After a stellar year in the 2019-20 season in which FC Goa looked set to top the table and become the first Indian club to play in the group stage of the AFC Champions League, few would have expected what was about to happen. However, FC Goa shocked the Indian football world by announcing that they had prematurely terminated the contract of Sergio Lobera, the man who built that team from the ground up and made them one of the strongest teams in India. The Gaur army was understandably shocked, and now with a lot of key players looking like they might move on, Goa might be in need of a rebuild ahead of the 2020-21 season. And the man that the boardroom think would bring Goa back to the heights of last season is Juan Ferrando, the young 39 year-old manager hailing from Barcelona, Spain. After reports that the likes of Dunga or Guus Hiddink were all interested in the post as the new manager, this may come as a surprise for most, but an inside source from FC Goa has leaked to the press that the manager is already in advanced talks with the club. So now, at IFTWC will answer the question on most of your minds ; who is Juan Ferrando?
Born in Barcelona, Ferrando was never a player but had his first managing role at the age of only 28, with CE Premià in the 4th division of Spanish football. He did his coaching education with RCD Espanyol and Barcelona ‘B’, before deciding to make the leap into management. Since then, he worked his way up the ladder in Spanish football, and the highest level he managed to reach was the assistant manager of top flight club Málaga’s ‘B’ team. He then moved to Moldova for a brief stint where he ran the training sessions of Sheriff Tiraspol, before getting his first taste of top flight management with Ergotelis FC, a Greek Superleague side in 2014. Bizarrely, he was fired only two matches into the 2014-15 season for an argument with the boardroom. After a brief stint back in Spain coaching in the second division, Ferrando found himself back in Greece, this time managing Volos FC who were in the 3rd tier of Greek football. This has been his claim to fame so far, managing to drag Volos all the way to the Superleague in just 2 seasons, becoming a fan favorite and well-known across Europe before leaving the club in 2020 due to an eye infection which caused him to lose most of his eyesight. After recovering from the bacteria, he found himself being offered the jobs of many top flight clubs across Europe, but still finds himself unemployed as of April 2020. It was then that FC Goa reached out to him, impressed by his work at Volos FC.
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Ferrando is known for playing an expansive style of football similar to Sergio Lobera, with quick passes and attacking fluid football being his philosophy, which is similar to Lobera and exactly what Goa was looking for. FC Goa and the Gaur Army will be hoping that Ferrando’s brand of football will help Goa to their first ISL trophy in 2020-21, as well as become potential giant-killers in the 2021 AFC Champions League. While the coach’s agent has confirmed that he is in advanced talks with the club, nothing has been made official yet, with the announcement expected to in the coming weeks.