FC Goa currently find themselves in the third position in the points table with 36 points from 19 matches, despite having spent the most number of days (57) as the league leaders. The Gaurs have had a record-making, fascinating start to the ISL 2023–24 season, with a 12-match-long unbeaten run since the start of the campaign. However, suffering three successive defeats dealt a heavy blow to their League Shield hopes and put them backward in the chase as they don’t have their fate in their hands.

While going through the difficult situations, head coach Manolo Marquez urged his players to show their character and their collective grit and determination to turn things around and continue their chase towards the target. In terms of results, the team has experienced an upward trend in their recent form, with the Gaurs remaining unbeaten in their last four games and securing victory in two of them.

Recently, some of FC Goa's players had an interactive session with their selective lucky supporters organized by the club’s title sponsor, Parimatch News, where the players were quizzed about some interesting topics and shared their insights on the same. 

The last phase is going to be very important for us: Odei Onaindia


FC Goa’s defensive stalwart, Odei Onaindia, has been pivotal for his team behind their eight clean sheets this season. From starting the campaign with veteran National Team defender Sandesh Jhingan to playing with young defender Nim Dorjee due to the former’s injury, the seasoned Spanish center-back has guided his team through thick and thin and continues empowering their defensive lineup.

The captain-defender is determined to perform well in their remaining few matches to end the season on a positive note. 

“We are preparing to be at our best in the last part of the season; I think we are doing well, we are having good training sessions, and we are preparing for the last phase of this season, which is going to be very important for us,” he said.

Victor Rodriguez and Jhingan’s injuries presented ample challenges to their strategic balance, whereas Borja Herrera, Yasir Mohammad, and Dorjee’s inclusion solidified their squad depth in the January transfer window. While quizzed about the reasons behind their three back-to-back defeats, Onaindia answered,

“Finally, in the second leg, most of the teams prepared a lot more.”

“I think, in the first leg, we were the best team, and it is the same now. We always give our best, but other teams are also playing well, so maybe this is the reason behind the defeats. Three defeats in a row put us out of the top, but now we keep continuing in the best possible way. We have three more games to play, and we’ll try our best,” he continued.

The 34-year-old defender believed that defensive stability and versatility held the key to their scintillating performance in the opening half of the ongoing season. Notably, the Gaurs created an incredible record this year by spending more than 500 minutes without conceding a goal, which is the first instance in the club’s history as well as a significant feat to achieve just after Mumbai City FC in the league’s history.

“We were very strong both tactically and technically, and we were very strong in defense also, that’s one of the many reasons we’re at the top of the table in the first half. We have to continue in the same way and try to keep as many clean sheets as possible,” he commented.

The veteran defender, who has a huge experience of playing in La Liga 2 and Segunda Division B under his belt, recommended young players to enjoy their game and give their best every time they step onto the pitch to succeed at the highest level.

“Everybody, both seniors and juniors, are learning every day. Every day in training, we advise the young players, and we also take advice from them. Every day, it’s a new experience for us,” he shared.

“Most of our players are very young, and they are giving their best. I advise them to give their best in every moment and enjoy the game because we love football,” he concluded.

There is a never-give-up attitude in the team: Arshdeep Singh


FC Goa goalkeeper, Arshdeep Singh, kept seven clean sheets this season, which is his best figure in a single season in his ISL career. The Chandigarh-born custodian has been a key part of the team during the first phase of the season.

“About this year, the team is very competitive, and the results are in front of us. We have just lost three matches. There is a never-give-up attitude in the team. Even if we lose, the team remains motivated enough to come back in the next match with more recovery and more power. I think that’s the difference,” Singh said, figuring out the specialties in their squad in comparison to other previous seasons.

However, Singh also revealed his affection and enthusiasm for FC Goa, the club he has been following since the very first season.

“FC Goa have a rich history. For me, especially as a fan, I have been watching FC Goa since the first season. It is one of the best clubs in India,” he commented.

When we lose, we stick together, stay positive: Noah Sadaoui


Moroccan forward Noah Sadaoui is also having a successful season under head coach Manolo Marquez. He has made nine goal contributions for FC Goa thus far this season and has also created the second-highest chances for the Gaurs (29).

Sadaoui acknowledged that supporting each other during difficult times, thinking about only the positives, and staying focused on their main objective is the ultimate way to get out of the tough phase.

“Ups and downs are parts of football. When we lose, we stick together, joke around, stay positive, and train well. We don’t think about the negatives; we only think about the positives,” he opined.

We hope to qualify for the final: Boris Singh


Boris Singh, who joined the Gaurs during the summer, is delighted to qualify for the playoff round with FC Goa. However, the midfielder has his eyes fixed on winning the ISL Cup this season.

“To qualify in the playoffs with FC Goa (has been the most beautiful moment for me thus far this season), and we hope to qualify for the final if we can give our best,” he stated.