Indian Super League (ISL) winner Dimas Delgado has joined East Bengal FC as their new assistant coach on a two-year contract, the club announced on Wednesday, May 24.
The 40-year-old will second the newly-appointed club head coach Carles Cuadrat, under whose stewardship Delgado played at Bengaluru FC in the past.
The Spanish midfielder helped Blues finish as runner-up in his maiden ISL season before celebrating the ISL title with BFC a year later, during the 2018-19 season. It was his corner kick that set up the winning goal for Rahul Bheke, propelling BFC to victory against FC Goa in the 2018-19 Hero ISL final.
During his time in the ISL, Delgado showcased his versatility, scoring four goals and providing 14 assists in 67 matches. He was not only an attacking threat but also contributed defensively with 198 tackles, 83 interceptions, and 74 clearances.
Dimas Delgado’s journey in professional football began at the FC Gramenet Academy. He further went on to feature in FC Barcelona B’s team under the guidance of Pep Guardiola between 2006 and 2008.
In 2008, Delgado made his debut in Spain’s La Liga with CD Numancia. He then went on to compete in the Segunda División with FC Cartagena and Recreativo de Huelva from 2011 to 2015.
Delgado then embarked on a two-year spell with the A-League side, Western Sydney Wanderers, until 2017. He last represented the Spanish club CF Montañesa before hanging up his boots.
“Proud to be associated with this great club” – Dimas Delgado on being appointed as East Bengal FC’s assistant coach
Dimas Delgado has very recently concluded his playing career and has minimal experience in coaching. However, he is already a UEFA A license holder and his familiarity with Indian football will be a huge boost for the Torchbearers.
Delgado, in collaboration with Bino George, the club’s Indian Assistant Coach, will focus on identifying and nurturing a pipeline of talented footballers. This strategic approach aims to ensure long-term development, a vision that East Bengal has often lacked in the recent past.
Expressing his elation about the new venture with the Kolkata Giants, Dimas Delgado said:
“I got my coaching licenses while playing in Spain. I wanted to get into coaching and have tried to learn from all the coaches I’ve had in my professional career. Now that my professional playing career is over, I feel it’s an amazing opportunity for me to be at a club like East Bengal and work alongside Coach Carles and Coach Bino, who have immense knowledge and experience.”
“I’ve played under him in the past and we share a common philosophy and understanding of the game,” he added, “I have played in India before, so I have a fair idea of the competitiveness in Indian football. East Bengal is a historic club with a legacy of over 100 years. I am proud to be associated with this great club. I can’t wait to see the passionate Red & Gold fans.”
Meanwhile, Carlos Cuadrat himself expressed satisfaction with Delgado’s appointment. He highlighted Delgado’s familiarity with Indian football and his integral role in Bengaluru FC’s success.
“Dimas knows Indian football pretty well and was part of the leadership group during our fantastic run with Bengaluru FC,” Cuadrat said. “He will serve as a bridge between the players and the coaching staff, and we are very happy to bring him on board.”
With the primary coaching setup now close to being complete, East Bengal can now focus on acquiring some top talents and replenishing what has been an underperforming squad over the past seasons.