The skipper along with midfielder Brandon Fernandes spoke about the team’s preparations ahead of the upcoming campaign.

FC Goa became the first club from India to qualify for the group stages of the AFC Champions League, courtesy finishing on top of the Indian Super League standings after the league phase last season. However, this season, the team have gone for a complete revamp, after most of the stars followed former head coach Sergio Lobera to a new-look Mumbai City FC. FC Goa held a Media Day on Thursday and in the second session newly-appointed captain Edu Bedia and star midfielder Brandon Fernandes addressed the media.

In youth football, Edu Bedia played with the likes of former Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera, Jordi Alba and current Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta for Spain’s U-20 side. He has also played with Lionel Messi during his time at Barcelona and described his experience saying, “I would say to be able to spend time with the Barcelona senior team was amazing. Training with the likes of Xavi, (Andres) Iniesta, Neymar and Messi for one full year was an incredible experience.”

FC Goa have a relatively new squad, as most of them were signed this season. Edu Bedia was asked to give his thoughts on his former teammates who left for new pastures. He said, “It’s football and players come and go. What we are looking and aiming for this season is a good dressing room and build an atmosphere within the team. Working and improving with our new head coach and working on the tactical aspect.”

Brandon Fernandes: All goals in 2020-21 season

Meanwhile, the Indian national team haven’t played together for a year now and there’s no clarity on when international football will resume. Speaking on the topic, Brandon Fernandes said, “It’s not in our hands as to when we play our next game. We still don’t have any clarity yet, so I just have work at the club and keep myself fit.”

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Goa have hired a new head coach, which means there will be tactical changes. Speaking on Juan Ferrando’s philosophy, Bedia quoted, “The style of play would be the same, but with regards to tactical aspect you expect from us is this year, we will be more organized. We are not only working on our defence but also on our attacking movements.”

“Nowadays, in football, it’s not just talent that wins you games but the physical quality and tactical awareness that does. Over the last two seasons, there were teams that were tactically superior than us, Bengaluru FC being a prime example. We were outplayed and that cost us the title. But, I believe the way we are going we will be a threat to any opposition.”

Blue Tigers boss Igor Stimac has admitted that he speaks to club coaches in order to help the national team. Quizzed if Stimac has requested Ferrando to play him in a certain position, Brandon replied, “I don’t think so. We (Stimac and him) had a chat couple of months ago. He told me to give my best for the club and be ready for national team matches. I don’t know if both the coaches have talked to each other, but me and the national team coach never had such a conversation.”

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