Benito Floro represents a new hope for Canadian soccer
Former Real Madrid boss takes over men's national team
Looking and acting the part is usually a good thing to do on one’s first day at a new job.
You get to meet your colleagues, partners and make a first impression. Understandably, the more one switches jobs, the better they get at mastering the first day.
Benito Floro certainly looked the part on Friday afternoon.
Coincidentally clad in a white shirt and red tie, the 61-year-old was officially announced as the head coach of the Canadian Men’s National Soccer Team, an an event in Toronto.
Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) President Victor Montagliani was adamant that Floro is the right man for the job.
“Benito Floro is renowned for his tactical and strategic approach to the game and his influence in implementing a more attacking style of football in Spain,” said Montagliani speaking on the second floor of the Intercontinental Hotel.
“He’s somebody that will be able to influence not only the men’s program but also how we move forward.”
The CSA’s search for a coach lasted nine months as they thoroughly looked through five confederations. They finally got their man and Floro represents an ambitious hire for a program that is looking to make big strides in the coming years.
The 61-year-old gained recognition when leading modest outfit Albacete Balompie to two straight promotions and his success eventually led him to the Real Madrid hot seat where he became the youngest coach in the team’s storied history.
He won the Spanish League Cup and Supercopa in two seasons in the capital and his career has seen him manage teams in Japan, Mexico and Ecuador.
His versatility clearly appealed to an organization and team that has been playing some rigid football in recent years.
“Football is the same in Canada, in Japan, and in Europe,” said Floro. “Football for me is being able to play anywhere and in any condition.”
Spain have dominated international soccer in recent years having won the most recent World Cup and last two European Championships.
Many teams around the world have implemented Spanish systems and borrowed ideas from the success of the national team. Spanish players and, in fact, managers are hot commodities in the merry-go-round of soccer.
Canada is the latest country to jump on the trend and the move looks a smart one.
Floro possesses a degree in teaching and the CSA believes he is a great choice to usher in a new era of talent as the Men’s National Team looks to bring in a host of younger players.
Montagliani also made it clear that Floro will be working alongside Women’s team coach John Herdman and technical director Tony Fonseca to tackle broader issues and ensure congruency throughout the association.
When asked why a coaching position in Canada at this moment appealed to him, Floro paused and smiled.
If he can impart that same unapologetic belief on to a generation of young players, this move will have been a masterstroke.
Looking forward to the Gold Cup
Floro will officially take the post on Aug. 1.
Colin Miller, the current interim coach, will be managing the squad currently competing in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Canada are in a tough group alongside Martinique, Mexico and Panama.
Floro will be traveling to the tournament to watch the matches but he will have no contact with any members of the squad or staff.
Canada begin the tournament on July 7 when they take on Martinique in California.
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