The second season of the Hero Indian Super League comes to an end on Sunday, when Zico’s FC Goa host Marco Materazzi’s Chennaiyin FC at the Fatorda Stadium, as fans tune in to find the new champions.
The three month long event has gone a long way to attract the attention of Indians, but FC Goa manager Zico, a strong proponent for a longer league, once again reiterated that if the tournament really has development as its motive, then it has to be stretched longer on the eve of the final.
“We have to think about it as coaches and players are away from their family and it is very difficult to be away from them. For this event, three months is okay.
“If it is for the development of football at least eight months tournament is required,” said the Brazilan when quizzed about a longer tournament.
No change in style
Both teams favour an attacking approach to the beautiful game and the Guars manager Zico promised not to tinker with his approach that has helped FC Goa qualify for the finals, especially after FC Goa had crashed out in semi finals last year to Atletico de Kolkata due to altering their style of play last year.
“I think there is no reason to change the game. We have come so far playing this way so we will play the same way.”
Chennaiyin have managed to win both their encouters at the Fatorda stadium, but Zico was optimistic about his team’s chance, as he reminded that finals are always a different ball game altogether.
“I think we know the team well but we have lost two times. But the final is different. The ground is same, the ball is same. It’s 50-50 for both teams.”
Not a tennis match
FC Goa’s marquee player Lucio had accompanied Zico for the joint pre match press conference, but the World Cup winner was quick to squash any talks about one of the most intriguing sub plots to look out for in the final. Chennaiyin FC’s Stiven Mendoza has been the standout performer in both the season and the duel between the young Colombian and the experienced Brazilian could very well point to the direction of which side might go on to win the final.
“I don’t think the clash is between Mendoza and Lucio. It’s not a tennis match. The clash is between Goa and Chennai,” said Lucio.
Dedicate to Fans
Meanwhile Elano, who also attended the media briefing alongside manager Marco Materazzi, expressed his desired to win it for the people in the city who have been ravaged by the city’s worst flood.
“It is sad what has happened in Chennai due to heavy rain which caused loss of property and lives and we have to shift our home semi-finals to Pune.
“Now we are looking for the win so that we can dedicate it to our Chennaiyin FC fans and the victims, who have backed us from the start,” said Elano.