Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson headlines a list of 35 names shortlisted for the post of the Indian football team coach, which also includes the highly successful ex-Bengaluru FC manager Albert Roca.
The much-traveled Sven-Goran, a Swede, and Spaniard Roca apart, Tommy Taylor (England), Hakan Ericson (Sweden), Tomislav Sivic (Serbia), Lee Clark (England) and Lucas Alcaraz Gonzalez (Spain) are some of the other candidates shortlisted for the coveted post.
Sven-Goran, who was in charge of England for five years until 2006, had last month expressed his interest regarding the job to the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
The Indian team’s spirited showings in recent times had a ripple effect with the position of the men’s coach attracting over 250 applications, an unprecedented number that also includes some well-known names from Europe.
The post has been left vacant since Stephen Constantine resigned after the Indian team’s failure to make the knockout round of the AFC Asian Cup.
“The federation has received over 250 applications. 125 were selected after that and out of which 80 qualified as per the AIFF’s requirements. After that, around 35-40 names, based on various criteria, have been forwarded to the technical committee. Seven to eight will be called for the final interviews, following which the appointment will be made,” an AIFF official told PTI on the condition of anonymity.
As a manager, the 71-year-old Eriksson won 18 trophies with various clubs in Sweden, Portugal and Italy, between 1979 and 2000, and became the first manager to win league-and-cup doubles in three countries.
However, the Swede was not as successful in international football. Besides England, he had managed the national teams of Mexico, Philippines and the Ivory Coast.
Under Roca, Bengaluru FC played four finals in his two seasons in charge – making the final of the AFC Cup in 2016, the Federation Cup in 2017 and the ISL and Super Cup in 2018. Under his charge, Bengaluru FC won the Federation Cup and the Super Cup, but missed out on the AFC Cup and the ISL titles.
In a managerial career of over two decades, the 52-year-old Alcaraz competed in 10 La Liga seasons at Recreativo, Racing de Santander, Granada and Levante. He was also in charge of five clubs in Segunda Division (second division), winning promotion with Recreativo and Murcia.
The 58-year-old Hakan Ericson, during his playing career, turned out for Swedish sides Aby IF, FK Kick and IK Sleipner.
During his playing career, the 46-year-old Clark had spells with English Premier League sides Newcastle United, Sunderland and Fulham, besides making 11 appearances for the England under-21 team during his international career.
After retiring he began a coaching career as reserve team manager and coach for Newcastle United. He then had managerial spells at Huddersfield Town, Birmingham City, Blackpool, Kilmarnock and Bury.