Youth World Cup winning Brazilian joins FC Pune City replaces Ranko Popovic as the Stallions’ head coach.
FC Pune City announced the departure of Ranko Popovic, who had led the franchise to their first appearance in the playoffs of the ISL in four years, on Wednesday. The ISL club have wasted no time in announcing his replacement, with the club issuing an official statement on the arrival of Marcos Paqueta.
Paqueta was a youth coach at Brazilian outfit Flamengo before he was offered the chance to take charge of the Brazilian national team for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2003. He would go on to win the tournament as well as the FIFA World Youth Championship in the same year, cementing his reputation as an excellent promoter of youth.
Marcos Paqueta has a strong reputation for promoting youngsters
The 59-year-old has also won two Youth World Cups with Brazil and famously won five titles in a single season during his time at Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal. The appointment of Paqueta is, without doubt, a coup for Pune City and for Indian football as a whole as the experienced Brazilian flew into Mumbai to finalize his move.
“He is a great find for us. He has won several major trophies in his career and won two (Junior) World Cups for Brazil. His penchant for youth is well-founded, and with so many of our foreign players from South America, he was the perfect fit.”
“From my conversations with the club, I understand that FC Pune City have a reputation for giving young footballers a great platform, a system that I have thrived in. There is huge potential at the club, and we will look to retain the core group of experienced players as well as some of the most exciting young talents in the League. I am excited for this new journey in India with FC Pune City,” said Marcos Paqueta.
The coach has won 22 trophies and has coached some of the best players in the world. He has spent 14 years in Asia and knows the conditions well. Having coached in difficult countries like Libya, Egypt and Iraq, he should be able to handle all the challenges here. We are excited to have him,” said a high-ranking club official to the Times of India after the signing was completed.
Indian football will welcome a coach with such immense experience and understanding of what it takes for a young player needs to prove himself in the game. The appointment could see Pune challenging for their very first ISL title, having lost out to Bengaluru FC in the semi-finals of the last edition of the league.