The winger has represented the Moroccan national team four times.
28-year-old Moroccan Noah Sadaoui is FC Goa’s statement signing for the 2022-23 Indian Super League season. The winger is an African Nations Championship with his national team and brings with him the experience of playing in American academies. Sadaoui has made four appearances for his nation, debuting in the trophy-winning 2020 AFCON campaign, and starting both the semi-final and final.
He shared his thoughts with members of the media in a press conference earlier today.
Experience so far in Goa
Noah Sadaoui reached the country a few weeks back and has been seen gelling in the training sessions. The winger had positive things to say about his experiences so far in Goa. He mentioned, “Since the first day, I matched in with them (teammates), constantly laughing and joking around so it has been great. It is a great team, and the guys accept you. It helps you in the long run. We are making progress under the coaches, and they train us well. I feel we are improving every day.”
On not signing for Goa despite being linked from 2020
Sadaoui had been a prime target for the Gaurs for two years, reportedly. He was in constant touch with the team and followed the previous ISL season extensively. Although he had offers from other clubs, Sadaoui eventually picked Goa.
On being asked why he did not sign earlier Noah replied, “Sometimes things do not work out in the time you want them to. They (Goa) always had an interest in me, and I always had an interest for the team. The move did not go through. But finally, we agreed on things, and I am able to say that I am here now.”
Preferred position for the upcoming season
The Moroccan international was brought in to replace Spanish winger Jorge Ortiz, who secured a move to Sichuan Jiuniu in China. Sadaoui spoke on his preferred position and said, “I play on the left wing. I can also play as a striker or as a No.10. Basically, anywhere up top. I don’t like to stay in one position.”
Combining with other forwards
FC Goa have pressed the reset button after a lowly ninth-place finish last season. The Gaurs have signed some exciting foreign talent, namely Iker Guarrotxena, Alvaro Vazquez, and Fares Arnaout. Noah Sadaoui is also there in the list. The fans can expect some free-flowing football under coach Carlos Pena.
Sadaoui will look to form a good understanding with the other forwards. The winger asserted, “We are a team and I have to understand the way they play, run, and what they are like. This is what pre-season is for and we are still getting to know each other. With hard work and following the coach’s instructions, we will be able to do some damage in the league. Alvaro has played in the league before, so has Brandon, and Iker can play in different positions. We all have different strengths, and we are working on bringing that together.”
The road back to the top
The team from Goa will aim to bounce back strongly after last season’s disappointment. Sadaoui outlined the plans for a swift recovery and said, “We have all new foreigners and that means the players are hungry. I want to win, and we have a coach who has won before. We have a good combination of players and feel that we can do great, seeing the hunger and tempo in training.”
One-month wait before returning home
After two full seasons in the bio-bubble and empty stadiums, Goan fans will have to wait for almost a month into the season for football to return. The Gaurs will play their first home game on 3rd November, against Jamshedpur FC.
When asked if this can have an impact on the team, Sadaoui answered, “Yes, the fans are very important. I hope our fans can travel and support us when we play away because we do need their help. We shouldn’t put that in our heads, and we can only control what we can do on the field. The most important is that wherever we play, we must be solid and do the right things by working hard. Everything will come together no matter if we play home or away.”
Plans for the National Team
Noah Sadaoui has not represented Morocco since the African Nations Championship success. On being asked about his plans of returning to the national team he answered, “Sometimes when you least expect it, you get invited to the national team. My focus right now is FC Goa and to ensure that I make a difference by helping them win titles. The national team is an amazing thing to play for and any player wants to play for their national team. But you never know what happens. The ISL is a good league and maybe there is a chance to represent Morocco again.”