As a part of FC Goa’s pre-season training and conditioning, the team will assemble at head coach Zico’s football academy, Zico 10 in Rio de Janeiro, to prepare for the third season of the Indian Super League (ISL).
Zico 10 is a brand, under which there are various academies and training centres across Brazil attached to the Flamengo legend Zico, who is the head coach of FC Goa for the third consecutive season.
FC Goa is scheduled to play pre-season friendlies with Brazilian clubs during its training in Rio.
Speaking about ISL franchise’s target for the upcoming season, Zico has predicted a better season for the team. “We’ve made some good signings this year and we will continue to work on the squad while at the pre-season training in Rio. It’s important for the team to come together and gel well and that’s what we will do in Brazil. We are building a strong team and aiming for the title,” said Zico.
Local superstars Romeo and Mandar Rao Dessai are elated to be part of the squad’s preparations in Rio de Janeiro.
Romeo, who has previously trained in Brazil with Atletico Paranaense, said: “I’m looking forward to train in Brazil again. I will do my best in the training session to learn and better my skills under Zico. It will be a great opportunity to play against the Brazilian teams and learn from them.”
“I have heard there are excellent training facilities and competitive teams to play against. I am looking forward to having a first-hand experience of the quality of play of the Brazilians teams, as we have grown up knowing that Brazil is one of the power houses of football in the world. It will be a great opportunity to learn and better my skills,” said Mandar.
FC Goa’s new signing — local lad Pratesh Shirodkar — is visibly excited about having a pre-season training in Rio.
“Brazil is a land of football and training in Rio is like going to the holy land of football. I would like to evolve into a more skillful player and better my techniques there.”
FC Goa’s right-back Keenan Almeida is also looking forward to heading to the South American country.
“I am excited about the fact that we are heading to Rio for our preparations. Brazil being the land of so many footballing legends adds to the thrill. I’m sure it’s going to be a good learning experience with the best of facilities and training under the guidance of Zico.”
The squad will train in Rio de Janeiro until mid-September 2016, post which the the team will be back in the country for the final phase of training in Goa.
Last season, FC Goa conducted its pre-season at the Spanish Soccer Schools grounds, located within the Dubai Sports City complex in the United Arab Emirates.
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