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‘I’m Italian, born in Germany, with Dutch mother… so, my football is a good mix’


New head coach Pezzaiuoli says BFC team has high quality players and good team spirit

Marco Pezzaiuoli oversaw his first training session — sans captain Sunil Chhetri who recently tested positive for COVID-19 — after being appointed as Bengaluru FC (BFC) head coach, on Friday.

The 52-year-old, who was previously technical director at Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt, and has worked extensively with the German youth teams, has taken charge ahead of the AFC Cup playoff tie next month. Excerpts from a media interaction:

People will say, ‘you are crazy’, because I left a top Bundesliga club which can reach the UEFA Champions League. [But] there was Corona and I am 52. Does not matter if it’s the highest league in the world or not. Football makes you happy.

Mandar [Tamhane, BFC CEO] told me about his project, to develop young players and be back at the top. The future is youth. Maybe that is why the club chose me as I used to work with a lot of young talent. I have never been to India, but every Sunday we eat Indian food in Germany. I am open-minded and I feel I have made the right decision.

I like to play with the ball. I do not want to kick and rush. The transition part is very important for me. The system depends on the players, whether it is 4-3-3 or something else. I’m Italian, born in Germany and my mother is Dutch. So, my football is a good mix.

Squad changes after below-par ISL season

We have high quality players and very good team spirit. Maybe we need one or two small changes. We are letting in a lot of goals. We got a central defender (Yrondu Musavu-King) because Juanan is injured and we needed a left-footed central defender for stability. It is a small, [but] key point in the team’s success.

Phasing out ageing stars like Sunil Chhetri, Juanan

It is not always the age, but quality that is important. Sunil is a very important player and Juanan is injured may be for the first time in his life. We will do what’s needed to bring a younger player, step by step.

Football is a process. Every player who comes in needs to make the team better.

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