Interview with Gonzalo Sanchez Moreno, coach at the French Football Academy
"The FFF and I speak the same football language"
New season, new coach ! We are thrilled to welcome Gonzalo Sanchez Moreno in the French Football Academy for the 23/24 season. His background is astonishing and we are happy to share with you his career and vision of football !
We are happy to welcome you in the French Football Academy for this new season. Can you tell us about yourself ?
Hello everyone, and thank you for giving me a chance to introduce myself.
My name is Gonzalo Sanchez Moreno, I'm a former FC Barcelona soccer player. I started to play at the age of 7 and made it to the first team.
I was lucky enough to play with world soccer superstars such as Figo or Romario, and be part of the team under Johan Cruyff's coaching during the 1994 european season : I was part of the 93/94 Champion leagues final in Athens and played many other exciting games.
I am now a soccer coach in NYC and I decided to follows my wife who works at the UN. Before coming here, I coached the national teams of Madagascar and Bangladesh. I am proud to say that I won the bronze medal at the 2016 South Asian Games with the Bangladesh national football team !
I have been in New York for 5 year now, I've coached for different clubs, ranging from Barcelona Academy, Manhattan Kickers, New Amsterdam to Olympiacos NY. I am very excited to start a new experience with FFF Academy!
Playing for FC Barcelona looks incredible. Tell us more about your soccer experience as a player.
I played as a right-back for the Barcelona academy from the age of 7 until I was 27 when I had to retire due to 4 surgeries on the same knee !
As I said, I was lucky enough to play with the soccer superstars for two years like Figo, Guardiola, Romario, Laudrup, Stoichkov, and be coached by Johan Cruyff. I was part of the the team during the 1994 UEFA Champions League Final in Athens. We lost the game 4-0 against FC Milan... A short-lived defeat amongst the many winnings I had over the course of my career!
I enjoyed the football we were playing at that time, and I remember the media called us the "Dream Team". We played very offensive and dynamic football back then !
You have been coaching in different clubs : What type of coaching degree do you have and when did you get it ?
I got the Level 3 license, which is equivalent to the UEFA PRO, in 2018 in Barcelona, at the Catalan Football Federation.
In terms of my coaching style, as I have the background from that team, I deeply believe in offensive game with control of the ball, which I inherited from them. An even more important point would be the importance of building a strong team that has fun playing soccer !
You are raising an interesting point. To go a bit more in depth, how would you define your coaching philosophy ?
I was lucky to grow up as a player with the specific methodology that Johan Cruyff taught us : possession and offensive football. We never trained how to defend, we didn't need it because we knew how to keep the ball, right ?
That is my experience as a player, and this is what I have been teaching my players : mastering the game by keeping the ball, attacking and defending at the same time.
I love coaching and sharing my experience as a player.
We are very proud to welcome a coach with such a great carreer. Why did you decide to join the French Football Academy in New York ?
I decided to join the FFF because we had very interesting talks about the club with the rest of the team, and this is the type of coaching challenge I was looking for. I was happy to notice we speak the same football language and that is very important to me.
I can say I feel at home here : how the entire staff welcomed me is incredible, it seems like we have known each other all our lives ! The methodology is also very similar to what I have learned in Barcelona during my time as a player and then as a coach.
The Academy is already well structured and I can see this club becoming one of the most important training academies in New York in the future. With my experience and work, I will do everything possible to contribute to the growth of FFF !
I believe we know the answer but... what's your favorite team and player ?
Well, it is not a suprise : FC Barcelona and Leo Messi ! 🙂