Only three foreign coaches who have worked in India had previous experience of managing teams in Copa America…
Copa America 2021 is underway and the top teams of South America are in action in Brazil.
It is one of the most-watched international competitions in India as numerous fans who support Brazil and Argentina.
But did you know that there are three coaches who have managed teams in Copa America and has also worked as managers in the Indian Super League (ISL)?
Let’s find out who they are.
Which coaches have managed in Copa America and in India?
Antonio Habas (Bolivia, Copa America 1997)
With two ISL titles in his kitty, Spanish coach Antonio Lopez Habas is the most successful coach in the history of the league and is one of the finest tacticians working in India at present. But winning the ISL title twice is not the only achievement in Habas’ prolonged managerial career.
In 1997, a 40-year-old Habas had led underdogs Bolivia to the final of the Copa America, their best finish in the competition since 1963 when they had won the title. Bolivia topped their group which comprised of teams like Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela and then defeated Colombia and Mexico in the quarterfinal and semifinal respectively to reach the final.
Unfortunately, they lost to a star-studded and then reigning World Cup champions Brazil, who had players like Romario, Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos, 3-1 and finished runners-up.
Alexandre Guimaraes (Costa Rica, Copa America 2001)
Costa Rican manager Alexandre Guimaraes was in charge of Mumbai City FC in two ISL seasons (2016, 2017-18). The Islanders had topped the league stage in 2016 under his tutelage but were knocked out of the play0offs by eventual champions ATK FC. It was the club’s best finish in the league until last season when they topped the league stage as well as won the ISL title.
In 2001, Guimaraes was in charge of the Costa Rica national team and had guided them to the quarterfinal of Copa America that year. Costa Rica topped their group which had teams like Honduras, Uruguay and Bolivia.
In the quarterfinal though, they lost to Uruguay 2-1 and their campaign came to an end.
Cesar Farias (Bolivia, Copa America 2021)
Former NorthEast United coach Cesar Farias is in charge of the Bolivian national team at present and is currently leading the team in the ongoing Copa America 2021. Bolivia are currently last in Group A as they lost their first two matches against Paraguay (3-1) and Chile (1-0). They next face Uruguay on June 24.
Farias was in charge of the Highlanders in ISL 2015 where they finished fifth on the points table with 20 points from 14 matches.