ISL 2016: I am open to coaching young Indian players, says Zico
As the referee blew the final whistle, a sense of relief more than joy was visible on Zico’s face. His side FC Goa registered their maiden win of the 2016 Indian Super League. They beat Mumbai City FC 1-0 on a night where chances were few and far between. It’s been a tough start for the Gaurs but the coach believes they can only get better from here on.
“Our season hasn’t been the best till now. But our players have a lot of character and reaction power. We showed it in Kolkata and we showed it here as well. We knew it would be a hard game against a team that is second in the table,” the Brazilian said.
“We didn’t give them too many opportunities. In the second half, we had opportunities to score more goals but we are happy that we won today,” he added.
Happy with the performance
Despite the win, FC Goa were guilty of missing chances and possibly further adding to the scoreboard. But Zico said that the fact that they created opportunities, is good enough reason for him to go home happy.
“My philosophy is to always play moving forward. Scoring goals is the reason to play football. If we create opportunities, I am happy with the performance of my team and will go home happy.”
The 63-year-old reserved praise for his standout midfielder, Pratesh Shirodkar who was tasked with the job of handling Mumbai’s danger man, Defederico.
“Pratesh played very well. He marked Pronoy and Defederico strongly. Not just him but overall our defensive performance, everyone fulfilled their roles well. You saw that Defederico had just one chance and that too was outside the box,” he explained.
Zico open to coaching role
Zico has always been outspoken about his views on developing football in India. Asked if he would be open to a coaching role, particularly at the grass roots level - the Brazilian said that it will all depend on the situation.
“I think we need to see what is possible. It needs a project, vision. For sure, I would be open to sit and talk. I love to work with the youth and teach. You can ask the players like Pronoy, Bikram, Haokip and Mandar about how I helped them to develop their game. For me, age is not a problem. It doesn’t matter if they are 18 or 35,” he concluded.
FC Goa will leave the city of seven islands with a sense of reassurance. Their win against Mumbai City FC is the first time, this season that they haven’t conceded a goal. They let past seven goals in their previous four matches before Friday.