Bengaluru FC have appointed Marco Pezzaiuoli as the club’s head coach on a three-year performance-based contract that runs till the end of the 2023-24 season, the Blues announced on Thursday.
He replaces Carles Cuadrat who was let go earlier in the season. Under Cuadrat, BFC won ISL 2018-19 but the team had not been able to find enough momentum this season.
A German-born Italian, Pezzaiuoli’s first assignment will be leading Bengaluru in the AFC Cup Preliminary Stage Two game that takes place on April 14. The 52-year-old’s most recent stint was with Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt where he served as Technical Director.
Commenting on the appointment, Director Parth Jindal said: “Marco brings with him 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. What drew me to appointing him was his intent, organisation and clarity of thought on how he wants to take Bengaluru FC back to where we belong. Our ambition has been to play the AFC Champions League and I believe Marco has the vision and style to lead us there. The senior team aside, his expertise with youth will go a long way in helping us further build on the success of our academy. Marco’s appointment is a statement of intent from the club and about how serious we are about bringing Bengaluru FC back to the top.”
Pezzaiuoli started his coaching career as the Youth Director at Karlsruher SC, while his first stint outside Germany was with Suwon Samsung Bluewings FC in South Korea, where he won the K-League and K-League Cup in 2004.
He returned to Germany after and took charge of the German youth teams. With the likes of Mario Gotze, Marc Andre ter Stegen, Shokradan Mustafi and Bernd Leno, his U17 side won the European Championship in 2009. Along with Matthias Sammer, he put together a new football philosophy and training program for the national team ahead of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He also worked as the team analyst for Germany at Euro 2008.
Pezzaiuoli then joined Ralf Rangnick as an assistant at TSG Hoffenheim, coaching players like Robert Firmino, Gylfi Sigurdsson and David Alaba. He also acted as the interim coach of Hoffenheim and played a key role in making sure the young team staved off relegation from the Bundesliga. His experience in Asia also includes stints at Cerezo Osaka (Japan) and Guangzhou Evergrande FC (China).
Speaking on his appointment, Pezzaiuoli said, “I’m very proud to be a part of Bengaluru FC, and excited about the challenge to bring the team back to the top. 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.”
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