Diego Mauricio was Josep Gombau’s third foreign signing at Odisha FC, after Carlos Delgado and Osama Malik, and that move proved to be transformational for the Kalinga Warriors.

After a somewhat sluggish start to his second spell with the club, the Brazilian forward came to the fore at the crunch end of the season and guided Odisha FC to their first-ever Hero Indian Super League (ISL) playoffs appearance.

Mauricio produced jaw-dropping football in the Hero ISL 2022-23 campaign, in which he bagged the Golden Boot award for recording 12 goals and four assists in 21 games.

The 31-year-old continued his red-hot form in the Hero Super Cup and played a starring role in Odisha FC’s triumph in the cup competition. He went on to win the Hero of the Tournament award, scoring five goals and providing two assists.

"For me, it's the best season of my life. This is history - Odisha FC are champions. It's a great night and we're very happy. I scored two goals to help the team win, and I'm the best player in the tournament. It's very special," Mauricio told the-aiff.com in a post-match interview.

The Odisha FC talisman had a goal contribution in each of their five games in the Hero Super Cup, which included a brace against Bengaluru FC in the final. He expressed gratitude to his teammates as he spoke about his fondness for finding the net after the win.

"It's always great to be on the scoresheet because scoring goals isn't easy. I have top teammates behind me who set me up with passes. I work hard, and they help me work hard as well," said the Brazilian.

Odisha FC have already etched their names into history books as they lifted their first-ever silverware. Mauricio, who extended his stay at the club for two more years, stated that his ultimate goal would be to keep adding to the Juggernauts’ trophy cabinet.

"I love Odisha FC. I love the city of Bhubaneswar. I love the people. I want to keep going and win more trophies for Odisha FC," stated Mauricio.