East Bengal FC on Wednesday announced the appointment of former Hero Indian Super League (ISL) winner Dimas Delgado as Carles Cuadrat's assistant manager on a two-year deal. The 40-year-old will assist the newly-appointed head coach, Cuadrat, under whom he previously played for Bengaluru FC.

The former Spanish midfielder won the Hero ISL title with BFC in the 2018-19 season after helping the Blues finish runners-up in his maiden season in India a year before.

In fact, it was off Delgado’s corner kick that Rahul Bheke scored the winner for BFC against FC Goa in the 2018-19 Hero ISL final under Cuadrat.

Delgado, a UEFA A license holder, expressed his elation at joining East Bengal FC. He said, “I got my coaching license while playing in Spain. I wanted to get into coaching and have tried to learn from all the coaches I’ve had in my professional career. Now that my professional playing career is over, I feel it’s an amazing opportunity for me to be at a club like East Bengal and work alongside Coach Carles and Coach Bino, who have immense knowledge and experience. I’ve played under him in the past and we share a common philosophy and understanding of the game.”

He added, “I have played in India before, so I have a fair idea of the competitiveness in Indian football. East Bengal is a historic club with a legacy of over 100 years. I am proud to be associated with this great club. I can’t wait to see the passionate Red & Gold fans.”

Delgado was a vital cog in BFC’s midfield during his four-year Hero ISL stint between 2017 and 2021, registering 4 goals, 14 assists, 198 tackles, 83 interceptions and 74 clearances in 67 matches.

A product of the FC Gramenet academy, Delgado was part of Pep Guardiola’s FC Barcelona B from 2006 to 2008 before joining CD Numancia, where he made his La Liga debut in 2008.

Later, between 2011 and 2015, Mr Delgado competed in the Segunda División with FC Cartagena and Recreativo de Huelva before moving to the A-League side Western Sydney Wanderers for a two-year spell till 2017. He last represented the Spanish club CF Montañesa before drawing curtains on his playing career.

Speaking about the appointment of the assistant coach, Mr Debabrata Mukherjee of Emami Group said, “We are delighted to welcome Dimas Delgado as our Assistant Coach. The wealth of experience that he has across continents as a player, including his time in India, makes him an ideal choice for the role. We believe that he can assist Coach Carles in bringing the best out of the squad. Dimas will work closely with Bino George, our Assistant Coach from India, to identify and groom a pipeline of talented footballers, which will go a long way in providing not just a balanced mix of youth and experience, but also a long-term inventory of talent for the squad.”

Commenting on the occasion East Bengal FC head coach Cuadrat stated, “Dimas knows Indian football pretty well and was part of the leadership group during our fantastic run with Bengaluru FC. He will serve as a bridge between the players and the coaching staff, and we are very happy to bring him on board.”

Prabir Das, Pablo Perez, and Prince Ibara depart Bengaluru FC

Hero Indian Super League (ISL) side Bengaluru FC, on Tuesday, announced the departure of three players from their squad - defender Prabir Das, midfielder Pablo Perez, and forward Prince Ibara.

Das signed for the Blues ahead of the Hero ISL 2021-22 campaign while Perez joined forces in the winter transfer window. Meanwhile, Ibara – who has been with the club since the 2021-22 season – was ruled out due to an injury and made just a single appearance in the 2022-23 season.

A two-time Hero ISL champion with then ATK FC, Das played two seasons with ATK Mohun Bagan before making the switch to Bengaluru FC. Deployed as a right wing-back under head coach Simon Grayson, the 29-year-old made 16 appearances in the Hero ISL 2022-23 season.

While he might have had a contrasting attribute as a defender in comparison to his left wing-back Roshan Naorem, the defender excelled defensively, making 50 tackles, 45 clearances, 28 blocks, and 22 interceptions besides contributing to an assist.

Spaniard Perez, on the other hand, clocked just 331 minutes across 14 games and was named in the starting lineup just once. Nonetheless, the midfielder had quite an impact from the bench, registering two goals and creating eight chances with his limited game time.

Meanwhile, Prince Ibara couldn’t offer much after a long-term injury that ruled him out for the majority of the season. The striker scored four times and provided an assist under former head coach Marco Pezzaiuoli in the 2021-22 campaign but has been out of action since his injury during the Durand Cup.

The trio are the latest to head towards the exit door after Alan Costa parted ways with the club earlier in May. With numerous changes happening around the club, the Blues will be eager to re-develop their squad ahead of the upcoming summer transfer window.