FC Goa confirmed the appointment of Manolo Marquez as the club’s new Head Coach, as previously reported by The Bridge. The Spaniard has put pen-to-paper on a multi-year contract that will see him take charge of the FC Goa First Team for the upcoming 2023-24 season and beyond.
With a footballing career spanning eight years as a player and then as a coach for nearly two decades, Marquez brings with him a wealth of experience. He is no stranger to Indian football either, having led fellow-Hero ISL side Hyderabad FC for three years between 2020 and 2023.
“We are very satisfied to sign with FC Goa, one of the best teams in the country. We’ve already been in the ISL for three years now and it’s a very important aspect to have knowledge of the competition and all the players that compete in the league. I’m confident we’ll have a good, competitive squad this year and we hope that the fans of Goa will enjoy watching their team in Fatorda,” said Manolo Marquez after signing on the dotted line for the Gaurs.
“ISL 10 will be a highly competitive season as the teams have gotten stronger with each passing season but we are confident that FC Goa will be in the fight for the higher positions.”
Ravi Puskur, FC Goa's Director of Football, said, ”We’re delighted to welcome Manolo and his backroom staff to FC Goa. We’ve admired his work over the years in India and beyond the obvious success he’s had on the field, it's been his ability to make the team a greater sum of its parts that convinced us to pursue him to take the role at FC Goa.
“The camaraderie and champion mentality that he instilled in the Hyderabad dressing room is something we hope he can develop here. We have no doubt that Manolo along with his backroom staff will instil that mentality here and we look forward to him taking charge of the team.”
From Spanish lower leagues to ISL Triumph
FC Goa will be Manolo Marquez’s 14th team in charge, following his stints in various leagues worldwide. A former footballer, the Spaniard started his coaching career with his last club PB Anguera in 2003.
This was followed by assignments in various lower leagues across the country with AE Prat, CE Europa, Badalona CF, RCD Espanyol B and UE Sant Andreu, before UD Las Palmas appointed him as the manager of their Reserves Team in 2016.
At the end of that season, Marquez’s side achieved promotion to the Spanish Segunda B Division (third-tier) as champions of the Tercera Division (fourth-tier), which led to him being handed the reins of the Las Palmas First Team in La Liga.
He went on to coach NK Istra 1961 in the Croatian Top Division and Ratchaburi FC in the Thai League 1 as well, before shifting base to Hyderabad FC in 2020.
The Spaniard’s tactical astuteness was in full sight during his tenure with the Nizams, who he led to better finishes each year compared to previous seasons. After finishing fifth in 2020-21 and second in 2021-22, Hyderabad under Marquez registered their best-ever finish in terms of points last season.
He also helped them win their maiden ISL trophy in 2021-22. Beyond the results, he had also overseen the development of Indian players at the club that have led to 10 national team call ups for HFC first team players who were under his guidance over the three years.
Along with Manolo Marquez, FC Goa also welcomes his team that comprises Benito Montalvo, Asier Rey Santin and Jose Carlos Barroso, who have joined the Club as the Technical Coordinator, Goalkeeping Coach and the Strength & Conditioning Coach, respectively.
After coaching stints with the Espanyol Academy in Helsinki and the Marcet Academy in Spain, Montalvo joined Hyderabad FC where he worked with Marquez. Santin was previously the goalkeeping coach of NorthEast United and Hyderabad FC.
The upcoming 2023-24 season will mark Barroso’s sixth year in Indian football, having worked with Jamshedpur FC, NorthEast United and Hyderabad FC prior to joining the Gaurs.