FC Goa coach Juan Ferrando, who is set to debut in the AFC (Confederation of Asian Football) Champions League group stage, said playing against big names in Asia is like a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity for many players. Juan Ferrando comments on the AFC Champions League and how important it is to be a part of it.
FC Goa qualified for the 2021 AFC Champions League group stage by winning the ISL (Indian Super League) ‘Winners Shield’ in the 2019-20 season. This is the first time an Indian team will play in the group stage of this competition.
FC Goa will begin their campaign against Al-Rayan of Qatar on 14 April in this continental club competition.
“We are very excited,” Ferrando told the All India Football Federation (AIFF) website. “It is one of the biggest competitions in the world, like the Uefa Champions League and the Copa Libertadores.”
He said, “It is like a once in a lifetime experience for many players. These are the things for which you start playing football. We are all very excited about this and hope to make the country proud.”
“This is a big opportunity.” Not only for FC Goa but for the whole country. It is a chance for our players to play against the big names of Asia,” he added.
“I always help improve the players. Even after a brilliant campaign in the ISL, I know that there is still room for a lot of improvement in the team. “
“I am very excited that Goa and India are hosting such a big tournament, but sadly, fans will not get a chance to come to the stadium and enjoy it.”
“Getting India the right to host shows that institutions like AFC and FIFA have faith in this country,” he said.
FC Goa are in Group E where they play against Al-Rayan (Qatar), Persepolis FC (Iran), and Al-Wahd (UAE). This is the first time India will host the AFC Champions League.
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