Head Coach Profile: Manuel Marquez out to prove a point
Ahead of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21, Hyderabad FC handed over the reins of the club to Manuel Marquez after previous head coach Albert Roca chose to work with FC Barcelona as a fitness coach. The 52-year-old Spaniard will have a tough task on his hands after the club finished at the bottom of the 2019-20 league table in what was also their debut season, but his pedigree looks solid as the club prepare for their second season.
Hyderabad managed to win only two of their 18 games last season, but finished off strongly with a 5-1 victory over seasoned NorthEast United FC. Marquez understands the nature of the challenge he is facing with a club so young.
“It's a big challenge for me to join Hyderabad FC as we are set to begin our season soon. The club has already been preparing and working on a lot of things over the last few months so that makes it a comparatively smoother process for me to settle in,” Marquez had said after being confirmed as the head coach of Hyderabad FC before adding, “Given that Hyderabad FC intends to follow the same philosophy which I've worked with over so many years, I believe there are common goals already present.”
A defender by trade in his playing days, Marquez played for several lower-league Spanish teams such as Santfeliuenc FC, Montanesa, FC Martinenc, CF Badalona, and PB Anguera. After hanging up his boots, he started his coaching career with his last club –- that is PB Anguera. In a coaching career that has spanned almost two decades now, he has mostly coached teams from Spain, including the RCD Espanyol B as well as UD Las Palmas B.
Later he was promoted to the main team of UD Las Palmas, in La Liga at the time. He has coached in Croatia and Thailand as well. Coming from such a rich background of coaching, Marquez's immense experience will come in handy for the Hyderabad-based club.
When all is said and done, Manuel Marquez is at least expected to improve on the club’s performance in the previous season but if he can work his magic and take them to the play-offs, it will undoubtedly be an achievement of gigantic proportions.