Zico’s presence the reason I joined FC Goa: Mateu

Madrid, July 6 (IANS) Veteran Spanish footballer Jofre Mateu, who played for Atletico de Kolkata in the 2014 Indian Super League (ISL), said he is looking forward to playing for FC Goa in its upcoming second season under the tutelage of Brazilian legend Zico.

He said Zico is building a team to challenge for the title. FC were beaten in the semi-finals last season.

The 35-year-old also said he waited for Atletico to send him a contract renewal offer but since they didn’t show interest he signed for FC Goa.

“Zico’s presence was obviously important in my decision to join FC Goa. I talked to him last season and he’s a legend. I’m very happy to be under his orders and sure that he has all to make a champion team,” Mateu was quoted as saying by goal.com on Monday.

“The reason (I decided) to join Goa was pure interest. I was waiting for Atletico, for a long time, because I thought they want me for this second edition. But I had Goa’s proposal and I didn’t want to lose my chance to come back to India. The two games in Goa last year was amazing as well, so it wasn’t difficult to decide.”

Asked what he felt of the standards of Indian football, Mateu said he liked what he saw in the first season of the tournament.

“I think it was really good, with some amazing matches. And I guess it’ll grow like this next season and the following seasons. Lots of players want to go to play ISL and the level will increase,” the Spaniard said.

Finally, when asked about the players who caught his eye, he said: “(Biswajit) Saha, Baljit (Sahni), (Arnab) Mondal, (Mohammed) Rafi, (Cavin) Lobo, (Subhasish) Roy, and the others have showed an extraordinary level. There are some others in the rest of the teams like Shouvik (Chakraborty), Romeo (Fernandes) and (Sandesh) Jhingan.”

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