Interview with Zico

Zico interview with ABCDFootball
Zico speaks to ABCDFootball regarding ISL
and Indian Football
ABCDFootball is proud and honored to bring to you the exclusive interview with Brazilian legendary footballer and manager, Arthur Antunes Coimbra, known as commonly and most famously known as "Zico". Zico is currently the marquee manager of FC Goa. The former National Team coach of Japan and Iraq, who is the fourth highest goal scorer of the Brazilian National Team, one of the best players in the game during his time and also being recognized by FIFA as one of the top 100 world's greatest living players. We got an opportunity to ask our questions to Zico for which we are very thankful to him. The questions were asked by several Indian Football enthusiasts who posted their questions in social media(facebook). Here is how the interview went:

ABCDFootball: If given an opportunity, would you be interested to coach the National Team? (Debjit Majumder, West Bengal)

Zico: As of now my main focus is to coach FC Goa.

ABCDFootball: The best Indian player you spotted till now in FC Goa's training? (Hrisav Bhowmick, West Bengal)

Zico: Everyone plays well. They all are good players. It is very difficult to give one name.

ABCDFootball: As a coach, what are the factors you look in a player and how do you plan to improve their weaker side?

Zico: My objective is clear. The objective is to reach the finals and win. I am optimistic about this. We are training really very hard. I have spent time with each and every one of the players and have shared my philosophy of the game with the team.

ABCDFootball: Being a nation of 1.2 Billion, we see even small island nations with limited resources and infrastructure in the likes of Papua and New Guinea, Tahiti and others make it to the top level, it makes us wonder if they can why can't India do the same? What makes a football loving nation struggle with a 150+ odd world ranking and what is its remedy?(Soham Chatterjee, West Bengal)

Zico: In each country the football culture is different.  In Brazil, football is a passion. People follow it with a fierce passion. I came to Kolkata in 2004 for the world cup preliminaries and saw stadia full of people enthusiastically cheering and enjoying the game. In India too there is passion and love for the game and Indian football is definitely getting better. I am here to offer my expertise and advice to the team and help the growth of football.

ABCDFootball: What prompted you to come to a footballing nation which is no where among the recognized "footballing nation"? Who were the key players in the development of Japanese Football and how much involvement does the Government had? (Abhik Mandal, West Bengal)

Zico: The FC Goa team from Goa approached me to take up this position. They travelled to Brazil to meet me. They explained the concept to me and I found it interesting. Also, Asian football  is getting stronger. Its developing and evolving fast. And I didn’t want to be a mere passenger, I am here because I want to be a part of the development of football in this country.

ABCDFootball: How long will it take for Indian football to reach the level of Japanese football ? (Ashwin Kv, Andhra Pradesh)

Zico speaks on Indian Football
Zico to ABCDFootball -
"The ability to grow lies with the player"
Zico: India is a very large country but it is very unfortunate that the standard of football is not too high. For success, we have to work very hard. I have done so in my country and will do the same in India. I will offer my experience and knowledge to better the sport of football in the country.

If Indian players would like to grow, it depends on the Indian football players’ mentality. We can provide help through our rich experience and coaching but the ability to grow lies solely with the player. I am here to extend my help for the growth of football whether the player is amateur or a professional. My job is to bring out the best in them and I’ll do that.

ABCDFootball:  Its a few days now that you have been training the Indian players. Whats your initial observation about their technical standard? Compare it to Japan (when you played), how much difference is there between the two (India and Japan) in terms of standards maintained? (Archak Sengupta, West Bengal and Sachim Karekar, Maharashtra)

Zico: Each country is different from the other. In Japan there was no professionalism at all. But the biggest advantage I had was that everyone in the Japanese team was united and wanted to progress from amateur football to professional football. If India would like to grow, it depends on the Indian football players’ mentality. We can provide help through our rich experience but the ability to grow lies solely in them. I am here to extend my help for the growth of football. But first I need to spend time with the team and understand their strengths and weaknesses and share my philosophy with them. I also need to understand the cultural nuances of the country. The training has been good so far. The players look strong and are ready to go. We have been preparing well for all this time. I have spent time with them to understand each and every one of the players and have shared my philosophy with them.

ABCDFootball: What according to you are the primary steps that are essential for a nation like India to grow in football? (Saswata Gorai, West Bengal)

Zico: The most important thing is development of football at the grassroot level. There is need of good academies which will train the kids from the very start, and help them become professional over the period of time.

This interview was taken by Debraj Banerjee of ABCDFootball. We would like to thank Zico, the FC Goa Mediadesk, especially Sean Faia for making the interview a successful one. Also, we are proud that we could organize such a interview where most of the questions were compiled by the fans themselves through our facebook page. We always appreciate feedback, be it negative or positive, because those are the only pointers which helps us to understand ourselves better. So, drop in your feedback in the comments section below or you can even mail us at - admin@abcdfootball.com or sam80dev3@gmail.com .
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About Debraj Banerjee

Hi, I am Debraj Banerjee from Adra, West Bengal. A keen follower of Indian football and always an optimist that the game will get the recognition it truely deserves. What we ask from you is your support and one day the dream might turn true. Fingers crossed for Indian football. Cheers!

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