I have had to make in my managerial career but it’s the right one. Bengaluru FC has been an experience I will always carry with me, no matter where I go," said Roca in a statement, after announcing his departure from Bengaluru FC.
He further went on to thank the BFC fans, saying, "The owners, the management, my staff, players and most importantly, the fans walked with me every step of this journey and I can never forget the love and support I have received here. I will miss being on the touchline for this club, but will always follow its progress.”
With Roca leaving, the club would now have to look for a new manager before their AFC Cup Intercontinental Playoffs get underway. Their former manager Ashley Westwood, who is hugely popular among the fans, has been without a club since March, after parting ways with ATK. It would be interesting to see whether Westwood makes a return to Bengaluru.
Having had a brilliant season under Roca, Bengaluru FC are set to face a difficult time to replace the Spaniard. However, their chief technical officer Mandar Tamhane has recently paid a visit to Spain, and rumours are rife that the former Barca manager's replacement may be someone from the Iberian Peninsula.