Albert Roca (TOI Photo)
HYDERABAD: Hyderabad FC and Albert Roca have decided to part ways after working out a mutual termination of the Spaniard’s two-year contract.
The 57-year-old, who had taken charge as the club’s head coach in June, submitted a request to be relieved of his duties following FC Barcelona approaching him to join as a coach for the first team.
After talks, Hyderabad FC decided 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 under Dutchman Frank Rijkaard.
Roca will join newly-appointed head coach Ronald Koeman at FC Barcelona as a fitness coach. The Catalan club appointed Koeman after their humiliating exit in the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, where they lost 8-2 to eventual champions Bayern Munich.
Albert Roca said, “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.”
Before joining Hyderabad FC, Roca had previously served as Bengaluru FC’s head coach, where he led the team to the 2016 AFC Cup final and the 2017-18 ISL final.
“I wish HFC the very best for the upcoming season. I will be assisting the management during the transition phase. The club is in great hands and I will be following the club this season and in the future,” Roca added.
Varun Tripuraneni, co-owner, Hyderabad FC said, “I congratulate Albert as he is set for is new role at FC Barcelona. While parting ways with him has been tough to come to terms with, Albert has shown utmost professionalism in his approach and working ways with us right from the start in January to date.”
“While the going was tough at the club initially, Albert gave the entire club – players, support staff, and fans enormous faith and confidence. Albert leaves us, putting the club in a good position from where we can build upon. I wish him all the success with his new role,” he added.
Hyderabad FC will announce the new head coach in the coming days.