The Spaniard also spoke about his talks with coach Ivan Vukomanovic, Kerala Blasters’ Sporting Director and more.

Kerala Blasters announced the acquisition of Spanish defender Victor Mongil a few days back. The ex-ATK FC, Odisha centre-back is their latest foreign signing ahead of the 2022/23 Indian Super League (ISL) season.

Mongil has been playing in the ISL for the last three years and has decent experience too. The 29-year-old gave an all-revealing chat to ISL presenter Khuri Irani in a live session on the Kerala Blasters Instagram page on Sunday. Here are few excerpts from it.

Thoughts on Kerala Blasters move

The defender started off by narrating the reason behind his decision to join Kerala Blasters. He said, “I have been lucky to play for some really top clubs in ATK FC and Odisha FC but for me, this move was the best because Kerala Blasters FC, for me, are the biggest club in India because of their support and love of the fans.”

“I’ve been waiting for three years for this (to play for Kerala Blasters FC) but now it’s a reality. I am very excited for this new chapter and I can’t wait to play my first game in front of our fans at Kochi,” he added.

When asked whether he’s under pressure to perform for the Tuskers, Mongil explained,  “Hopefully I can win the trophy with Kerala. I like their project because it aims to fight for the first position. Every player wants to play for a big project. I’ll be fighting in every game for them and hopefully, luck stays on our side, and we can lift the trophy.”

Talk with manager and fan reception

The Spaniard also had very kind words for the Kerala Blasters fans, He asserted, “The fans are the 12th man in a match. I hope the fans can come back to the stadiums, because in the first game I want all our fans to help the team get the first three points of the season.”

Victor Mongil also revealed the interesting talk he had with manager Ivan Vukomanovic after the move. He quipped, “I talked with everyone. When I spoke to him, he answered back in Spanish. He speaks six languages, which is amazing! I didn’t even have to talk to him in English. He received me with a lot of love and wanted me in the team.

“Last year, Kerala had an important season in the ISL and we want to continue in this way. In the new season, we have another opportunity to play in the final. That should be our goal to continue this run and fight until we reach the final. I want to take my second trophy with them,” he added.

How he intends to help youngsters

The centre-back also vowed to help improve the youngsters at the club. Mongil explained, “My idea is to help all the young players. From my experience in India, I want to help these young players develop because they are the future of the national team. The aim of Kerala Blasters is to help every player improve and give them opportunities. I want to help everyone and talk to them about their problems because football can be brutal.

“You can stay very high and then go very down. We need to be composed in the mind and on the pitch. I have my idea about training and I want to help them train in terms of mentality, diet, and everything else. The more the players can be professional, the closer we’ll be to the trophy,” he added.

Help youngsters recover from losses

When asked about how he intends to help the Kerala Blasters youngsters bounce back from defeats next season, he commented, “I’m a player who if I lose, I’m very sad because I want to win every game, but it’s football! You have a possibility to win or lose, but it depends on every player. Every player wants to succeed, but that is too difficult in world football.

“The most important thing is to keep a healthy mind. We can’t have problems with losses because you need to come back and win in the next 3-4 days after that. You can’t improve if you think about the mistakes committed in the previous match, you need to keep your mind healthy,” he added.

His ideal role and plans to adapt to Kerala’s style

Mongil was also asked about his ideal role to play for the Tuskers and he revealed: “I prefer to play as a centre back. I can play left-back at times and maybe if the coach asks me to play as a defensive midfielder because of my skill, then I won’t have a problem with that. I’ll try my best in that position and I like it, because I love touching the ball.

“In Spain, I played for the likes of Atletico Madrid where the rule is to demand the ball and move it forward. As a defensive midfielder, I get more of the ball. For me that is important. If the coach plays me in the first XI, I’ll play anything he wants me to,” he added.

When asked about how he aims to adapt to the major expectations of a team like Kerala Blasters, Victor Mongil answered: “It’s my first time playing in Kerala, but when I play for other clubs, we always wanted to be in the top four, play the final and win the trophy. I think now they are closer to these possibilities.

“When I spoke with the sporting director about signing for Kerala Blasters, I realized a lot of possibilities and believed in their project. The other offers I can’t speak about, but I want to continue playing for Kerala in India.  

“I love pressure because the fans want Kerala to win the trophy for the first time and enjoy with the players. This pressure is normal, because they are a big club. For me, individually, the pressure is most on the players.

“It’s good because you need to stay on the pitch and be there with your 100% until the last second of the game. In football and in life, if you don’t give your maximum, you can’t fulfil your objectives. That is most important,” he added.

Personal objectives and which Kerala Blasters players he’s eager to link up with

The 29-year-old also spoke about his desire to open his goal account in the ISL next season, saying: “I really want to score goals, because in my three seasons in the ISL, I never scored! I want my first goal to be for the people of Kerala. My work is to ensure a clean-sheet in every game, but I never scored in India! Hopefully, that can change this season.”

Speaking about who he’s eager to link up with at Kerala Blasters, Victor Mongil stated: “I want to know more about Adrian Luna. He’s a great player and a good player. I know about (Harmanjot) Khabra and Ishfaq (Ahmed), but I want to stay with all of them. But I want to know Luna because he was their captain last season and so I was at Odisha.

“South American players, like me, can be hot on the pitch. If he’s angry on the pitch and I can get that too, so I want to know how to play with him. Because he plays forward and I am in the defence, I want to avoid any friendly fighting. I want to give my maximum for the team.”

Message to the fans

Finally, Victor Mongil sent a message to the Kerala Blasters fans, saying: “Thank you for everything! I see so much love for myself, all through social media. Their support Kerala is unbelievable. I promise you that I will give my 100% on the pitch. This is a very important year for me and the team. I really want to see full stadiums in our home games and hopefully, we’ll stay in a good position this season.

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