Indian Super League (ISL) side Jamshedpur FC have managed to get some great deals done in the transfer market. The Red Miners have roped in experienced campaigners like Peter Hartley, Nerijus Valskis, Stephen Eze and Alex Lima.
Alex Monteiro de Lima, who can play as a central midfielder and left winger, spoke exclusively to Sportskeeda on his experience playing across different continents, his reasons to join Jamshedpur FC and the best moments of his career.
Alex Lima revealed that he began his fitness and training schedule during the lockdown imposed by the coronavirus pandemic to keep up with his fitness and maintain his ball control. He said:
"Inside the house, I was working mainly with resistance bands. When going outside was possible again I was doing circuits with the ball. It is important for me to always work with the ball as much as possible."
Despite spending his youth football days at Brazilian side Grêmio Mauaense, Alex Lima made an instant jump to European football. He moved to Swiss side FC Wohlen and played four seasons in Switzerland.
Speaking on the execution of the deal, Alex Lima said:
"I took my chances with a contact I had in Switzerland as I was confident in my talent. In order to make it in the tough football world, you have to be very focused and my first days in Switzerland were certainly full of lessons on and off the field."
After four seasons in Switzerland, Alex Lima once again made a major continental shift as he moved to the MLS, where he played for sides like Chicago Fire and Houston Dynamo.
Explaining the fundamental differences between the MLS and Swiss football, Alex Lima said:
"The level of football in Switzerland at the time was more advanced than in the MLS, more tactical more strategic. However MLS invested a lot into marketing the league and the shows in and around the stadiums were spectacular. The teams have great atmosphere with amazing fans."
Alex Lima then made another continental shift to Asia after his five-year stay in the United States as an MLS player. He played for Korean sides Suwon FC and FC Anyang before penning a deal with Vietnam side, Ho Chi Minh City FC.
Speaking on the growing imprint of Asian football, Alex Lima said:
"Football in Asia is growing in competitiveness and the championships are interesting to watch internationally. And to be honest with you when planning my career as a professional athlete I also have to take the financial factor into account."
I look forward to reuniting with Owen Coyle: Alex Lima
Alex Lima, who had worked under Owen Coyle at Houston Dynamo in the MLS, also revealed that the manager was the key factor behind his move to Jamshedpur FC:
"Clearly the coach. I played for Owen Coyle in Houston and I look forward to reuniting with him. Apart from that, Jamshedpur deserves to win the championship. I think I can help with that."
Alex Lima expressed his excitement at the prospect of working with the youth talents of the esteemed Tata Football Academy in Jamshedpur. He said:
"Professionally structured youth development is essential for the future success of Indian football. I hope I get a chance to work with some of the youths at Jamshedpur academy."
Alex Lima is also determined about his goals for the season and stated that he is aiming to win the championship with Jamshedpur FC. He said:
"Jamshedpur FC and I have something in common: We have yet to win a Championship. I think it is high time to do that and it is what I am coming to accomplish."
Alex Lima revealed that he has spoken with Owen Coyle and will soon begin training at Goa. He said:
"We were in touch via messages but the most important thing right now is to finally meet all of the team in person and to start working together."
Alex Lima concluded by recalling his last-minute goal for Chicago Fire against New England in the MLS 2013, which he says is the best moment in his playing career so far:
"It was 2013 with Chicago Fire against New England. In the last minutes of the game I scored with a beautiful shot from distance to secure our slot in the playoffs which had already seemed out of reach. The atmosphere in the stadium was crazy after that."Published 14 Oct 2020, 11:07 IST