Confident Zico at FC Goa pre semi-final match press conference

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Q. Your team had phenomenal turnaround, from being at the bottom to qualifying for the semi finals. How much confidence do you take from the turnaround that the team managed to take?
A. Robert Pires- It is true that we had a difficult start. The most important target for the team first was to qualify for the semi finals and we have reached the semifinals. The whole team is very happy and confident and we are ready for the match tomorrow.

Q. What would be the ideal score so that you can level the advantage in Goa?
A. Robert Pires- If Atletico de Kolkata team has to win, it is important that they score. But if FC Goa wins tomorrow, it’s definitely an advantage. But I repeat, we are well prepared, we are strong and we are ready to defend and ready to score.

Q. Are you playing tomorrow?
A. Robert Pires- I don’t know. You will come to know about it tomorrow.

Q. The first match you lost and also incident happened which involved you. While the second match was a draw. So is it like a revenge match for your? Secondly, which three Indian players have impressed you the most?
A. Robert Pires- I don’t like the word revenge. It is not right to discuss now what happened with the Atletico de Kolkata team manager. The most important thing now is the semifinal match tomorrow and the most important thing for my team is to go to Mumbai for the finals. For the second question, I am really impressed with players like Romeo Fernandes, Mandar Rao Dessai, Narayan Das who have a great future.

Q. Do you have any fear factor with regards to referees tomorrow?
A. Robert Pires- No I don’t. We need to respect the referees’ decision whether it is good or bad. He puts rules on the field. The most important thing now is to concentrate on the game tomorrow and the game on Wednesday in Goa.

Q. It is incredible that at the age you have been able to sustain yourself in the game. Do you see yourself coming back for the next year?
A. Robert Pires- I hope so. It depends on the team, not on me. I am ready and I love football. I have deep passion for football. For me this is a great and important opportunity. I love the country and the people here. I love trying new food. For me, India is truly incredible.

Q. When you went to J-League, you had a complete different role. But after J-League the Japanese football has completely transformed. How do you see the Indian football transforming?
A. Zico- I don’t like to make any comparisons between Japan and India. They are completely different to each other. In Japan, it was different, since there was no league and when we started J-League, we created a new league. But in India we already have a league and now we also have ISL. I think for Indian football to develop I-League and ISL should merge or else ISL will be just one good event every year. I wish that the two leagues merge and I am here to help in the development of football. I am very happy with the Indian players in my team and I am trying my best to help them. But now it is up to the authorities to see what is best for the country.

Q. What are your views on refereeing?
A. Zico- We prepare to play football. I don’t worry about the referee. I worry about my team and the opponent. I really regret that sometimes some decisions taken are bad like last time. In the last game, Bruno didn’t touch Fikru, but still we got a penalty and they scored and lost a player. That was not fair.

Q. What do you have to say about the turf?
A. Zico- Like I have said earlier, I don’t like this turf. But every team has come and played on this turf and so have we and we will play tomorrow as well. Since Atletico de Kolkata played here for seven times, they are adapted to this turf and it is an advantage for them. But I hope that next year, every ground will be the same everywhere with real grass.

Q. Your team has gone through a transformation after the inclusion of Santos. So would you want to play Robert Pires tomorrow?
A. Zico- I have 26 players ready to play tomorrow.

Q. What are your plans after ISL? There were nine changes in the last match. What are the chances of playing all the nine players in the first 11?
A. Zico- My plans after ISL are to go back to Brazil and spend time with my family and play with my grand children and also to take rest. To answer yor second question, you will come to know about it one hour before the match tomorrow.

Q. You have been here for a long time and have played against Atletico de Kolkata few days ago. Is this an advantage for you?
A. Zico- There is never any advantage in such games. The only advantage that we can have is if the opponent team comes to play with seven players.

Q. The team has been performing consistently but was not taking their chances. Looking back would you say that the win against Delhi Dynamos was the turning point for the team? Secondly, would you say that tomorrow’s match is a clash between two types of football cultures?
A. Zico- Of course a victory is always important. The game against Delhi has definitely boosted their confidence. This victory has given us lot of power and strength and it is the fruit of our hard work and good practice. To answer your second question, it is true that both the teams are very strong. Everyone who has reached in the semi finals will make the most of their own style of playing.

Q. What would be the ideal score so that you can level the advantage in Goa? How many goals you want to score?
A. Zico- So it is not that it will be an advantage to play in Goa since we lost against them in Goa. It is two different kinds of game. We have games of 180 minutes and the first game is going to decide everything.

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