At long last…
Mumbai City FC have formally announced the appointment of former FC Goa manager Sergio Lobera as their new Head Coach. Lobera was let go by FC Goa under controversial circumstances while the club was on top of the 2019-20 ISL with three games left in the league stage. FC Goa went on to pick up the League Winners Shield last season and will play in the AFC Champions League next year.
After impressive stints as a manger with a couple of lower division Spanish clubs, Lobera joined La Masia (FC Barcelona’s youth academy) as a coach in 1997. He went onto manage the FC Barcelona C side in 2006-07 in the fourth tier Tercera División.
Over the next few years, the Spaniard managed a number of teams in the third and fourth tier of the Spanish league system up until 2012 when he was appointed assistant coach at FC Barcelona under manager Tito Vilanova. However, he resigned from the position after a short while and took over managerial duties at UD Las Palmas.
The 43-year-old joined Moroccan club Moghreb Tétouan in 2014 and was managing the club up until 2017 when he received an offer to join FC Goa. At Goa over the next three seasons, he built and facilitated an attractive style of play and tasted silverware in the form of the Super Cup which the Gaurs won in 2019. The team were on course to win the league (and eventually did) when he was sacked after allegedly getting into several run-ins with the Board of Directors.
One of the key components of Lobera’s success were his contingent of players from his time in Morocco – namely Ahmed Jahouh, Mourtada Fall and Hugo Boumous – the latter picked up the ISL Player of the Tournament in the 2019-20 season. Having left FC Goa, the trio are expected to follow the manager to Mumbai City FC.
Armed with the financial might of new owners City Football Group (CFG), Mumbai City FC have been splurging hard in the transfer market and Lobera is just one of their big money signings – the arrivals of Hugo Boumous and former Premier League striker Adam Le Fondre will be announced soon.
Lobera will be joined by his former staff at FC Goa in assistant coach Jesús Tato and fitness and conditioning coach, Manuel Sayabera.
I am absolutely delighted to join Mumbai City FC. I have enjoyed my time in the ISL so far, but for me there is still much to be achieved and I believe we will have the players, partners and management to be very competitive next season.
I think the Islanders have huge potential and I’m looking forward to working with the players as soon as possible.
The opportunity to work with Mumbai City FC and City Football Group in the next chapter of my career was also a big attraction of the role and I am impressed by the infrastructure, connectivity and thinking that goes across all of their clubs around the world.Sergio Lobera to Mumbai City FC