Joan Plaza signed a new three-year deal with Real Madrid basketball club this week and will stay with the Merengue until 2010. His contract was set to end in the summer of 2008, but the Club has decided to extend it until the end of the 2009/10 campaign.
In an interview he gave to the official website, Plaza was talking about why he thinks that Real has the possibility to win the Euroleague this year. And there was one particular part I want to mention here.
We have a greater desire to win than sides like Panathinaikos and CSKA Moscow.
I guess this will bring up some comments by fans of PAO or CSKA but Plaza explains this by the fact that their own budget is smaller and that his players are hungrier as they have not been to the Final Four for years now. It will certainly also motivate his own team who will be in Barcelona tonight for the "Classico". And a win in the Palau Blaugrana will be a huge boost for the next weeks.
Joan Plaza, who is actually born in Barcelona, is one of the younger coaches in the Euroleague as he is only 43 years old. His career started with Youth coaching at Joventut Badalona for years before integrating the senior team staff where he assisted big names in Spanish coaching as Manel Comas or Aïto. He joined then Real to learn a bit more under the coaching responsibility of Bozidar Maljkovic.
After the release of the Serb, the club had to make a choice and as several candidates declined to take the job as head coach, they offered a contract to the newcomer Plaza who never coached a Senior team before. And the success was immediate as they directly went for the ULEB Cup trophy. During his youth coaching years in Badalona, he helped on the development of players like Raul Lopez or Alex Mumbru that are actually at the base of the success he has with Real Madrid.