Abu Dhabi: Al Jazira named Spaniard Luis Milla as their new coach to replace Brazilian Paolo Bonamigo, who led the team for the last time as they beat Al Dhafra 4-1 in the Etisalat Pro-League on Thursday.
The former Spain Under-21s coach’s first task will be in the AFC Champions League on Tuesday, when the Abu Dhabi club face Tractor Sazi Tabriz from Iran in their first group stage match of the campaign.
Milla, 46, was a former defensive midfielder who played for both of Spain’s biggest clubs, Barcelona and Real Madrid. He represented Barca from 1985 to 1990 following years of featuring for their B team youth teams. He then moved to their capital rivals in 1990, where he played until a 1997 move to Valencia. He retired in 2001 with three full Spain caps to his name.
Milla started his coaching career as an assistant to his former colleague Michael Laudrup at Getafe FC in the 2007-08 season, before being appointed by the Spanish FA to coach the Under-19 national team. He led also the Under-20s, Under-21s and the Olympic team — he won the Uefa Under-21 Championship in 2011 and the Mediterranean Games with the U20s in 2009.