Oscar Garcia walks out on Maccabi Tel Aviv

Spanish coach leaves team after winning championship in debut season ahead of July's Champions League 2nd qualifying round.

Oscar Garcia coach waving 370 (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
Oscar Garcia coach waving 370
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger)
After leading Maccabi Tel Aviv to its first Premier League championship in 10 years, Oscar Garcia announced on Wednesday that he is stepping down as coach of the yellow-and-blue.
The 40-year-old Spaniard, who joined Maccabi on a two-year contract last summer after two seasons as the coach of the Barcelona youth team, had repeatedly said that he is happy at the club and wants to stay in Israel. Nevertheless, he continually refused to confirm that he would definitely remain at the club.
The speculation regarding his departure intensified after he told his squad that he may not be back next season following the final match of the season against Bnei Yehuda on Monday.
”Some circumstances in life transcend professional matters and I have been forced to suddenly take this decision,” Oscar wrote in a farewell letter published on the club’s official website. “This is probably the best time to step down without delaying the preparations for next season with regard to decisions on players and coaching staff.”
The pressure put on Oscar by his family to return to Spain is believed to be the reason behind his decision. He insisted that he does not know if he will be coaching any team next season and apologized for leaving.
”I can assure all of you that my original intention was not to leave Maccabi, especially after winning the title and building a team of which I have the highest expectations in the weeks and months to come,” wrote Oscar. “I am absolutely certain that Maccabi Tel Aviv will qualify for the Champions League group stage and will retain the league title next season. I am very proud to have started this project and hope the team and the club will continue to follow its successful path.”
Maccabi Sports Director Jordi Cruyff paid tribute to Oscar and promised the club will do its best to find a suitable replacement.
”We have had a very successful season with Oscar,” Cruyff told the club’s official website. “Obviously, it will be tough for all Maccabi fans to hear that Oscar is leaving. To win a championship in your first season, and in such a convincing manner, is far from easy.”
Maccabi said it has no specific deadline set for an appointment, but it will likely act quickly, with the team to already begin its participation in the Champions League second qualifying round in mid-July.
”Now it’s our job to find the right man who can build on what Oscar has brought to this club,” Cruyff added. “The coaching staff will remain at Maccabi for the time being, as we continue our search for the right replacement who will inherit a strong team of players that won the championship last season.”