BarcelonaTen years after working as an analyst for the Copa del Rey basketball for the ARA, the Badalón Carles Marco became Dusko Ivanovic’s assistant coach at Estrella Roja. The Serbian team had not started the season well and opted for a double change on the bench. The operation had an immediate result and the Belgrade team transformed its dynamic.
“We brought a competitive touch and improved the defense a lot. We have mistakes, but now we are a very solid team. We have defined the roles well and everyone knows very well what they have to do. There is a very important Serbian core of players and Dusko has been able to take advantage of this to bring the group together. We won close games and that always gives you confidence. Best of all, we compete everywhere and are always hooked on the games. We are not the team with the most talent in the Euroleague, but we always give 100%”, argues Marco.
No rest in Belgrade
The Catalan coach hasn’t had a moment of rest since he arrived in Belgrade. “The first weeks have been very intense. It was the first time I was part of a Euroleague team and I found myself with a very demanding schedule full of games and travel. The organization is very good, but I also had to adapt in a short time to the Adriatic League, which was a competition I did not know in depth. I’m getting to know a lot of players and different ways of understanding basketball. I have little time for other things that are not basketball, but that’s why I accepted a proposal like this”, he confesses.
The Red Star fans are one of the loudest in Europe. “It’s a beast. As a player and as a coach I have competed in many places and I have rarely seen anything like this. An hour and a half before the matches the pavilion is already full and they don’t stop cheering for a second. It’s another world. In the city, everyone talks about basketball and this creates a tension that forces you to give 100%”, explains Marco. Estrella Roja signed Facu Campazzo, but has not yet been able to register him due to a financial sanction. “It’s a complicated situation, especially for him. He is a player who allows us to play differently, but for now he can only compete in the national competition. We adapt, but it’s not pleasant”, he analysed.
The Red Star is one victory away from the positions that give the right to contest the play-off. “We are three wins away from the leader, but also from the leader. You can win or lose against everyone and that makes the competition great. The equality is impressive. We want to reach the final stretch with options to be among the top eight,” explains Marco.
“The Catalan coaches are very well regarded away from home. We work hard and have a way of teaching basketball that is very valid everywhere. Our competitions are very good and this makes us a very respected group. Getting out of the house isn’t easy and nobody likes spending Christmas alone, but we’re passionate about it. Opening up new market possibilities is interesting because we are many coaches and not everyone can work at home”, says Marco, who until a few weeks ago was the manager of national teams at the Catalan Basketball Federation. “I followed the championships from a distance with a little longing. The work of many people has been very good and it is rewarding to see how the boys and girls competed. It is a success that goes beyond the results, which are excellent”, he sums up.
A family of actors
The Marco family is atypical, as both Carles’ father, Lluís, and sister, Marta, are top-level actors. “They are unusual professions, but even if it doesn’t seem like it, they have things in common. I always like to say that we work for the rest. When people have free time, they come to see us. It’s an atypical family, but we’ve been lucky enough to do what we love. Since I was very young I saw my parents work hard and that instilled in us a way of doing things. People cannot imagine, for example, the hours my sister has spent preparing a play as successful as On the train. Before the premiere, he spent a couple of years rethinking every detail of the script. The secret is to do what you love and work hard to achieve it.”