As exclusively reported by TOI in its August 25 edition, Roca was invited by newly-appointed Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman to join his support staff at the club.
Barcelona have now confirmed that the Spaniard will be the fitness coach for the first team. “Albert Roca will be the new fitness coach working alongside @RonaldKoeman.
Barça would like to thank @HydFCOfficial for allowing Roca, who was at Barça during the Frank Rijkaard era, to return, and wishes them every success in the next @IndSuperLeague,” Barcelona said in a statement on Saturday.
Hyderabad FC honours Albert Roca’s request to join the first-team staff at La Liga giants @FCBarcelona.Full Club… https://t.co/8RJFd3h7CN
— Hyderabad FC (@HydFCOfficial) 1598700603000
When Barcelona come calling, it’s always difficult for anyone to turn down the opportunity, least of them Roca, who spent five years at his boyhood club.
Hyderabad too knew they had lost the coach even before a formal termination was agreed.
“The city of Barcelona has been my home for a long time now, and previously working with FC Barcelona was one of the best moments of my career in football. We made countless memories and had amazing experiences during that time, and since FC Barcelona has been my boyhood club, this opportunity was something I couldn’t ignore,” said Roca.
While a termination has now been mutually agreed and club sources said the Spanish coach is in “regular touch to help with the transition” the process may not be smooth.
Roca leaves behind his assistant Javier Gurri Lopez at Hyderabad, while the club has also made two other appointments, goalkeeping coach Marc Gamon Gil and strength and conditioning coach Jose Carlos Barraso.