Football Tribe Indonesia
2018 Liga 1 Champions Persija Jakarta may face a big loss ahead of the new season after coach Stefano ‘Teco’ Cugurra departed the capital side, along two fellow Brazilians, defender Jaimerson Xaver and playmaker Renan Silva.
All three left the club due to the expiration of their contracts on the 31st of December, with no extensions for the trio despite Macan Kemayoran’s victory last season. Renan becomes the first to leave the capital side and officially joined Borneo FC last Friday. Persija have already signed Bruno Matos from PKNS FC in Malaysia to as his replacement.
One of the biggest loss from Persija is obviously the loss of Jaimerson Xavier, one of the most productive centre-backs in the division who netted seven goals for the capital club this season. This is a repeat of their mistake last season, where they lost defensive stalwart Willian Pacheco to Malaysian side Selangor last season.
Persija are now in the hunt for a new centre-back and are unsurprisingly linked with another Brazilian – Anderson Salles. The 30-years-old began his senior career in Santos in the 2008-2009 season after graduating from their academy. He has played for other notable clubs in Brazil like Vasco da Gama and Goias, before turning out last season for second division club Sao Bento.
Last but not least, Persija have lost their mastermind coach Stefano Cugurra. Teco managed to bring the league trophy back to the capital side for the first time in 17 years, but despite that achievement, he finds himself without a job heading into the new season.
Teco, who came to Jakarta in 2017 and already felt highs and lows with the capital side. Persija CEO Gede Widiade said that Teco was actually ready to sign another contract in 2019, and discussions with the club were already underway. However, the 44-year-old Brazilian suddenly canceled his contract, leaving him to find another club and challenge in 2019.
Persija are expected to announce Teco’s replacement as soon as possible. The most likely candidate is Ivan Kolev, who coached Macan Kemayoran back in the 1999-2000 season. The Bulgarian is also the ex-National Team manager and previously led many Indonesian clubs such as Sriwijaya FC and Persipura Jayapura.