October 7, 2022

Cocca announces departure from Atlas and denies approach to Sporting de Gijón

Guadalajara (Mexico), Sep 23 (EFE) .- Argentinian Diego Cocca announced Friday that he will step down as coach of the two-time champion Atlas at the end of the Apertura 2022 tournament of Mexican football and ruled out the rumors related with him as the new technical director of Sporting de Gijon.

“There will always be opportunities, especially if a coach leaves a place successfully, but (Sporting) is not what I think, it is not what moves me at the moment. What moves me is to close well with this team and make it clear to the people of the Atlas that I am leaving, so that the institution continues to grow and does not have to have a new project,” explains the 50-year-old strategist.

The Mexican press reported before Cocca’s announcement that the Argentine would leave Atlas to head Sporting de Gijón; Both cadres are owned by the Mexican Orlegi Group, headed by businessman Alejandro Irarragorri.

“We don’t have work from elsewhere, because we don’t want to think about anything other than the Atlas. Their time will come, hopefully they will give us the vacation we need because it would be good for us, then we will continue to work and evaluate all the projects that need to continue to grow; This is not the time to think about it,” Cocca added.

Last December, the technical director broke through an Atlas drought of more than 70 years without lifting a League title and last May gave the Rojinegros their first bi-championship, alongside the Champion of Champions trophy.

In this Apertura 2022, however, one day after the end of the regular phase, he has the Guadalajara team in the penultimate place in the ranking, with no ambitions to fight for the title.

Cocca assured that his decision to end his cycle at Atlas next Saturday, October 1, on the last day of the championship’s regular phase, when his team receives Necaxa at the stadium, was in the interest of the institution.

“I made a brave decision. The easiest thing would have been to stay and give the board the responsibility of kicking out a two-time champion coach, which would not have been pleasant for me and for them. That’s why we need to get out of this part of the transformation we’ve made is that we don’t see the Atlas as synonymous with bad news, but rather with happiness as we will experience on Saturday,” said Cocca.

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