Benito Montalvo wins the Indian Super League title as a member of the Hyderabad coaching staff.
The passion for football as a child in Córdoba. His jump to the Argentine First Division, and from there his European journey through Romania, Latvia, Spain and Finland… The time at the Marcet Academy and the signing for the Espanyol Academy, until his arrival at Hyderabad and the Indian Super League title he got. With all of you, Benito Montalvo.
Question.- How did you start your soccer career?
Answer.- My career was quite short. At the age of 17 I had the opportunity to make the leap to the Instituto Atlético Central Córdoba, a team from my city. At 19 I made my debut in the Argentinian First Division against Colón de Santa Fe. I was in that club for 5 years, and then I went to Central Córdoba, Club Tacuary and Deportivo Capiatá. Until I came to Europe, where I played for teams like Universitatea Cluj, in Romania, or Jurmala, in Latvia. My next stage was Barcelona, where I ended up hanging up my boots to dedicate myself to training.
Q.- How did you carry out this transition process?
A.- At Marcet I took the level I and II coaching courses. I also learned to use video analysis tools and studied to be a youth soccer coordinator at the Catalan Football Federation, a position I held for 3 years.
Q.- What were your duties at Marcet?
A.- I entered this football school at a time when it was becoming the great comprehensive academy that it is today. I started as an analyst and ended up as head of the Junior Professional Program, aimed at U-14 players. In addition, throughout these 5 years I was able to coordinate different training activities abroad, such as the Marcet Soccer Camps we carry out in Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, India, Lebanon, Peru, the United States and Morocco.
Q.- What did that experience leave you?
A.- One of the great advantages that Marcet has over a club is the time available for the coaches to dedicate to the players. Teachers, technical trainers and other professionals spend many hours every day in the academy to provide students with the best care and to evaluate them in the most complete way possible. During my years at Marcet, my only goal was to dedicate myself 100% to training, that is to improve students performances.
“Marcet allowed me
to know better both
football and my personality”
Q.- What memories do you keep of those years?
A.- The beauty of the academy is its dynamism. Every day i could meet new people, kids with different dreams and from different cultures. There are always situations to solve, and in the end it was a very enriching experience. Helping children to grow slowly -without having to look at the results at all costs- is very rewarding. At Marcet I developed a self-knowledge that allowed me not only to learn more about this sport from an academic point of view, but also to understand my personality and what my role could be in the world of football.
Q.- And what was this role going to be?
A.- I had the opportunity to work at the Espanyol Academy’s campuses in Sweden and Finland. There I met Manolo Márquez, who trusted me when he needed an assistant coach. This is how in December 2020 I started working in the Hyderabad staff, where my role is to be a link between the coach and the club analyst, as well as to analyze both our team and their rivals. I am also in charge of the individual evaluation of the players and transferring the coach’s methodology to the field.
Q.- What atmosphere did you find in India?
A.- Football in this country has a lot of potential. It is growing in importance and many children start training from an early age. However, cricket remains the main sport. My club is also very young, it is only 3 years old. In my first season we focused above all on developing professional playing habits and behavior in the players. Some fundamentals that Marcet was used to develop at an early age.
Q.- And how did it go?
A.- In my first season we finished in 5th position, staying one step away from entering the playoffs. The following year we ended up winning the league on penalties. Seeing the growth of a club to which you have given yourself body and soul, giving back to a city the desire to revive football… Experiencing all this is without comparison.
Q.- Next stage?
A.- Personally, I want to continue having such gratifying experiences as before for the daily learning that makes me grow as a professional and as a person. We are already preparing the next season and our goal is to continue to have a team that prioritize the collective over the individual. Only then our goals will be closer to be achieved.