The 47-year-old Argentina-born Spanish manager was hugely successful at Gokulam Kerala winning the Kerala Premier League in 2017-18 and the prestigious Durand Cup last year. The Malabarians had a fairly decent run the 2019-20 I-League as well until it was abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to joining GKFC, Varela was coach at Catalonian club CF Gavà who primarily played in the third and fourth tier of the Spanish league system. The UEFA Pro Licence holder started his career as a coach with the football academy Fundación Marcet and was also coordinator at CD Almeda between 2011 and 2014.
Valera is also known for his book on grassroots training, “Futbol Inteligente,” which he wrote when he was a coach in the city of Barcelona.