FC Goa skipper Edu Bedia has had the opportunity to play with some of the biggest names in world football, including Lionel Messi and Neymar. Bedia’s star experiences started during his time with the Spain under-20 team, where he teamed up with the likes of Ander Herrera, Jordi Alba and Cesar Azpilicueta.
But it was Bedia’s time training with the Barcelona first team, during his stint with Barcelona B, that stands out as the highlight. “Training with the Barcelona first team was amazing, given that many of the players — Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Neymar and Messi — are idols who have won everything in world football. I also had the chance to see Herrera, Alba and other great players rise through the junior ranks,” Bedia said.
The 31-year-old stated that it will be a challenge to get into rhythm quickly, given that the players are returning from a long hiatus. “We last played a competitive match in March, so physically we need to get up to speed quickly. It also normally takes time to understand tactics, but given the short pre-season, time is a luxury we don’t have,” Bedia said.
Playing the entire tournament in its home state offers no advantage to FC Goa, Bedia added. “The only small advantage I can think of is that we are more acclimatised to the weather here. But with most teams having spent a few weeks here for the pre-season, it is no longer an advantage. As for playing in our home venues, it could have been an advantage if fans were present at the grounds, but that is not the case. Every team has an equal chance to do well.”
Bedia, the only foreign player left from the Sergio Lobera era, is ready for the change in personnel. “Players come, players go — that is football. Our main goal is to create a good atmosphere in the dressing room. We also want to work closely with our new coach and work on our tactical aspects,” he said.
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