Six years in Orange: A look at Edu Bedia’s best moments at FC Goa
As FC Goa midfielder Edu Bedia embarks on a new chapter in his footballing career, we relive the midfielder’s best moments in FC Goa colours.
It marks the end of an era at FC Goa as midfielder Edu Bedia departs the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) club after an illustrious six-year stint.
Imported from Spanish tier 2 side Real Zaragoza, former FC Goa player Manuel Lanzarote played a chief role in convincing his Zaragoza teammate to make the move alongside him at the Goan club back in 2017.
While it was a drastic change for Bedia, who had never for once played out of Europe in his professional career, the midfielder didn’t pan out on how his FC Goa career might shape out to be – a remarkable one.
As the Spaniard embarks on a new chapter in his footballing career, we relive the midfielder’s best moments in FC Goa colours.
First goal for FC Goa
Having made his debut in a 3-2 away win over Chennaiyin FC, Bedia was paired alongside some quality midfielders such as Ahmed Jahouh, Brandon Fernandes, and Manuel Lanzarote. However, the Spaniard had to wait for his first-ever Hero ISL goal which came much later in their 2-1 win over Kerala Blasters FC at their home turf at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi.
With the score level at 1-1 at the 76th minute. The subsequent minute saw a corner being whipped in by Brandon Fernandes towards the near post. An unmarked Bedia poked the ball into the far post with a brilliantly taken header, to snatch the victory and pull out a celebration that would go on to become an iconic celebration for the FC Goa faithful.
Guiding FC Goa to their first-ever silverware
FC Goa have always been within touching distance of winning silverware, having reached the semi-finals four seasons out of five before lifting the inaugural League Winners’ Shield in the 2019-20 season. However, under the stewardship of head coach Sergio Lobera, Bedia became one of the chief players in the team.
Despite his less direct impact towards goal contributions, Bedia played at the heart of the midfield, orchestrating the gameplay and dictating the tempo from the middle of the park. The likes of Ferran Corominas, Hugo Boumous, and Brandon Fernandes remained at the forefront of goals as the Gaurs scored an astonishing 51 goals in their Shield-winning run, second-highest in a single season in Hero ISL history.
First player to score for an Indian club at the AFC Champions League
FC Goa’s top of the table finish earned them a seat at the group stage of the prestigious AFC Champions League, pitting them against the best teams in Asia, becoming the first Hero ISL team to participate in the competition. After two successive 0-0 draws in the first two games, it was loyalist Edu Bedia who came to the fore as his goal against Iranian side FC Persepolis earned the Indian club their first goal in the continental competition.
Captaining the side in their debut Asian bout, Bedia was assisted by Brandon Fernandes yet again - with a curling ball from a free-kick to nicely set up the Spaniard, who evaded his marker and headed the ball to put the Gaurs ahead early on in the 13th minute of the game.
First player to make more than 100 passes in single Hero ISL game
FC Goa’s midfield maestro reached a new milestone in FC Goa’s 5-0 victory over Chennaiyin FC on February 9, 2022 as he became the first player to make more than 100 passes. Chief engineer of the midfield, the Gaurs’ passmaster showed his calibre as he completed 102 passes in the game.
It was the Spaniard’s intelligence that led to the Gaurs having a lion’s share of possession at 61%, limiting their southern opponents to just four shots, none of which were on target.
First foreign player to make 100 appearances for a single Hero ISL club
While several members at FC Goa including players, — from Hugo Boumous to Ishan Pandita — managerial staff, and management staff departed the Goan flight, the 34-year-old remained as the pilot and continued representing the side. Be it under Sergio Lobera, Derrick Pereira, Juan Ferrando, or Carlos Pena, the midfielder has always been proactive to the ever-changing gamestyles and has adapted himself as per the new demands of the head coach.
The midfielder made his 100th Hero ISL appearance for FC Goa in the game against NorthEast United FC and hallmarked his centurion appearance with a volleyed goal. Donning the orange of FC Goa for a record number of six years, the midfielder has not just been one of the longest servants for FC Goa, but is also the only foreign player to have represented a single Hero ISL club for six years.
The thought of returning to Spain never occurred to Bedia after playing his first season at FC Goa. It took the 34-year-old less than a year to fall in love with not just the club, but the Goan state and its vast culture of football. Gracing his presence in the league for a record six seasons, Bedia has etched his name as one of the greatest players to have represented FC Goa and leaves behind a legacy of his own among Hero ISL’s famed foreign players.