“I will come back because I love the country [India] and its people,” Carles Cuadrat had said when he was back in Europe, working as an assistant coach of Midtjylland.
The Spaniard has kept his word, returning to Indian football as the head coach of Indian Super League (ISL) side East Bengal for the next season.
In an interview with Sportstar from March, Cuadrat revealed that to be a successful club, it will need to focus on data-based analysis to scout youngsters for development.
“A club with a long history needs to be very good at scouting and to be really good at data. I think it’s the future of football,” he said.
Cuadrat, who led Bengaluru FC to its maiden and only ISL title, added that technology, along with the timing of signing youngsters are the recipes of success for a team.
“Teams need to try to get players in the right moment. It’s always about who is the faster team to sign the new talent,” he said.
“It’s happening in Europe for the last 10 years already, but in Asia, for example, in India, it’s starting with some clubs really signing talents when they are really young. And taking care of them to make a good squad.”
Citing the example of ATK Mohun Bagan (now Mohun Bagan SuperGiants), he said that the club was ‘very fast and clever’ in signing attacking talents Manvir Singh and Liston Colaco.
“I remember I saw Manvir at the Santosh Trophy. I was going to Goa for scouting and I was travelling with Mandar Tamhane (Bengaluru FC CEO) and we found that player we said this is a good player for the future,” he said.
As the assistant coach of Danish side FC Midtjylland, the 54-year-old had paired with former Barcelona academy chief Albert Capellas in his last job.
Under the duo, the three-time first-division champion hammered Serie A giant Lazio in the Europa League last September in what was the biggest historical win achieved by a Danish team in European competition.
Midtjylland is one of the pioneers of quantitative analysis in football. From the sprints, ball-control to dribbling – everything is caged and checked in terms of numbers there.
Cuadrat, with his data analysis work at Midtjylland and his experience, might prove to be the perfect fit for the Red and Golds.
“The kind of new technologies that we deduced at Midtjylland will be part of modern football in the next few years. I’m 100 per cent sure of that,” he said.
Cuadrat also comes with proven experience in grooming youngsters to success, back from his days at the Barcelona Academy to assisting youngsters like Raphael Onyedika and Gustav Isaksen at his immediate former club.
While Onyedika moved to Brugge, Isaksen reportedly remains an interest for Premier League leader Arsenal. At Bengaluru FC, Nishu Kumar (then 21) and Udanta Singh (then 22) were two of the best players who have become regulars in the National team now.
This should be music to EBFC fans’ ears, with the club looking for a renaissance after finishing in the lower rungs of ISL for the last couple of years. The Spaniard further added that his goal here would also be the progress of Indian football beyond just ISL success.
“I know a lot of players here and also the coaches. I know the story behind and I’m ready to see the evolution of all of that. I love Indian football and I’m always thinking that maybe one of the new talents can go to Europe and I, as a coach, can help them progress,” he said.
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