The Delhi Dynamos midfielder counts Pep Guardiola as his footballing inspiration…

Marcos Tebar, a Spanish midfielder plying his trade for Delhi Dynamos FC in the Indian Super League, has brought a different skill-set to Indian football. Nimble-footed and capable of operating in tight spaces, Tebar sits deep and co-ordinates the game-play of Delhi Dynamos from the center of the pitch.

With Florent Malouda and Milan Singh operating just ahead him, giving him the protection against opposition defensive midfielders, Tebar has excelled in the role for the Dynamos, contributing immensely in Delhi’s possession-based game-play and taking them to the top of the ISL table.

With convincing and incisive passing, the midfielder ensures the team keeps ticking in the attacking third, also providing enough cover to the central defense in the times of need. In a recent exclusive interview with Khel Now the Spanish midfielder opened up on various issues from Delhi Dynamos to Spanish football. Excerpts:

Q. What were your thoughts about India as a country before you came here to play for Delhi Dynamos?

A-I had heard a lot of things before coming to India. But, I didn’t realize how different it would be till I got here. The lifestyle is different, the people are different and the culture is different. It’s a very nice country.

Q. Having played for a long time for Real Madrid, tell us something about the club?

A-I think it is one of the biggest clubs in the world. It was a very good experience working there. I spent 12 twelve years there and passed through many teams. I got my break to play in the first team. So, it was a nice experience.

Q. Delhi Dynamos have seen an unbelievable revival since the beginning of the third season, you playing a major part in it? What, according to you, are the main reasons for this change?

A-I don’t know. I didn’t follow the Delhi Dynamos in the first two seasons. But this season I think we have been working hard since the pre-season. We have some really good players. We try to score whenever we can and I think we have a solid defence as well. But, it’s just the first part of the season and we haven’t achieved anything yet. So, we have to remain focused. We have to make the semi-finals first and then focus on another target.

Q. Your take on Indian Super League and Indian football and how can this situation be bettered?

A-I think ISL is going to be a good advert because it is going up every year and a lot of good players want to come here to play.

Q. Which player has been your toughest opposition this season, and why?

A-With Jofre I had a problem because he’s very smart. He plays well between the gaps and finds gaps well. So, he was the toughest player to mark because he played as a No.10 but he moved a lot.

Q. Which Indian player has impressed you the most?

A-In my team, Kean Lewis is doing really well. He started the season a bit quiet. But, now he’s really become explosive and is finishing off the play-making well.

Q. How challenging is it to play as the deep-lying playmaker/defensive midfielder? What would be your advice to budding footballers who want to excel in that role?

A-I have played in that position my whole career. I feel comfortable there. I have played at centre-back as well, but, I think the best position for me is between defense and midfield.

I think they have to watch a lot of games. Of course the difference between Europe and Indian players is that in Europe they have a lot of good coaches. Here, it is possible to watch a lot of matches from other countries. So, if they like to play in that position they have to watch someone like Busquets, who I think is one of the best players in that position.

Q. Which player would you call as your footballing inspiration and which part of his game-play you loved the most?

A-For me the inspirational player was Guardiola as he played in the same position as me. I liked the way he controlled the tempo and the game. I was a supporter of Real Madrid but when I watched him play for Barca it was amazing.

Q. Your favorite club and current favorite player in the world?

A-The best player in the world is Lionel Messi. If I have to choose in my position, I would say Busquets. I’m a Real Madrid supporter though….

Q. With Delhi Dynamos reaching the semi-finals last season and currently being at the top of the league table, what do you think about your team’s chances? Also, kindly put a little light on its strengths and weaknesses.

A-I don’t know because the league is one thing and the players are another thing. If you have one bad game, you are out. So, we need to try to make the semi-finals as soon as possible. Then rest and be quiet. After that, focus on the playoffs game-by-game.

I am not going to say that. These are the things for other coaches to control. But, one of the best things about us is that we play as a group. We play together. Everyone runs for the 90 minutes and never give up.

Q. The Spain National Team has seen a little downfall after leading world football from 2007-2012. Your take on this situation.

A-I think it is very tough to be at the top for that long. I think Spain were very good and that generation was amazing. They are trying to continue that kind of style and football but I think it is going to be difficult to find that kind of generation again.

Q. Your favorite city and cuisine?

A-I like Italian food and my favourite city is London, not to live maybe, but to visit yes.

Q. You’ve been one of the most likeable midfielders in the Indian Super League, with your ball-playing skills often referred similar to a certain Sergio Busquets. Your message to your fans?

A-My message for the fans is that they have to continue supporting us because we need them to back us up. I hope they enjoy our football and I think it is going to be a really good season for everyone.

Photo © ISL Media

Interview by Punit Tripathi Khel Now Correspondent from Delhi – A sports enthusiast. Freelance writer on football and cricket. A die-hard Manchester United follower. You can Follow him on twitter .