Leo Moura defies age and convention by clinching the DHL Winning Pass award for FC Goa
- FC Goa midfielder Leo Moura is presented with the DHL Winning Pass award for being FC Goa’s leading assist provider this season
Last week, on the 17th of November, Leo Moura turned in one of the best performances of the ISL this year - a performance that grabbed headlines everywhere. Moura effected three remarkable assists as FC Goa demolished a stunned Mumbai City FC 7-0 at the Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium in Fatorda, shattering the record for the biggest ISL victory margin in the process.
Dudu and Haokip may have been the hat-trick heroes, but it was Moura who provided the Goan attackers with the necessary ammunition to plunder a hapless Mumbai defence.
Not surprisingly, the 37-year-old Brazilian collected the DHL Winning Pass award at the post-match presentation ceremony of Match 46 between hosts FC Goa and NorthEast United FC that was held today. The award is presented to the highest assist-maker for each team in the league.
It was a fitting time for Moura to win an award like that too because he was once again at his sublime best today. He produced arguably the assist of the season as he found Reinaldo with an elegant touch with his head, and the former scored past the visiting keeper to help Goa secure a precious point.
Moura, who was also awarded the Man of the Match award in the tie for his inspiring contribution, spoke about his season so far with the Gaurs.
“I am disappointed because we did not win the game,” he said. “Happy with how I have played so far this season, but I will be more happy when the team wins.”
The talented Brazilian has had a stellar season so far for the Gaurs. He has been by far their most consistent player in this edition of the ISL - in 12 appearances, he has provided an impressive 6 assists, with the latest coming against NorthEast United today.
The tireless midfielder also has two goals to his name with six shots on goal, and he has set the league on fire this year with his numerous match-winning performances for Goa.
The limelight in football is often grabbed by the guile, trickery, jaw-dropping skills and charisma of goal-scorers like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Neymar and so on. But that's not always fair; the ecstasy and exhilaration we experience while watching spectacular goals makes us blind to the moments of inspiration just before the goal themselves.
It is easy to forget the players working tirelessly behind the scenes to provide the attackers with the ammunition to fire. And the worst affected are the assist-makers, who provide inch-perfect passes and lay it on a platter for the strikers to grab all the goals, attention and headlines.
That's precisely what the DHL Winning Pass award seeks to address. By rewarding the players with the best assist stats, it tries to ensure that the incredible midfielders, whose contribution is no less than that of the goal-scorers, are given their due credit.
FC Goa have had a satisfying season so far, staying close to the top of the table for the most part till now. They presently sit in second place on 19 points behind last season's winner's Atletico de Kolkata, with a berth in the semi-finals virtually sealed.
And Leo Moura has been coach Zico's most effective weapon in taking the Goa team this far. The Brazilian has been exceptional day-in and day-out and has been turning heads with his brilliant displays.
There have been numerous times when his vision and accurate deliveries have directly led to points for the Goans. Moura's skills on the ball and his reading of the game have helped turn Goa into serious contenders for this year's ISL crown.
At 37 years of age, it would seem to the uninitiated that Moura has very little to offer as a footballer. But his dazzling performances and ability to last the full 90 minutes are truly age-defying. It would be foolish to bet against him continuing in the ISL in the immediate future, and he would no doubt have clubs lined up at his door to sign him in the upcoming editions of the ISL.