Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Bengaluru connection in Bangladesh football

Holding a UEFA Pro License coaching degree and joining another Spaniard, he landed up in the Garden City to head a private football academy more than a decade ago. He then joined the same country mate, assisting him in Goa for an I-League Club. Post that he was attached to a football academy as a Technical Director in Numaligarh Refinery Limited, Assam and then until Covid stuck the world, he was heading the La Liga’s interests in India. 

Javier Cabrera and Oscar Bruzon’s association go a long way. Javier continued Oscar Bruzon’s work at SPT Sports Bangalore and then joined him at Sporting Clube de Goa. 

So, after successfully managing the Bashundhara Kings club in Bangladesh when Oscar suggested Javier to apply for the Bangladesh Senior National Football team head coach, he grabbed the opportunity in both hands. His first experience independently managing a senior national football team after spending several years in the Indian subcontinent. 

The ongoing Bangabandhu SAFF Championship in the Garden City has generated a lot of interest among the Bangladeshi sports lovers. Around 20 media houses are present here. 

Javier is excited to be back in Bangalore. While there are several challenges of managing a senior football team, his contract was extended for one more year, till December 2023. 

Ranked 192 in FIFA ranking Bangladesh played an impressive game against 99th ranked Lebanon in their opening game. The minnows held the much higher ranked opponent to a goalless draw till 79th minute when the boys ran out of steam and succumbed to a two-goal defeat. 

Javier was impressed by the performance of his boys. The next game, against Maldives, again a higher ranked team, was a make-or-break game as far as Bangladesh is concerned. They were down by a goal when the game was 17 minute old, but the boys showed character, and rallied back to win by 3-1 margin.  

When this article gets published, Javier’s boys will be ready to take on Bhutan, ranked few notches above in FIFA ranking. Should Bangladesh win, which is well within the realm of the possible, they will make it to the last four of Bangabandhu SAFF Championship.

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