Oscar Garcia has announced he'll be leaving Maccabi Tel Aviv FC due to the current security situation

Oscar Garcia, who returned to Maccabi Tel Aviv for a second stint as head coach in the summer, has informed the owner of his intention to step down together with assistants Ruben Martinez and Fran Sanchez. He spoke to the players before this morning's training session and notified them of the development.

Maccabi Tel Aviv owner Mitch Goldhar said in response: “I would like to thank Oscar for everything he has done for Maccabi Tel Aviv FC. When we appointed Oscar as coach we did so knowing exactly what the club meant to him and that his heart was in the right place. And it was. However, circumstances have led to a change of plan as such things do happen in life. We will soldier on with our mission at Maccabi thinking fondly of Oscar and wishing him well in the future”. 

Maccabi Tel Aviv have already appointed a replacement, 51 year-old Pako Ayestaran, who will serve as the new head coach. Ayestaran spent the last two seasons as manager of Mexican side Estudiantes Tecos and was previously an assistant coach at Spanish sides Tenerife (2000-2001) and Valencia (2001-2004, 2009-2010), at English giants Liverpool (2004-2007) and at the Portuguese club Benfica (2008-2009). 

During his time in Spain as assistant to renowned head coach Rafa Benitez, Ayestaran won promotion to the Spanish top flight with Tenerife in 2001 and two Spanish League titles and a UEFA Cup during his first term at Valencia between 2002 and 2004. Joining Benitez at Liverpool in 2004, Ayestaran added to his credits the Champions League and the English FA Cup.

Of Ayestaran Goldhar said: “Of the numerous candidates and offers for the role, we chose Pako and Pako chose us. Pako was highly recommended and left a great impression on me during the conversations we had. Being the coach of Maccabi is a great challenge, as we have high demands and expectations from the job. But Pako appears to be an excellent match for Maccabi and we hope that everyone in the Maccabi family will give him a warm welcome”.