Fernando Santiago Varela is an Argentine-born Spanish football coach. He is a UEFA Pro Licence holder, and he was Football coordinator of the Almeda CD in Cornellá de Llobregat from 2011 to 2014. He is the author of the book Futbol Inteligente (Smart Football).
Varela was introduced to Indian football in 2018 March as the head coach of Indian top division club Gokulam Kerala and during his tenure, they won the Kerala Premier League. He has previously coached Catalalan CE Tecnofútbol in the lower leagues before joining Gokulam.Under him, Gokulam Kerala also won the Durand cup, one of the oldest football tournaments in Asia, and reached the semi-final of the Sheikh Jamal Cup in Bangladesh and was close to finishing in the top four in the Hero I-League.
After his successful spell with Gokulam Kerala, he moved to another I-League side of Churchill Brothers in September 2020. Under his guidance, Churchill went unbeaten during the regular season and lost only twice in the second phase, and ultimately emerged as the runners-up of the 2020–21 I-League with 29 points. His preferred formation strategy is “1-4-3-3 Attacking”.
Sreenidi will be Varela’s third club in India and this new partnership is poised to make a significant mark in the coming I-League seasons. Sreenidi Deccan Football Club(SDFC) has Mr. Varela on board as the Head Coach for the upcoming Hero I-League season. His technical skills and innovative coaching methods have consistently proven him to be a successful manager through the entire scope of football skills. Being a UEFA Pro Licence holder, he surely will drive SDFC to football excellence and make the club an excellent performer on big platforms.