Bengaluru FC on Friday announced former Eintracht Frankfurt Technical Director Marco Pezzaiuoli as their new head coach. The 52-year-old will take over the reins from interim head coach Naushad Moosa after the completion of the ongoing Indian Super League (ISL) season with his first assignment being to take the Blues through to the group stages of the AFC Cup in April when the preliminary rounds of the competition kick off. The German-born Italian joins on a three-year performance based contract.
Pezzaiuoli has extensive experience of working with the German national side’s youth teams. He has worked with their U15, U16, U17 and U18 prospects, during which time he assisted Ralf Rangnick who till recently was the head of sport and development at RB Leipzig. He was also associated with TSG Hoffenheim in various roles before an offer from Cerezo Osaka in Japan came along. There, he succeeded former Pune City head coach Ranko Popovic. Following this, he moved to GZ Evergrande in China where he served as the director of youth development for three years. He had previously worked in South Korea as well, serving as the assistant manager at Suwon Bluewings.
However, his most impressive stint was with Eintracht Frankfurt where he joined as a technical director in 2018. The Mannheim native was tasked with being the bridge between the youth squads and the first team operations. In March 2019, he also took over as the head coach of their U19 side before reverting back to his previous role. Then in early 2020, it was announced that he was no longer a coach or a technical director at the club with the latter position ceasing to exist according to their new club structure.
This brings us back to his debut assignment in the ISL. While there is no doubt that he has substantial experience of coaching in Europe and Asia, the current situation at Bengaluru is such that it will need more than just an experienced head to revitalize the club inside out. With a summer clear-up in the offing, Pezzaiuoli’s first assignment will be to ensure that the Blues breeze past the preliminary stages of the AFC Cup. Director Parth Jindal has said of the appointment that bringing Marco on board was a carefully thought out decision keeping in mind the club’s ambition of playing in the AFC Champions League. However, for that to happen, he will need time, something that isn’t readily available for coaches in the ISL.