THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

FC Goa unveil players to their fans

FC Goa

FC Goa

FC Goa officially unveiled their squad for the 2015 Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Tilak Maidan Ground in Vasco, Goa, on Thursday to cheers from fans and supporters of the team from all over Goa.

The reception for the team was attended by Dattaraj V. Salgaocar, Co-Promoter and Managing Director of VM Salgaocar Group, along with the squad for the upcoming season.

The Gaurs walked out onto the turf with children from the FC Goa grassroots development team, lead by FC Goa’s midfielder Bikramjit Singh.

“FC Goa has brought all Goans together like never before with a majority of our squad being from Goa. Our coach Zico was given full freedom to choose the key members of our squad and he selected Lucio as our marquee player. All our players have gelled and performed well in the pre-season training and friendlies in Dubai,” Dattaraj V. Salgaocar told.

“FC Goa stands out as the team everyone loves to watch with a very attacking form of football. We will play to win! With the love and support of our fans we shall definitely be in the final four and hope to bring the trophy to Goa. Forca Goa!,” Salgaocar added.

Some fans at the stadium were lucky as they won autographed balls signed by FC Goa players that were lofted into the stands for the courageous to fetch for themselves.

On the unveiling of the team, the teams’ skipper, marquee player and Brazilian World Cup winner Lúcio said, “We had a great pre-season training in Dubai under the guidance of Zico. I have seen that the players are disciplined as a team, physically strong and most importantly they are eager and ready to learn more about football. I look forward to playing with the team for the season ahead.”

Brazil legend and head coach Zico, who will arrive in the coastal state on Saturday, expects a better season this year with his choice of players and support staff.

“Last year I did not know the players, the foreigners and the technical staff. This year we will be better because I got to choose the Indian players and the foreigners also,” the 62 year old Zico told in a message.

The FC Goa squad arrived from their three-week pre-season in Dubai on Tuesday night and despite arriving at the wee hours they were warmly welcomed by fans at the Dabolim Airport in Vasco, Goa.

In Dubai, the team trained at the Spanish Soccer Schools grounds located at the Dubai Sports City and first played out a 2-2 draw against Al Khaleej Football Club.

Zico’s men remained unbeaten for three matches with a 2-1 win over Al Shabab and a 1-1 draw against Ajman Club and concluded the Dubai tour with a 2-4 defeat at the hands of Hatta Club but not without putting up a brave fight.

FC Goa will host Delhi Dynamos FC on October 4 in their first match of the season.

(Nationality of foreigners mentioned in brackets)

Elinton Andrade (Brazil/Portugual), Laxmikant Kattimani, Luis Barreto

Debabrata Roy, Gregory Arnolin (France), Keenan Almeida, Leonardo Léo da Silva Moura (Brazil), Luciano Sobrosa (Brazil), Lúcio (Brazil), Narayan Das, Nicolau Colaco, Raju Eknath Gaikwad

Bikramjit Singh, Denson Devadas, Jofre Mateu Gonzalez (Spain), Jonatan Lucca (Brazil), Mandar Rao Dessai, Pronay Halder, Romeo Fernandes

Chinadorai Sathyan Sabeeth, Darryl Duffy (Scotland), Joaquim Abranches, Reinaldo da Cruz Oliveira (Brazil), Thongkhosiem Haokip, Victor Simoes de Oliveira (Brazil), Victorino Fernandes

Zico (Head coach, Brazil)