Former Barcelona midfielder and Juvenil A coach, Oscar Garcia was introduced to the media as the head coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv football club. The 39-year-old Garcia has signed a two-year contract with the Israeli side after resigning as coach of Barcelona’s youth team. This will be Garcia’s first stint with a senior team and he addressed the press gathered at the club’s training complex at Kiryat Shalom with the help of a translator. “I had better financial offers, but I preferred to come here because of the challenge,” Garcia said. “I had the opportunity to become the Barcelona B coach in two years time, but I wanted to come here as I feel ready to be the Maccabi coach. I will certainly try to make Maccabi the Barcelona of Israel.”
About his new role, Garcia said on the club’s official site, “I am honoured to be joining a club with such a great history. I am looking forward to all the challenges that lay ahead and I am committed to do my best for the club.”
He added, “I can’t promise to win titles, but I promise to do my best,” Oscar said. “I expect to succeed and will invest a lot of work with the players. I want to make the fans happy and the fact that I’m a foreigner will not be a problem.”
Maccabi sports director Jordi Cruyff was pleased with Garcia’s appointment and believes his arrival is a sign of good things to come. “I’m delighted that we have been able to attract to Maccabi Tel Aviv a coach of Oscar’s calibre especially as he had several other options,” he said. “I think he perfectly fits in to the profile that the ownership is looking for. He’s a young coach and he’s open minded and he wants to work very hard. I’m very happy he made this step because it is not an easy step and good coaches are wanted by many. In 5-10 years time I think we will be proud to say that we helped Oscar at the start of his career.”
Maccabi last won the championship in 2002-’03 and even though they have the biggest budget of all the clubs in the Israeli league, they managed to finish only sixth last season. The club is counting on Garcia to bring Barca’s entertaining style and change the fortunes of the club.
Source: www.fifa.com, The Jerusalem Post; Photo credit: AP Photo/Ariel Schalit