The new head coach had few but knowledgeable words before kick-off in the Champions Cup…
The Champions Cup is now merely a day away from kicking off and this Tri-Nation series is a great opportunity for all three teams to improve their FIFA ranking and going home with a trophy at the end of the tournament. Hosts India kick-off the series by playing Mauritius in the inaugural match tomorrow in Mumbai and the head coach of the away team, Francisco Filho spoke at a press conference prior to the match.
Filho was only recently appointed as the manager of Mauritius and will hope to make an impact in this Champions Cup, where they can improve their FIFA ranking which has really degraded over the past few years. He was asked about what he hopes to gain from the event to which he replied, “I want to convey my gratitude to the AIFF for inviting us for the tournament. Primarily, I”m here to learn a new culture of football and also get exposure for the team and learn how opponents like India play their football.”
Filho was then questioned about the threat he feels the likes of India and St. Kitts can pose for Mauritius in the tournament and if all three teams are quite equal to which he answered, “It’s pretty difficult to answer that question as I haven’t been able to go through the footage of the other teams as of yet. I’ve only seen flashes of both the teams till now so it’s rather difficult to determine how threatening the opponents can really be.”
The Brazilian tactician was quizzed on how much he knew about the Indian players and whether he has have seen them play in the I-League or ISL, to which he said, “There are two players on the left-wing which I think are really good. But I’m not going to give direct, specific answers.”
Asked about his thoughts on the team he said, “I have players who have been playing in Europe. As they are playing at a high level of football, they are bringing in that experience into the team. It’s a young team, but there’s also a mix of experience and players who have played at the highest level too.”
Filho was also questioned about which of his players had played in European leagues to which he answered, “Francis (Rasolofonirina) is from Madagascar originally but he’s playing for Mauritius. Apart from that, there are a lot of players who have played in the French leagues predominantly and have gone through the French youth system, but now they are playing for Mauritius,” he signed off.