Interview Bryant Lazaro – American Soccer Coach Reflects on time in Real Madrid

Apr 14, 2024

Bryant Lazaro, 32, is an American soccer coach who has taken his studies from Argentina to Real Madrid, leading him to coach in clubs like Sevilla FC, Levante UD and Tromsø IL. We interview one of the few American coaches in Europe.

During his stay at the Real Madrid Graduate School, Bryant Lazaro completed his Master in Football Coaching and Management and an MBA in Sport Management. Now he tells us about his experience in our University and what path his professional career has taken in Spain and Norway since finishing his studies.

After a year as reserve team coach in Tromsø IL, one of the Clubs in Norway with the most history in the UEFA Europa League, Bryant led Alta IF of the Norwegian Second Division to a top 6 finish. In January 2020, he signed with newly formed Club Øygarden FK in a division higher, the Obos-Ligaen, where he had to build the Club and squad from the ground up. 

Can you tell us what your career has been like since you obtained a double Master's Degree at the Real Madrid Graduate School?

Thanks to the Director of the Master David Viejo, I was selected to coach in the Levante UD Academy in Valencia, under the direction of David Salavert. I spent 3 years there working in the coaching staff’s of the U16, U18, U20 and U23 levels. At the same time, I organized and founded the Club's International Training Department, which is still active to this day. I was its first Director for two years, training professional coaches and players from more than 40 countries. Subsequently in the 2016/17 season, under the guidance of Pablo Blanco, Head of Player Development at Sevilla FC, I joined this Club as a coach with the Sevilla U21s. My players were used as the sparring squad for the Sevilla first team, led then by Jorge Sampaoli, JuanMa Lillo and Lionel Scaloni, world class managers that I was able to learn from every day. My time in Sevilla FC was crucial in my development and way of thinking football. Southern Spain led me to Northern Norway after an opportunity work in Tromsø IL with Sigurd Rushfeldt. It’s been 3 years in Norway, working at a higher level every season. 

You completed the Master in Talent Identification and Development in Football, along with an MBA in Sport Management, what impact has it made on you as a professional coach in Europe?

The entire program was inspiring and opened my mind to different ways of training football teams. I was like a sponge with the professors I had in front of me. Professionals such as David Viejo, David Salavert, Pablo Blanco, Alberto Giráldez and Ramón Martínez, among others, have greatly influenced my views on coaching. They have always been available for advice and these people have given me extra motivation to take my education further with a PhD.

Why did you decide to study at the Real Madrid Graduate School? Are you satisfied with the double Master you completed?

Satisfied and grateful. Both programs has allowed me to learn from teachers of the highest caliber. In addition, the elite Clubs that the University provide include Real Madrid CF, AFC Ajax, Athletic Bilbao, Borussia Dortmund, Villarreal CF, Valencia CF, among others. You can’t find this access anywhere else.

Did you imagine coaching where you are now?

Not exactly. When I began my Pro License in Argentina in 2009, I knew that I had to travel to learn and find opportunities. These Master’s I received in Real Madrid opened doors for me. American manager Bob Bradley coached Stabaek FC in 2014 and facilitated the acceptance of Americans in European football. Several American coaches have followed, such as Pellegrino Matarazzo and Jesse Marsch. We are showing more presence in different countries and leagues.

Do you have any advice for the current students of this Master?

Football is a universal sport, there is no limit to where you can grow as a professional. It helps tremendously to speak languages: English, French and Spanish have been very useful for me as an amplifier of the excellent education I received from Real Madrid Graduate School.

Interview with Coach Bryant Lazaro - Real Madrid Graduate School

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