Manolo Marquez became the new head coach of FC Goa on Friday after a highly successful spell with Hyderabad FC that saw him lift the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) title in the 2021-22 season. 

But the Spaniard has now arrived on Goan shores for a fresh challenge and will be tasked with winning FC Goa their first Hero ISL crown having come close on so many occasions. 

The 54-year-old appreciates the footballing culture of the state and wants to deliver a team that the fans can be proud of. 

“Goa is one of the smallest states in India but in terms of football, it is one of the biggest. There are a lot of famous clubs apart from FC Goa like Dempo and Salgaocar who have a lot of history in Goan football. Football is much more important than cricket here,” Marquez told FC Goa media team during his first interview since joining the club. 

“We will try to play good football because Goa is like my hometown Barcelona. It's important not just to win, but also how you win. Every time I have played against FC Goa, I have felt that they were very difficult opponents. I remember during a press conference I was asked about which team is the toughest to play against in Hero ISL and Akash Mishra and I both chose FC Goa because they always keep the ball and you have to focussed all the time,” he added. 

Marquez’s Hyderabad FC was a complete team and found multiple ways to win football matches during his three-year reign. At FC Goa, he wants to build a similar team. 

“Some coaches say they have a fixed style of play while some say that they have to adapt to the players. I feel it's a mix. At Hyderabad FC, we had a different style every season but everyone said we played good football,” Marquez said. 

“You need a balanced team that can play more than one style of football. If we are able to do this then we have the pre-season to work on this and we will see,” he added. 

The 54-year-old though isn’t looking too far ahead and is focussed on building the squad and preparing it for the upcoming season. 

“The main target is to arrive in the first game of the Hero ISL in the best possible conditions. You can't promise anything because finally, it comes down to a lot of things like injuries, suspensions, and other factors,” he said. 

“I am very happy because we are signing for one of the best teams in India. Of course, we will try to do our best. We have a lot of hope that it will be a good season,” he added. 

Marquez also spoke about FC Goa’s ambition to promote local players and have them part of the senior team and how it matches with his love to train youngsters. 

Watch Marquez's full interview with FC Goa media team below: