FC Goa pre-match press conference addressed by Coach Zico and player Mandar Rao Desai

FC Goa tickets are available on www.bookmyshow.com

Will there be any changes since the last game?

Zico: Well, there may be

Any injured players. Is Youness injured ?

Zico: Not Youness. Gregory’s knee is injured a bit, but he’s okay.

The team is playing well, but is lacking in their finish. Ladyluck not in your favor?

Zico:No. I don’t believe in luck. Maybe we are making the wrong choices when it comes to scoring goals. We are not paying attention to some of the things we work on during trainings.  We have to practice well so that we can do what we are supposed to on when we get onto the field for a match. During practice sessions I try and bring every inch of my experience to show the players what to expect, what can happen, what to avoid so that the team can focus on what they have learnt during training sessions. But we have to carry on. We have to believe in ourselves. We have to be brave and be perseverant. The road is long. As long as there is life we have to survive. We are breathing.

ISL is a short competition. Is there time to share your philosophy with the team or do you have to stick to sharing some basic principles?

Zico:I didn’t choose the players. So we need to understand the personality and skills of players and do our best within their capacity. We have so many players in the same position and not many in other positions. But we need to adapt and do the best we can in the circumstances.  We have to adapt to the characteristics and skills of the players we have onboard. For example; we don’t have players on the sides, wingers, who can mark well. The players I have are fast and skillful, but I can’t change their strengths overnight and ask them to mark players.

Mandar, Goan players have been playing well across teams. What’s lacking in the home team despite home support?

Mandar:We are trying hard and playing well, but we haven’t been able to score many goals. But we have been training well and look forward to tomorrow’s game

The team have mostly conceded goals on counter attack. Are you working on this aspect?

Zico: Yes. We are working on it not happening again. But when the other team scores first, we have to move forward to attack. Our defense is then open and that’s when we have the counter attacks.

How does it feel living in a country where football is not the number one sport, which is the case in Brazil.

Zico:I hope that will be the case in India one day. It reminds me of the time I spent in Japan. Football was not the 1st or even the 2nd most popular sport. Maybe it was the 7th. But now in Japan, football and baseball are fighting for the first place. And we are here to change the  situation in India.

But we don’t need to compare between cricket and football. Indian has a population of over 1 billion people. There is place for all sports and for sure there is space for football. I would like to see sports like volleyball, basketball, swimming, athletics and other sports because sports is good for people. In Brazil, US, Japan and some other countries, there are many sports being played and I hope that will be the case in India as well. Sports is good for the country.

Do you see potential in India to be a footballing nation in the future?

Zico: If we can change some mindsets, maybe we can see it someday. We need to mainly make changes in the diet of sportsmen and in the grassroots/youth development programmes. An athlete needs to maintain a proper diet. I say this not in the context of the culture of the country. But we need to encourage players and athletes to follow a specific diet which is catered to their specific needs.


SSE BFC to conduct trials for U9 to U17 age group players

SSE BFC Soccer School will be conducting fresh trials this month for players aged below 17 to be part of their football program SSE BFC Soccer Schools is a football…


India Khelo Football Season 3 Trials for Mumbai and Thane are here

India Khelo Football (IKF) is back with Season 3 of its widely acclaimed trials with an aim to cover more than 50 cities this time around. After the resounding success…


Mastering the Art of Football Trials: Key Pre-Trial Factors to Keep in Mind

Football trials are a critical juncture for aspiring players to showcase their skills and secure a spot in a team. To maximize your chances of success, it’s essential to tailor your approach based on your playing position as well as keeping in mind a few pre-trial factors.


Somaiya Sports Academy to conduct trials for MFA 2nd Division campaign

Somaiya Sports Academy is looking for passionate young football players for the Somaiya Sports Academy Football Team to compete in the MFA 2nd Division League 2023-2024. If selected, you will…


BFC Soccer Schools – Mumbai to conduct trials for U14 & U16 Girls

The BFC Soccer Schools Elite team girls’ trials are coming up in search of talented players from the U14 to U16 (Born 2009 and after) age groups into the club’s…


Opportunity to make the team: U.K.M. Kothrud FC conducts selection trials for girls team

Pune-based U.K.M. Kothrud FC has announced that they will be conducting selection trials for their girl’s team on 15th January 2023 The club welcomes all players to come and showcase…


The Sunday Football League Season 4 is back

The Sunday Football League is back with its fourth season, and it’s shaping up to be the best one yet. With eight talented teams competing at the Kes Kandivali turf, there…


BFC Soccer Schools Elite team trials in Feb

Bengaluru FC launched their Mumbai program last season with the Soccer Schools and Elite programs with its local partner Soccer Schools of Excellence (SSE).  Bengaluru Football Club is a professional club…


India Khelo Football Season 2 Trials in Mumbai: A Chance to Kickstart Your Football Career

After conducting trials in 34 cities & villages across India, India Khelo Football is coming to Mumbai to hunt talent on 7th January. India Khelo Football kickstarted its season 2…


Mumbai Customs to conduct trials for Elite League

Former champions Mumbai Customs will be holding open trials for the upcoming MFA Elite Corporate League (Elite Division) The 2019 MFA Elite Division champions Mumbai Customs are conducting open trials…