Enjoyable to cheer for my team with fans: Mumbai City FC’s Jorge Diaz on ‘City’ weekend

This past weekend, Mumbai City FC were playing away from home in what turned out to be one of their toughest games of the season. Back at home in Mumbai, the atmosphere was electric as the Islanders fans gathered in large numbers for a screening organised by the club, for the ‘City’ Saturday – the Manchester derby in the Premier League and Mumbai City FC’s away encounter against ATK Mohun Bagan.

Mumbai City FC and Manchester City FC are owned by the City Football Group. In November last year, the COO of the City Football Group, Roel de Vries, remarked on the thunderous atmosphere at the Hero ISL game.

A look at the Mumbai City Fan Park, where the screening was held, confirmed the passion that has been gripping the city as their home team has been on a historic unbeaten run. Being on the road, Des Buckingham and his men would have taken comfort in the fact that back at home, hundreds of fans were creating a stadium-esque atmosphere for their favourite team with a special fan in attendance.

MCFC’s top goal-scorer this season, Jorge Diaz was unavailable for the ATKMB fixture but he joined the West Coast Brigade, cheering his team, as they continued their run as invincibles.

“The fans have always supported the players by singing and chanting. It is very good,” said Diaz, who is also a Manchester City fan. “This is the first time I’m watching a game like this because every time I’m on the pitch. However, from what I see, I can tell you that we are a good team with good players. It is enjoyable to cheer for my team with fans.”

“When the match started, the first thing I did was ask myself, ‘why did you pick up four yellow cards?’ but this is also football. I will miss one game but will come back stronger in the next one,” he added.

As both City clubs were in action in potentially enthralling encounters, Mumbai City FC decided to host a screening for both of them, which attracted several football fanatics in the city, including those who were just neutral fans as a lot of noise was made across both games. The club’s efforts to reach out to the local football base, which is one of the tenets of the Hero ISL, was a success as fans got invested in Mumbai City FC’s tremendous season so far.

With six games to go in the league phase, it is a possibility that the Islanders could go all the way without losing a single game. Fans attending the screenings had their fingers crossed, hoping to see their side become the first team in Hero ISL history to clinch the title without losing a single game.

“I want them to be Invincibles because they are playing beautiful and swift football this season and I have not seen any other club in India play like that. I hope they remain unbeaten till the end. Fingers crossed,” one of the fans at the screening said.

“It’s a difficult question, but the answer is that we go match-by-match. After ATK Mohun Bagan, we will focus on the next one. I cannot tell you if we will remain unbeaten in the last six games,” said Diaz when asked about a potential Invincibles season. “We will give our 100% to try and win the Hero ISL. Please support us in every match,” he added, in a message to the fans.

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