Ronny Deila watching every 2019 match, learning Spanish during break

di Stefano Bentivogli
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Before the MLS season was suspended, NYCFC head coach Ronny Deila hadn't had a break in 13 years.

Deila took his first coaching job immediately after his playing career ended and has been full-go ever since, with his stint at Celtic sandwiched in between stops in his native Norway at Stromgodset and Valerenga before he was brought into NYCFC ahead of the 2020 season.

While he would obviously rather be coaching a season, Deila said he's trying to use the respite from the game positively, telling Bleacher Report's Dean Jones in a story published on Thursday that the time off has allowed him to reset himself, as well as dive into film study that he normally wouldn't be able to get into as deeply.

"This time has been quite beneficial," Delia said. "I have had time to look at things that I never normally would. For example, I have seen almost the whole of last season — I'm on Game 27! That has been very interesting. I have been able to look at the team's weaknesses and strengths, and of course I also get to see the different opposition, which has been very useful. It is very rare you would get that chance.

"In the beginning, it was frustrating, but after that you think, how will I solve this challenge? Reflection has been good for me after coaching for 13 years non-stop."

Deila also said he's been using the time off to learn Spanish with the help of his girlfriend, who is from Colombia, something he says will help him when he gets back to coaching NYCFC, which has many Spanish-speakers on the roster.

"I have also been using this time to learn Spanish," he said. "I have a Colombian girlfriend and a three-year-old daughter, who also speaks Spanish, so it's important I get better. I'm not close to being fluent, but that's a goal in the future. I think it will also help me in football."

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