The Brazilian had previously played under Owen Coyle at Major League Soccer outfit Houston Dynamo in the USA.

Following the appointment of Owen Coyle ahead of the upcoming season, Jamshedpur FC signed up Brazilian striker Alex Lima as their star centre-forward, with the club pushing for a playoff finish after coming up short in the recent campaigns. The 31-year-old striker has played all around the world and is infamous for his good work in the Major League Soccer (MLS) in the recent years.

As a matter of fact, Lima played under Coyle when the Scotsman was the manager of Houston Dynamo between 2014-16 and the two will look to recreate their magic in the Indian Super League (ISL) this time around. Khel Now had the opportunity of an exclusive chat with the newest foreign recruit of Jamshedpur FC, as Alex Lima opened up about his feelings on joining the ISL club to reunite with Coyle.

“I am extremely excited, honoured, and of course happy to be able to help the club reach the playoffs – and hopefully more. A long awaited and deserved goal for the amazing fans,” the Brazilian began.

“To be playing for Owen again is a great pleasure. Our time in Houston was intense. He is a coach with a strong personality who knows what he wants. I am happy to play the role of number 10 in his tactical system where I will be distributing the ball, making the game but also fighting hard duels on both sides of the field.”

Having played in Europe, South America, North America and Asia, Jamshedpur FC star striker Alex Lima has a vast amount of experience in plying his trade all over the world. The 31-year-old spoke about his long career as he explained, “I started very early with my father being my first coach. After my youth career years in Brazil, I jumped at the opportunity to play in Europe at the age of 19.  During my time in Switzerland, I learned a lot about discipline and that football is not only about playing pretty dribbles but also about hard work.”

“When Chicago Fire showed interest in me, I was ready to play in the MLS. The league is still in its growing phase and I had a lot of fun playing for Chicago and later for Houston Dynamo, where I met Owen Coyle. In 2018 I left MLS for South Korea to experience a different part of the world and a different style of football.”

Lima’s biggest success with Houston came when he helped them progress into the MLS Western Conference Final, unfortunately coming up short to Seattle Sounders. But the Brazilian still has fond memories of that occasion as he recalled, “(Those were) awesome memories of stadiums filled to the rim with a fantastic atmosphere. We had a good team with great spirit. It’s those kind of emotions we players live for.”

Alex Lima can’t wait to see how passionate India or Jamshedpur FC fans are about football, but also outlined some reasons about the league’s popularity which could’ve swayed him to join. He said, “I have yet to discover how passionate Indians can be. I look forward to my time in India.”

“It seems that everyone in football is now talking about ISL. I’ve been watching a lot of games of the last season to prepare myself. I love the enthusiasm of the fans. Although, unfortunately, this season I’m going to miss them at the stadium.”

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While there is nervousness all around the world about football being played during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Brazilian believes the ISL has set exemplary standards to ensure the next season is taken with utmost precaution. “In any part of the world we must be careful in following the hygiene rules. The professional way ISL is dealing with the pandemic situation is exemplary. I haven’t arrived in India yet, but so far, I feel that the necessary precautions have been and will be taken to provide the safest possible environment,” he explained.

Interestingly, Alex Lima has played in a play-offs system similar to that of the ISL in the MLS and reflected his feelings on that particular format and ambitions of Jamshedpur FC to qualify. “The playoff system was new to me when I arrived in MLS. It helps to keep the suspense until the end of the season and to have the possibility to shake things up during the playoffs. Not only for the fans but also for us players. Our first objective is reaching the playoffs, once we get there, we re-focus and anything can happen after that.”

Alex Lima voiced a simple mantra which he’ll be following to help Owen Coyle & Jamshedpur FC to glory next season. “For me it is important to enjoy the game. To play attractive football, to move the ball forward, to score and to win games. And I leave the tactical work up to the head coach,” he signed off.

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