The 36-year-old forward explained the motives behind his move to India, the style of play at the club and ambitions for the season.
Few weeks ago, FC Goa roped in experienced forward Igor Angulo ahead of the upcoming campaign of the Indian Super League. The marksman will be tasked with the responsibility of supplying goals for the Gaurs. Angulo rose through the ranks at Athletic Bilbao and made his LaLiga debut for the Spanish outfit in 2003. The striker went on to play for the likes of Gimnastic, Numancia and Real Union in his homeland before venturing abroad to test himself in foreign conditions, plying his trade in France, Cyprus, Greece and Poland.
“To play abroad is nice. I played in Spain at all the levels. I also played some games in LaLiga with Athletic Bilbao. At the end, I wanted to try something new and that’s why I went to Cyprus, Greece, Poland. Finally, I think, to be a real good player, you have to adapt yourself to any conditions, not only the good ones but the worst ones also.”
“I wanted to test myself and my performance there. I had good numbers, that is why I wanted to try in India. India is a very good challenge for me. I am very ambitious and I want to test myself in every condition. That is why I took the decision to move,” Angulo told host Anant Tyagi in a live session on the ISL’s Instagram handle.
The 36-year-old admitted that he didn’t know anything about the league and Goa in the beginning. However, the striker spoke to his compatriots Carlos Pena, Edu Bedia, and Javier Hernandez, who provided a glowing review of Indian football and FC Goa, which made the decision to sign for the Indian outfit quite easy for him.
Explaining how the move came about and some of the reasons for his switch, Angulo remarked, “Ravi (Puskur), the Director of Football of Goa, called me in the beginning and I felt that they really wanted me and this was key for my decision to move there. I wanted to be in a team that really wants me, I like to be a leader in my team. I’m 36 and was a leader in the last years and I want to continue like this. I think in Goa, I am going to be an important player and I wanted it to be like this.”
After finishing atop the table in the league stage of the ISL last term, Goa will now become the first Indian club to compete in the group stage of the AFC Champions League. Their foreign acquisition believes it will be great challenge for the side and thinks that they can hold their own against the best sides in Asia.
“When I realized that FC Goa will play the AFC Champions League, it was key for my decision to move there,” continued Igor Angulo. “As I said, I am an ambitious player and I want to play against the best teams possible. In India, of course there are very good teams but if we compete with the best teams in Asia, it is amazing for all of us and it is a good challenge to see which level we really have. I think we are good enough, have a squad good enough to face this high-level competition.”
Prior to joining FC Goa, Igor Angulo enjoyed a very successful stint in Poland, playing for Gornik Zabre. The striker finished as the highest goalscorer at the club in each of his four seasons, amassing 109 goal contributions in 154 games. However, he played in a pragmatic system that relied on catching teams on the break, which is completely different to the philosophy at Goa. Nevertheless, the forward is confident of settling in seamlessly and excelling in a more attacking style of play.
“It is going to be different for me because in the last four years, we didn’t play like this. We played more counter-attacks. Also, we weren’t the best team in Poland, so we had to adapt to the opponents. Now, it is going to be different in India. Goa is one of the best teams in the league, so of course we will have to keep the ball, attack all the time.”
He further added, “Goa has the Spanish style, keep possession all the time. They have many Spanish players in the past and coaches. I think it is going to be easier for me to adapt to this style of football – this Spanish style because I am used to playing like this in my past, not in the last four years, but yes in the past. I am going to enjoy it.”
The Spaniard has assured fans that there won’t be drastic changes in that trademark style under new coach Juan Ferrando. “I think this year with Juan, he is not going to change anything about it. Yes, some details to win, to keep winning, but the style is clear and fans love it. So, I think we are going to keep this style, to take the ball every time and keep attacking, doesn’t matter the score.”
Finally, Igor Angulo spoke about his style of play, strengths and job in the side. He also opened on the challenge of replacing Ferran Corominas, who is a legendary figure at Goa, after plundering 48 goals and notching 16 assists across 57 matches in the Indian Super League.
“What the fans from Goa can expect from me is a typical striker. I like to win the ball, I like to be close to the post, I like to score goals and at the end, it is my job — I am a striker. I don’t like to come in midfield and start the play. But, I like to finish the actions, at the end as I say it is my job to finish the actions. The numbers are there and I hope to continue like this also in Goa.”
“Corominas was very good there (FC Goa). He is a legend there at the club and now I am going to replace him. I think Corominas for sure is one of the best players in Goa in the last six years. For the fans, Corominas is one of the best and I think he deserves it. That is why, it’s a good challenge for me to replace him. To make the fans to forget him would be a good challenge and I will try to do it,” Igor Angulo concluded.