NEW FA of Malaysia president Tunku Ismail Ibrahim raised eyebrows during his first press when he said: “I admire Australia Under-23 coach Josep Gombau’s coaching methods and ideology.”
Gombau — an unfamiliar name in the local football scene — has a contract with the Olyroos until 2020, but with a possible move to Malaysia on the cards, we give you some insights on the 40-year-old Spaniard.
With 14-years of coaching experience, he is best known as a developer of raw talent — being part of the La Masia academy which included Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabreagas.
A graduate from the famous Barcelona academy, Gombau was offered a coaching role at La Masia in 2003 — while he was only 26-years-old.
He took care of the club’s youth academy in Dubai as a technical director in 2008 before returning to Spain for another year with the Catalans.
Gombau managed Hong Kong side Kitchee in 2009 before expanding his horizon in 2013, taking on the vacant manager role at Adelaide United in the A-League.
The Spainiard saw out a two-year contract in Adelaide in July 2015 — also offering free football seminars for coaches during his time at the region.
He then took up a coaching role alongside Barcelona and Spain legend David Villa in United States.
He agreed terms to replace Aurelio Vidmar in June last year — after the latter failed to guide Olyroos to the Olympic games in Rio.
With Tunku Ismail a fond admirer of La Masia — visiting the academy last year — what are the odds of Gombau finding a job in Malaysia?