FC Goa in talks to sign Iranian captain Masoud Shojaei
Written by: Atrayo Bhattacharya
The midfielder who played at the ongoing FIFA World Cup is in advanced talks with the Gaurs.
Indian Super League (ISL) outfit FC Goa are in talks to sign Iran captain Masoud Shojaei, Khel Now can confirm. The 34-year-old attacking midfielder is being seen as a replacement for Manuel Lanzarote, who has left the Gaurs to join ATK. Shojaei is an experienced campaigner and has represented his country t three FIFA World Cups and AFC Asian Cups.
Shojaei has played for Iran 75 times and has also played under FC Goa head coach Sergio Lobera during his stint at Spanish side Las Palmas back in 2013/14. The veteran midfielder has also played for La Liga outfit Osasuna where he joined his compatriot Javed Nekounam.
Shojaei has played for Osasuna, Las Palmas and AEK Athens
The midfielder has been a journeyman playing in several countries starting from the Gulf to Spain and finally also in Greece, for Panionios FC and AEK Athens. He also won the league with the Athens outfit in 2018.
The veteran midfielder is known to be versatile as he can slot in on both flanks and can also play as a central attacking midfielder. His experiences all around the globe will be of massive help for the Gaurs and the other young Indian players. He has also been the captain of Team Melli and his leadership skills could be crucial for the ISL outfit.
The midfielder is primarily being looked at to replace Lanzarote who had a great season last time out and was snapped up by ATK. Shojaei will be expected to perform on equal terms or maybe even better.
The 34-year-old may have featured in only a single game in Russia, but Indian football rarely features players who have played at the World Cup, so if the deal goes through, it will be a great learning curve for all the young Indian players throughout the season.
Importantly, Shojaei is not a player who will bring flamboyance and blistering pace to the side, but he is someone who will set the pace of the game and is known for his vision and passing accuracy, along with his calm and composed nature, all essential qualities for a leader.
Published: Wed Jul 11, 2018 01:38 PM IST