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ISL 2020 -- Albert Roca leaves Hyderabad FC to join Ronald Koeman at FC Barcelona

HYDERABAD FC HEAD COACH Albert Roca is leaving the ISL franchise to become a staff with the FC Barcelona first team.

Roca, who during his tenure at Bengaluru FC helped the club reach the AFC Cup final, won them a Super Cup title and helped them top the ISL table by a record 7 point margin in their debut season at the tournament, previously worked at the La Liga giants under manager Frank Rijkaard.

Albert Roca at the Kanteerava Stadium in 2017

A statement released by Hyderabad FC said,

"The 57-year-old Spaniard who had formally taken charge at the Indian Super League side in June, had put in a request to be relieved of his duties following Spanish giants FC Barcelona’s offer to join the first team staff under a new management. After lengthy deliberations, Hyderabad FC has taken the decision to allow Albert Roca, who hails from Catalonia, to rejoin the club where he was part of the first team staff from 2003 to 2008. Roca will link up with newly appointed boss Ronald Koeman at FC Barcelona."

Roca, who has been associated with Indian football since 2016, said about his return to Barcelona,

“For me, it’s been a tough decision to make. I am thankful to everyone at HFC for showing immense faith in me since I joined back in January. I am aware that all our fans will be disheartened but believe me, it’s not an easy goodbye for me either. I wish HFC the very best for the upcoming season and the future and I am extremely positive that Hyderabad FC will be one of the top sides this season. I will be assisting the management during the transition phase. Trust me, the club is in great hands and I will be following the club this season and in the future.”

Last year, Roca was considered a frontrunner for the role of the head coach of the Indian national team. He has also been one of the candidates of choice for multiple ISL franchises. When Hyderabad FC managed to sign him it was considered a massive coup for the 2019-born franchise that finished bottom of the table last season.

Now left without their head coach, Hyderabad FC will have to return to the drawing board and find themselves a new gaffer to helm their attempt to stage a comeback in ISL 2020-21.

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