FC Pune appoints Ranko Popovic as new head coach

Pune: Indian Super League (ISL) side FC Pune City today roped in Ranko Popovic as their new head coach for the 2017-18 season.

Popovic began his managerial career in 2001 with Austrian club TuS FC Arnfels followed by a stint with another Austrian club FC Pachern from 2004-2006.

In 2006, he took the reins of Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the J1 league for a year before going back to his homeland, coaching FC Spartak Subotica in the Serbian SuperLiga until 2009.

Popovic returned to Japan managing Oita Trinita, FC Machida Zelvia, FC Tokyo eventually climbing the progress ladder to manage Cerezo Osaka, one of the strongest teams in Japanese league football.

It was during his managerial stint when the club signed Uruguayan star Diego Forlan. During his time in Japan, he promoted several young players who went on to receive debut call-ups for the national team.

In 2014-15, he went to Spain to coach Segunda Division club Real Zaragoza where he led the team to finals of the La Liga play-offs.

A season later, he joined Thai Premier League Champions Buriram United FC where he won the Thai League Cup and Mekong Club Championship.

Commenting on the appointment, CEO of FC Pune City, Gaurav Modwel said: “In Ranko, we have a manager with distinguished coaching career spanning 15 years.

“His successful stints in different leagues vastly differing in cultural environment and football ecosystem, especially in Asia, makes him very relevant for a club like ours. Ranko is multilingual and believes strongly in developing youth players. (PTI)

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