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Exclusive: We have learnt from the mistakes of last season- Ferran Corominas

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The former Espanyol man once leads the ISL goalscoring charts this season with 15 strikes under his belt.

Stiven Mendoza for Chennaiyin FC, Marcelinho for Delhi Dynamos and Elano for Chennaiyin FC. This bracket was joined by a little-known Spaniard Ferran Corominas, as he joined the Indian Super League in 2017-18 and took the league by storm. He scored the highest number of goals last campaign and in just under two terms, is sitting comfortably at the top of the all-time scorers' list.

Corominas is a natural goalscorer. Strikers, usually, are branded as finishers or creators, but he fulfills both. He’s got a handsome leap and can cleanly strike the ball from both feet. The curl he earns from the inside of his right foot at times would make Thierry Henry proud. Where did this beast come from?

He spent eight years in the Espanyol side, playing 165 times. He moved on to several other Spanish clubs like Osasuna (loan), Girona, Elche and Mallorca, and the goals never deserted him. Coro, as he is mor commonly known, signed for Cypriot club Doxa Katokopias FC and from there, signed for FC Goa before the 2017-18 season.

It all began so organically, that he hardly allowed eyeballs to fall on him. Manuel Lanzarote (currently playing at ATK) hogged most of the limelight as the #8 continued to maraud one defense after another. FC Goa, primarily known for their attacking brand of football, were once again on the right track. They reached the knockout rounds, but were defeated by a well-drilled Chennaiyin FC side that went on to lift the title.

 

Watch: Some goals by Ferran Corominas

Coro has continued the good work upfront, having disturbed the net 15 times in 17 games already. Adding to that, he’s also supplied seven assists, a strong number for a man who’s got the license to go it alone from his manager Sergio Lobera. Khel Now got into a conversation with the 36-year-old and he shed some light on his time in Indian football.

We asked him about the lessons he learned from the playoffs last season. Goa were the better side on paper and yet, Chennaiyin defeated them 4-1 over the course of two legs. Coro responded, “I think we had a tight first match the last time (It had ended 1-1). We had created a lot of chances in the first 15 minutes in the second leg, but could not convert them well. After conceding once, we could not respond well. I think we’ve learned better to deal with that and in this playoff, we will do better. We have to approach it differently.”

Goa are one of the few sides who have retained their core of players from last season. Did that help Corominas and his team? “Yes, it did. We know exactly how we play and it helps in the understanding on the pitch during gameplay. The new players, too, have helped the side towards the right development.”

We moved on to the most obvious question – how does it feel to have become the highest scorer in ISL history? Does it add undue pressure on you?


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“I’m very happy. These figures that I have managed to achieve, mirrors what the team does on the pitch. We create a lot of chances and thus, we are able to score a lot of goals.”

Talking about the possession-based style Lobera has implemented at the Goa-based club, the 36-year-old opined, “I think keeping more clean-sheets was one of the targets at the start of the season and we’ve managed to keep more clean-sheets, so that’s a development. We have also managed to give fewer gaps between the lines, so we feel we are on the right track defensively. Offensively, we will keep working hard.”

The Spaniard has played for the likes of Girona, Espanyol and Elche

Talking about his current partner-in-crime Edu Bedia, who’s taken the mantle from Lanzarote to help Coro in attack the striker said, “To connect with quality players is easy and Edu is one of them. He’s playing higher up the pitch than he was last season and luckily, I can connect with him easily. That is helping both of us on the pitch.”

What does the league’s best striker think about the Indian Super League in terms of development over the two seasons? “I was surprised by the league, its support and the stadiums here in India. A lot of work is being put in to make the league better year-after-year. I think the development is out there for everyone to see.”

The striker has played a lot of football in the national youth setup in Spain. He’s featured for Spain U-17s, U-19s and U-20s at the onset of his career. We asked him about the talent that is coming through the ranks here in India and he had some words of advice. “I think step-by-step; the standard of Indian football is improving. It will take a few years and it needs to be done via grassroots. Slowly, they are getting better.”

The man did not have a lot of time. He had to wear his scoring boots again for the playoffs. If Goa want to break the jinx and lift their first title in five years, they have to pray that this man stays fit. That’d be enough, because whenever he’s fit and playing, he’s scoring.

Published: Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:48 AM IST

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