Bengaluru Football Club head coach Albert Roca won’t be renewing his contract with the club and has left his position at the club a day after his team qualified fir the AFC Cup knockouts, the club announced on Thursday. The Blues’ Spanish manager oversaw a trophy-filled period for Bengaluru FC that also saw the blues become the first Indian club to make the final of the AFC Cup.
“Bengaluru FC and more importantly Indian football will always be grateful for the path that Albert Roca has shown us,” said club CEO Parth Jindal. “Even in difficult situations he stayed true to his philosophy and brand of football and that is a testament to the manager and person he is. His idea of how the game is to be played is what we need to be able to compete in Asia and on the world stage. He will always have a place at Bengaluru FC and we wish him the best for his future.”
The former Barcelona assistant coach, who arrived in the country at the start of the 2016-’17 season, reached the AFC Cup final, taking over midway from Ashley Westwood but struggled in the I-League where they finished fourth. The Blues then moved to the Indian Super League setup where they were rampant in his second season, making the final easily after topping the league stages. The club, however, lost to Chennaiyin FC in the final. Roca’s men made up for the disappointment by winning the Super Cup and more recently, qualifying for the AFC Cup knockout stages in dramatic fashion.
The announcement brought out a wave of tributes for the Spaniard on social media, starting with his players.
Fans and observers of Indian football were full of praise for the Spaniard as well, with some suggesting he would make a good coach for the Indian team.