Ferrando: Want the whole of Asia to talk about Goa and Indian football

Following the departure of former FC Goa head coach Sergio Lobera towards the latter half of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20, the Gaurs confirmed Juan Ferrando as their new head coach in April. The Spaniard has his task cut out when it comes to matching what his predecessor achieved while at the helm for Goa. However, going by Ferrando’s words, he sounds confident in his ability to make Goa one of the best football clubs on the continent.

“I want the whole of Asia to talk about Goa and Indian football. The future of football in India is now. If you have good skills, good plans, in the next two-three years we could have success in good players,” he told presenter Leeza Mangaldas on the official Instagram handle of FC Goa’s fan club.

The 39-year-old feels that his philosophy is similar to that of the club. “When I talked with the president (Akshay Tandon) and Ravi Puskur (Director of Football) two months ago, they tried to explain some details about Goa, about the club, about the style, mentality of young players and mentality of the state. There are a lot of points similar to what I think. I am so happy because I think it is a good project,” Ferrando said.

While expanding on his football philosophy, Ferrando likened it to Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola’s style of play, admitting that the former Barcelona player and head coach is someone he follows closely. “Someone I pay attention to is Pep Guardiola. His work at Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Manchester City and the possession-based style of football is so incredible,” the new Goa head coach shared.

Ferrando also made it clear that he’s under no illusions when it comes to the task at hand and knows that it won’t be easy to play the expansive style of football that we have grown accustomed to seeing from the Gaurs. “The last three years, Goa had good seasons, good football. But now is a new chapter. You know, it is very difficult to have the same squad for four-five years; only maybe if you have Lionel Messi at FC Barcelona or Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid,” he said.

“It is necessary to change the details, change something about the club. Our mentality is to grow. Now we are in the AFC Champions League and it is time to prepare with new players and new motivation. It’s a new project,” Ferrando added.

The Spaniard even touched on the importance of nurturing young domestic talent. “From what I have read, the federation wants to help, they want to think about the best options and help the younger Indian players. It is very important because sometimes in some places, you can sign different foreign players but that doesn’t help the young ones. But, India at this moment is thinking about its future,” he said.

Ferrando also praised the fans’ passion for football in India and admitted that it motivates him to ’work hard’ for them. “I am so happy because football needs this passion, it loves this passion… the supporters not only in Goa but different places of India. I am so happy, this feeling is good because I want to work hard for these people,” he said.

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