Savio Medeira has been in the news after recently being appointed as the interim technical director of AIFF in place of Isac Doru. But who is Savio Medeira, and what has he done to Indian football? Let’s find out.
Savio Medeira was born on March 20, 1965 in Margao. Savio made his debut for the local club Salgaocar FC at the tender age of 18 before playing for them for the next 17 years. A midfielder by trade, Savio won two rover cups in 1990 and 1997, the federation cup in 1997 and even the National football league in 1998 with Salgaocar FC. Having played for a single club throughout his career, Savio announced his retirement age of 35.
After retiring as a player, Savio stepped into coaching in 2000 when he became the assistant coach of Salgaocar FC. He was the assistant coach for the 2000-01 season before being promoted as the head coach from the 2001 season. In this first season as head coach, Savio led Salgaocar to a fourth-place finish in the 2001-02 season. In the 2002-03 season, Salgaocar FC finished runners-up to East Bengal under Savio. The 2003-04 season was the most successful for Savio as coach of Salgaocar FC, as they won the Durand Cup in 2003, beating East Bengal on penalties.
However, things started to go downhill for Savio and Salgaocar. They finished seventh in the 2004-05 season before getting relegated in the 2005-06 season. Salgaocar had to spend just one season in the NFL 2nd division as they were promoted back to the I-league in the 2007-08 season. However, under head coach Savio Medeira, Salgaocar FC suffered relegation once again, resulting in the sack of their coach. Savio managed 135 games for Salgaocar, winning 44 games, drawing 45 games and losing 46 games.
After being sacked as the coach of Salgaocar FC, Savio was appointed as the assistant coach to Bob Houghton on the Indian national football team. During Savio’s stint as an assistant coach, India won 2 Nehru Cups and the AFC Challenge Cup and qualified for the 2011 Asian Cup. However, India lost all three games in the Asian cup of 2011, leading to Bob Houghton getting sacked.
After the sack of Bob, Armando Colaco was appointed his successor, and Savio retained his place as an assistant coach. While assisting Armando, India experienced a dip in form as they slipped a few FIFA rankings. Armando was sacked after getting knocked out of the 2014 world cup qualifiers, but Savio stayed on and got promoted as the head coach.
His first assignment as head coach was to win the SAFF cup in 2011. Just two months into his role as the head coach of India, he led India to the SAFF cup after beating Afghanistan 4-0 in the final. After his successful first assignment as head coach, Savio was tasked with doing well in the AFC Challenge cup. However, India lost all three matches of the AFC Challenge Cup, and Savio’s deal was terminated. Savio was the head coach during India’s infamous tie against Bayern Munich in 2012, which India lost 4-0. Under Savio Medeira, India played 15 games, winning 5, drawing two and losing eight games.
After his deal as a head coach was terminated, Savio stayed on to be the assistant to the new coach Wim Koevermans until 2015. In 2015, Savio endured a brief stint with the India U-23 side as their head coach. Savio was also appointed as the technical director of AIFF in 2017, replacing Scott O’Donnell. He retained his post for two years until Isac Doru replacedhim in 2019. Until recently, Savio was the Head of Coach Education of the AIFF.
During his first stint as technical director, Savio did put a lot of emphasis on football development for youth and the introduction of baby leagues in India. During his second stint as the technical director of AIFF, although interim, Savio would want to use his vast experience of being in Indian football. The changes and reforms he would bring to Indian football remain to be seen.
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