Angulo wants to win titles with Mumbai City FC; AFC Champions League big motivation for him too
Star striker Igor Angulo is not short of motivation heading into the next season. Angulo, Golden Boot winner with FC Goa in the 2020-21 Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL), recently joined reigning champions Mumbai City FC, and he is excited at the prospect of playing for the Islanders in the 2021-22 Hero ISL as well as the AFC Champions League for which they qualified by finishing top of the league stage last season.
“It was easy to choose Mumbai City FC. They are the current champions, of the league [stage], of the play-off [semi-finals and the final]. They are playing in the AFC Champions League next season. It’s a big motivation for me to join this club with the highest ambitions in the Hero ISL,” Angulo said on the latest episode of Football United.
Angulo was not part of the FC Goa team under Juan Ferrando that featured in the AFC Champions League earlier this year, and the 37-year-old didn’t hesitate to admit that the lure of playing in the biggest continental club competition in Asia next season did influence his decision to move to Mumbai City FC in a big way. “That’s a fantastic motivation for me. At the end of the day, everyone wants to face the best clubs in Asia, best players in Asia,” Angulo said.
The Spaniard, however, admitted that it won’t be an easy outing for Sergio Lobera’s men next season and will bring with it plenty of pressure since maintaining the same level in back-to-back seasons is no child’s play. “…It’s difficult to reach the target but to maintain that level [after you have achieved it] is super difficult. So, of course the pressure will be on us. But it’s natural. Even as a striker, there is more pressure on you; you are under pressure to score goals in all games. I like being under pressure. I perform better under pressure,” he said.
Angulo scored 14 goals last season and pipped Roy Krishna of ATK Mohun Bagan to the Golden Boot award. Krishna, Bartholomew Ogbeche, third in the list of Hero ISL topscorers with 35 goals, Sunil Chhetri, second on that list with 47 goals, all will feature in the upcoming season for their respective teams. Angulo understands very well that winning the Golden Boot for a second time is not going to be easy.
“The race for the Golden Boot will be very tough. Not just among the foreigners; the level of Indian players is also very good. But it’s not my main target, my main target is to win the title, win over the players and play an important role [in the team’s success]. Of course, as a striker I want to score goals and win the Golden Boot again. That will be fantastic,” he said.
When asked what his main strength is as a striker, Angulo replied without thinking twice: “The most important thing is my experience. My numbers, my statistics are there. I am scoring more goals now; I mean in the last 7-8 years than before.”