"India is not a cricket country anymore" says Albert Roca after Bengaluru FC's historic win
Albert Roca lead Bengaluru FC to the history books, becoming the first Indian team to reach the finals of the AFC Cup. The former Barcelona assistant manger did nothing to undermine the victory when he spoke after the game, he said, “For sure it’s a great day, perhaps today we can say that India is not a cricket country anymore. For sure, we can say that this is a very happy day in Indian football history. It’s a huge thing for not only Bengaluru FC or the Bengaluru fans or even the supporters, but it is a win for all the clubs playing in India.”
Bengaluru scored three goals during the game, two via set pieces, and when asked if that was something he had identified and planned for, he acknowledged saying, “We are training a lot on set pieces, Carles Cuadrat, my assistant, he’s doing a good job and I want to congratulate him for that reason, and then it’s players, they’re on the pitch and they have to take decisions, and they did it very well today.”
The Bengaluru coach also had special praise for his captain Sunil Chhetri who happened to score a brace to lead his team to the 3-1 win (4-2 on aggregate). He said “I would also like to congratulate, Sunil Chhetri, he’s an example for everyone here, he is the right captain. Bengaluru can’t be such a good team without the captain, from the first day itself he was really dedicated, he was really focussed in the progress for the team and he is a bg part of the success today.”
“I knew that Sunil could play in every position, his commitment to the cause from the first day. Hence, I told him, that he could play on the left today, come inside when he needed and scored. That worked today for us, obviously, he could have scored as a striker as well, but when I told him, he said ‘sure’ and was ready to play there.
“This is why he is an example, there were no doubts or any arguments. He said he’ll do his best in that position, he did and he scored.” he continued.
This was Alber Roca’s first experience of the famous West Block Blues as they lead BFC to a famous win, singing their hearts out in the process, “The fans are part of the win, from the first minute they never stopped supporting the team. For me, this was my first experience, so I am really glad to see that we have such a huge supporter base. With the kind of supporter, we can go everywhere.” That coming from a man who as experienced the Camp Nou and the famous hostile support for the Galatasaray fans is high praise indeed.
When asked about the next step for Bengaluru, he was as clear as he could be with what is on te horizon for the team, “We have a final. With the feedback we had today (on the pitch), so we can see that we can win the title. The same mentality, the same behavior we showed today, and if we do that we will have our opportunities.”
Bengaluru FC will face Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, the Iraqi club on November 5th for the final of the AFC Cup.
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