Francisco Kiko Ramirez González has been named the new head coach of Odisha FC ahead of the ISL 2021-22 season. The Spaniard has signed a one-year contract with the club, with the option to extend it at the conclusion of the season.
Ramirez has taken over as head coach of Odisha FC from Stuart Baxter, under who the club finished at the bottom last season.
Odisha FC President, Raj Athwal welcomed Ramirez stating that his expertise will bring loads of value to the club. Athwal also highlighted the vision of the Spaniard and how he can make Odisha FC a successful club.
“We are delighted to welcome Coach Ramirez to the Odisha family. He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the club and has an impressive record with the clubs he has managed in Europe. Throughout the process, he impressed with his vision and ambition and demonstrated a desire to create a winning mentality at Odisha Football Club. I am sure our supporters and everyone in Odisha will welcome Coach Ramirez with open arms. We wish him well in achieving success for our football club,” said Raj Athwal.
Ramirez was also overwhelmed to join Odisha FC stating that he is excited about this project and will make the club a tough and strong side.
“I am very excited to arrive in India and start working on this amazing project with Odisha FC to make our fans feel proud of the team. We are going to work hard to build a strong team with good players that represent our fan base.”
Kiko Ramirez’s footballing career
Kiko Ramirez began his football journey with Gimnastic’s youth squad before moving up to the senior club. He also played for a number of other clubs in Spain, including Sabadell, Malaga, Ceuta, and Cartagonova, before opting to retire and pursue a coaching career.
Ramirez commenced his managing career with Spanish club Gimnastic in 2002 as an assistant manager and then as the club’s Youth Coach. The Spaniard joined Pobla Mafumet in 2010 and returned to Gimnastic in 2012.
The 51-year-old has also coached several Spanish clubs like CE L’Hospitalet, CD Castellon, and CE Sabadell, as well as Nastic de Tarragona in Spain’s highest level. His first international experience was with Polish club Wisla Krakow in 2017. Before joining Odisha FC, he was the coach of AO Xanthi FC in 2019.