Exclusive: It was always going to be difficult for Real Madrid to replace Ronaldo and Zidane- Marcos Tebar
Written by: Neil Talnikar
The Spaniard is a Real Madrid product, and has played for the likes of Girona and Almeria.
It is quite intriguing to know how much influence the Spanish players have in the Indian Super League (ISL). The quality that players like Ferran Corominas, Sergio Cidoncha, Manuel Lanzarote and several others have brought to the attack is absolutely top class.
However, it is not just the attackers who have left an impression on the league, midfielders and defenders too have had a huge impact on their respective teams while being on the pitch.
Recently, Khel Now had the opportunity to speak to Delhi Dynamos Spanish midfielder Marcos Tebar, to get his take on Indian football, coaches and many other things. The 33-year-old looks dominant in the holding role, but is quite soft-spoken as a person. He offered great insight into the game and also threw light on the development of Indian football.
Tebar began by discussing the season, which hasn't been so good for his side despite their late resurgence. “Well, it was difficult at first, as we didn’t get a win until the last game before the break (against Chennaiyin). I think we had a lot of opportunities, but didn’t score the goals we should have had.”
He explained how the team’s performance has improved now and that they look much more solid and competitive than they were at the start of the campaign. The midfielder also threw light on his relationship with head coach Josep Gombau saying, “I love to work with him and his staff. Moreover, this type of football suits me well.”
Tebar's ISL 5-a-side team
“I like to take control of the game by keeping the ball with us and setting the tempo which is also what the coach wants.”
During the 2017-18 season, the Spaniard was a part of the FC Pune City squad which made it to the playoffs, but switched back to Delhi after the term. Speaking on his move he said, “I think it was a better option for me (to come back to Delhi). Even though we achieved qualification for the playoffs, the atmosphere in the team wasn’t very good and we also weren’t enjoying the time as much as we are now.”
“I think at Delhi, we have got a very good coach as compared to the one we had when I was with Pune and I am quite enjoying my time here than there.”
Before moving to Pune, the Spaniard was a part of the Delhi squad that also made it to the playoffs in the reign of the then head coach Gianluca Zambrotta. The midfielder describes his time under the Italian boss as one with special moments, where the team had a very good set of players, the atmosphere was pretty good and they were also playing the best football in the league. It was unfortunate that they couldn’t win the title after going down to Kerala Blasters on penalties in the semi-finals.
Having played under three coaches- Zambrotta, Ranko Popovic and Gombau, in his three seasons in the ISL, Tebar says he enjoyed his time with both the Dynamos’ coaches. He also showed his admiration for the Italian tactician. “Since he was a professional footballer himself, he came with a lot of experience and had a very good knowledge of football.”
Talking about the progress that the league has made in his presence the midfield strongman said, “I think the number of Indian players in the league has increased since my first year here and you can see the players have become more mature too. It is also evident from the way the Indian national team performed recently, that the league has brought significant development in the local players.”
Tebar's World 5-a-side team
“There are many young players who have impressed in the other countries too like Chhangte (Lallianzuala); then there’s Albino (Gomes), who is playing very good and Nandhakumar too,” added the 33-year-old.
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21-year-old Chhangte recently impressed during his trials with Norwegian club Viking FK and the midfielder had a few kind words for the youngster. “He has to develop his football. He is playing good football right now and should take advantage of the same.”
“I think if he goes abroad he needs to be an important part of the team, he needs to play more games. Overall, he is a good player and I do think he has the potential to play outside India.”
Furthermore, the former La Liga player heaped praise on the young Indian players and the national team as a whole saying, “I think the level has increased and you can see their progress from the way they played the last few games.”
“Despite the bad results, the way they played was much better than they did a few years before. Now, I think they are equal and could beat some national teams that are genuinely at a good level.”
Coming to Spanish football, the former Real Madrid academy graduate expressed his views on the team’s performance this season and their chances in the Champions League. “I think, Real Madrid can always win the Champions League. I think they are the best amongst all the teams in the League.”
Since former manager Zinedine Zidane and star forward Cristiano Ronaldo left the club, the Spanish giants have struggled to keep up in the league. Explaining how the Los Blancos can overcome the situation Tebar said, “Obviously, it would always be difficult for a club to replace a player like Cristiano and a coach like Zidane, who managed to win three Champions League titles with the club.”
“Real didn’t sign any player to replace Ronaldo, but I think they will have to find someone, even if it is almost impossible to find a player like him. But, yes, maybe they need to sign another player.”
The Madrid-born player also expressed his opinion on what qualities the next successful manager of Real Madrid should possess saying, “ At first I had thought Lopetegui (Julen) was a good coach, but he didn’t have the time to show he's good. Its because at Real, you are under a lot of pressure and if the results are not good, you are out.”
“So, for me, an ideal coach should have patience. He should be clever enough to let the players be themselves, exactly like Zidane did,” he added while concluding.
Published: Fri Mar 01, 2019 05:32 PM IST