Proud Lobera credits team-work for Mumbai City FC’s maiden Hero ISL trophy
Mumbai City FC were crowned champions of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 following a 2-1 win over ATK Mohun Bagan in the final at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa on Saturday. The Mariners scored the opening goal in the match through David Williams but a Tiri own goal before the break and a Bipin Singh winner late in the contest ensured that the Islanders lifted the coveted Hero ISL trophy, their first ever and second silverware this season after the League Winners Shield.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Mumbai City FC’s head coach Sergio Lobera was at a loss for words after lifting the one prize that had eluded him during his stay in India. “The feeling is impossible to describe in words. There are a lot of emotions… I am very proud of my team. We are a family and finally, you can see this on the pitch. I am very happy with this season and we deserve to enjoy this moment,” he said.
“I am very happy because it's not about the coach. If you want to win trophies, you need to have very good players. It is not easy to win two trophies in the same season and make history with the club. This is a big achievement.”
When asked to assess his match-winner Bipin Singh’s season, Lobera said: “The level of the Indian players is the key to winning trophies. Because you are playing with six players in the first XI. Bipin had an amazing season, when the team is working well only then the individuals can shine. It is not only about one, two or three players. I think there are a lot of players who have put in a lot of effort throughout the season… I am very happy because everyone deserves this.”
He went on to emphasise how testing the campaign has been for his team. “It was a big challenge from the beginning to the last day. Living in a bubble, very short pre-season. Very short time between games. Finally, when you can win the trophy and look back, it was a big effort from everyone. Finally, we have achieved our target,” Lobera said.
Looking ahead, Lobera believes the future is bright for Mumbai City FC and is happy to be working with an ambitious group of people. "My players are very ambitious. The club is a big project. From the first meeting in Manchester [with City Football Group], I felt this is a big and amazing project. When you are in a big and amazing project, the future is great. I am very happy because the club deserves to enjoy this moment. Hopefully, we can repeat [the triumph next season]," the 44-year-old said.
The Spaniard also had a message for Mumbai City FC fans. “I want to say thank you to the fans. I hope to meet them as soon as possible and celebrate together with the trophy. These are difficult times around the world. It’s very painful that we do not have our fans here, but hopefully, it will be possible to celebrate the trophy with our fans,” Lobera said.
Watch Sergio Lobera's Post-Match Press conference here: