From India With Love – Luisma Looks to Move To The Police Force
Luis Manuel Villa Lopez was a free agent when offered the chance to move to India and play in the ISL last season. Now, having won the second league title of his career with Bengaluru FC, he finds himself without a club again.
It was January 2019 and Luisma– had just become a free agent after terminating his contract with SD Ponferradina, a Spanish third-division side in the north-west of Spain.
Out of the blue, he received a call, asking if he would be interested in moving 5,000 miles to sign for Bengaluru FC in the Indian Super League.
“At first, I said no, because I had no desire to leave,” said Luisma in a recent interview with Betway.
Having finished runners-up the previous year, Bengaluru – nicknamed ‘The Blues’ – were already halfway through their regular season, but still had one spare spot on their roster for a foreign player during the run-in.
Competition rules dictate that each squad can have eight foreign players, only five of whom are allowed on the pitch at any one time. That, though, suited Luisma down to the ground.
Luisma earned a contract and became a regular starter for the Conference side but, when Davids resigned and was replaced by Martin Allen in January, his minutes on the pitch began to dry up.
“At the end of the season, we had a meeting in Martin’s office,” Luisma recalls.
“I already sensed that he didn’t think much of me, and then he gave me a piece of paper with my statistics for that season (four goals, six assists).
“He pointed to the assists and said: ‘Not bad’, before pointing to the goals and saying: ‘Not good enough.’ He circled the four with a pen and looked me in the eyes for 30 seconds before saying: ‘If you score 10 goals next season, we’ll be champions.’
In the upcoming months, Luisma will be looking for a new role back in Spain after his time in India comes to an end. Potentially not returning to football, he is considering time in the Police force as an alternative.