35-year-old Fran Sandaza is the newest and perhaps most high-profile signing for Hyderabad FC this season. Having played in most leagues across the world, the Spaniard now finds himself contracted to a club in the Indian Super League, one of the few destinations he hasn't played in before.
The 35-year-old seems excited about the prospect of playing in India under coach Manolo Marquez. Fran Sandaza spoke to Sportskeeda in an exclusive interview.
Q. You have played football in the United Kingdom, Spain, and China and now you will be playing in India. How different do you expect the game to be in India?
Fran Sandaza: Yes, I have played football in different countries and every country has its unique style. I am not familiar with Indian football but have heard good things about it. I am sure if you focus on your game and play well, you can play in any country.
Q. You have played alongside a few big names in the UK such as Ashley Barnes and Glenn Murray. Can you describe your experience playing with them?
Fran Sandaza: I have played with many good footballers in my career. Barnes and Murray are certainly a couple of them. The season in which we won the Football League One Championship, we won it with eight games to spare, which is close to a record in that league.
Q. Last season, Aridane Santana was one of the top goalscorers in the league. How excited are you to play alongside him?
Fran Sandaza: Aridane is a well-known footballer in Spain. I faced him several times in the second division here (Spain) and am really happy to be his partner. I am sure we will have a good connection and I hope that we can create lots of chances and score goals for the club this season.
Q. As a striker, do you rely more on pace or strength?
Fran Sandaza: I am a strong and powerful striker and I like to stay close to the goal. But to be honest, pace is surely a key attribute for a striker.
Q. Recently Aridane Santana mentioned that he knew coach Marquez before signing. Was there anything specific that made you sign for the club?
Fran Sandaza: Manolo has experience coaching in the La Liga, which speaks a lot about his quality. He knew me from my time in Japan and called me and convinced me to sign for the club. I am proud that he is my new coach and cannot wait to start training with my new teammates.
Q. Several famous Spanish players have spoken about their time in the ISL. What are your expectations from the league this season?
Fran Sandaza: I have heard a lot of good things about the emotion, passion and competition in the Indian Super League. But I would like to take one step at a time. I like the team that we are building and I am looking forward to making my ISL debut with Hyderabad FC.
Q. What are three things you like to do outside of football?
Fran Sandaza:I love to spend time with my wife, my family and my friends. I like to play FIFA on the PlayStation, shop for sneakers and much more.Published 06 Oct 2020, 14:45 IST