FC Goa coach Juan Ferrando believes that the point earned against Al Rayyan SC in their first AFC Champions League Group E match will enable all to “know more about Indian Football”. “This is a good moment for Indian Football – simply because now everybody will know more about Indian Football,” he stated. “Five or six years ago when you were talking about Indian Football, many didn’t feel much. I feel it’s very important at this stage that the clubs work in the Academies and make their players aware about such a massive competition as the Champions League,” Ferrando maintained.
FC Goa, the first Indian club to ever participate in the AFC Champions League held Qatar’s Al Rayyan SC to a goalless draw at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium at Fatorda, Margao on Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The match was played behind closed doors owing to the covid protocol.
Juan Ferrando head coach of FC Goa during match 109 of the 7th season of the Hero Indian Super League between FC Goa and Hyderabad FC held at the Fatorda Stadium, Goa, India on the 28th February 2021 Photo by Vipin Pawar / Sportzpics for ISL
Referring to his players not being nervous at all, Ferrando expressed: “In the training sessions, we just kept reminding the players about the significance of the AFC Champions League almost every day.”
“We told them to pay attention as this isn’t easy. We told them to pay attention as these are difficult games. We also told them to control their emotions. It was important to believe in yourself,” he explained.
“We earned a point against Laurent Blanc’s team – he had won the World Cup in 1998. It was very difficult. We are happy with this point, but as a coach we need to improve more as a tactical team. We still have 5 more games to go,” Ferrando added. FC Goa next play Al Wahda FSCC in their second match on April 17, the kick-off of which is at 8.30pm.