The Spaniard has an uphill task at hand for him in charge of the Juggernauts.

Ahead of the upcoming 2021-22 Indian Super League (ISL) season, Odisha FC have appointed 51-year-old Kiko Ramirez as their new head coach. Ramirez is hence the latest entrant to the influx of Spanish coaches in the Indian football. He replaced Stuart Baxter at the Juggernauts, who left the club in the middle of last season.

Odisha FC had a season to forget in the previous campaign, when they finished at the bottom of the standings. They could register only two wins to show for their underwhelming season. The team from Bhubaneswar also faced 12 losses, the most by any club in one season of the Indian top-flight league. After joining as the head coach, Kiko Ramirez will have a tough job at hand. He will need to guide a young Odisha side back on track.

In this article below, we will take a look at the background of Kiko Ramirez and how he sets up his gameplay. 

Career so far

Kiko Ramirez’ route to football management began after his retirement as a player in 2002. As a player, he played for a host of Spanish teams, like Gimnastic, Sabadell, Malaga and Tarrega. Playing as a forward, Ramirez had his personal best season in his lone year at Sabadell. Between 1996-1997, the forward scored 18 goals in 35 appearances, which earned him a move to Malaga. 

He retired at the end of the 2001-02 season while playing for Tarraga and went into management immediately. He served as an assistant coach for Gimnastic for five years till 2007 and then as a youth coach for a further three years till 2010. 

Kiko Ramirez
Ramirez has no prior experience in Asian Football

His first job in full-time management came with CF Pobla de Mafumet, playing in the Tercera division. He soon returned to his boyhood club Gimnastic as manager at the start of the 2012-13 season. However, a single win in the first eight games meant he had to move on. 

Kiko Ramirez was appointed as the manager of Hospitalet in 2013. In his first season at the club, the Spaniard managed to finish second in the league. Later, he failed in their promotion bid after losing in the playoffs. In his second and final season at the club, they finished outside the playoff spots and the tactician quit at the end of the season.

After leaving Hospitalet, Ramirez took charge of Castellon, with whom he had another failed promotion bid, losing in the playoffs again. Later in 2017, he took charge of Polish club Wisla Krakow for a short period of six months.  

After taking a break for a year, Ramirez returned to management with Sabadell. However, a poor run of results continued, which resulted in the club replacing him. 

Now, for his latest venture, The Spaniard has come to India with no prior knowledge of Indian or Asian football. 

Coaching style

Kiko Ramirez’ teams play a 4-2-3-1 formation, predominantly aiming to control the proceedings and exert themselves on the opposition. With a fluid brand of football on display, technical ability needs to be spread evenly across the squad. This is because his teams tend to play out from the back.

As a results, it is very essential for the whole team to have enough technical ability to cope with the demands of his style of football. 

The tactician has never achieved promotion or won any trophy in his managerial career. So, the jury is still out on whether Ramirez is the right person for the Juggernauts, until he showcases his skills in Indian football in the upcoming season.

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