ISL 2020-21: Bengaluru FC have appointed Marco Pezzaiuoli as the club’s head coach on a three-year performance-based contract that runs till the end of the 2023-24 season, the Blues announced on Friday.
A German-born Italian, Pezzaiuoli’s first assignment will be leading Bengaluru in the AFC Cup Preliminary Stage Two game that takes place on April 14. The 52-year-old’s most recent stint was with Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt where he served as Technical Director.
“I’m very proud to be a part of Bengaluru FC, and excited about the challenge to bring the team back to the top. I am always keen to gather experiences in life and football and to be able to make a difference wherever I go. I’m also keen to share my experience to help Indian football grow. I’m really looking forward to joining the team as soon as I can,” Pezzaiuoli said in a statement.
Pezzaiuoli started his coaching career as the Youth Director at Karlsruher SC, while his first stint outside Germany was with Suwon Samsung Bluewings FC in South Korea, where he won the K-League and K-League Cup in 2004.
He returned to Germany after and took charge of the German youth teams. With the likes of Mario Gotze, Marc Andre ter Stegen, Shokradan Mustafi and Bernd Leno, his U17 side won the European Championship in 2009. Along with Matthias Sammer, he put together a new football philosophy and training program for the national team ahead of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He also worked as the team analyst for Germany at Euro 2008.
Pezzaiuoli then joined Ralf Rangnick as an assistant at TSG Hoffenheim, coaching players like Robert Firmino, Gylfi Sigurdsson and David Alaba. He also acted as the interim coach of Hoffenheim and played a key role in making sure the young team staved off relegation from the Bundesliga. His experience in Asia also includes stints at Cerezo Osaka (Japan) and Guangzhou Evergrande FC (China).
Club CEO, Mandar Tamhane said, “When we parted ways with Carles Cuadrat in the middle of our ongoing Indian Super League season, we were in no rush to find a replacement simply because we had the long-term in mind. As always, we stayed true to our processes and were willing to wait it out till we found the perfect appointment who we thought could lead our vision ahead, and we seem to have found our man in Marco.”
In January, Bengaluru parted ways with Carles Cuadrat and Naushad Moosa was appointed as interim head coach.