FC Goa’s latest Spanish acquisition Airam Cabrera –brought in as a replacement for the 2020-21 Indian Super League top-scorer Igor Angulo (14 goals) – is confident of making his mark in India. 

“I am not here to be another Igor. I am here to be Airam. I am hungry (for better performances). I want to show who a young Airam Cabrera is, once again,” Airam said. “I don’t feel the pressure; I feel the responsibility.”

Airam, then 21, was the top scorer in the Spanish third division in 2008-09. His team, CD Tenerife B, however, was relegated.   

Airam’s secret to success: Adapt   

The former Villarreal B forward was playing in Poland for the past two years and had a relatively quiet 2020-21 season with first division side Wisla Plock. Airam has also played in Cyprus apart from multiple lower division clubs in Spain.  

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Revealing his secret to success away from home, he said, “When you leave your country, of course, skills are there, the most important thing is to adapt, to your teammates, to the country, to the culture. This is my target – to arrive in India, to meet my teammates asap, to be part of them.”  

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He said FC Goa had approached him a few weeks back and he talked to his friends Ivan Gonzalez and fellow Spaniard Javier Hernandez (of Odisha FC) before deciding to join the Gaurs.   

“Football is not football without fans”  

Indian Super League, last season, was played behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 outbreak and Airam underlined the challenges of playing without fans. “Football without fans is not football,” he said. 

“Football is totally different. You must have more focus on your head, on yourself. Nobody has any kind of support from the stands, so everybody is on the same level.”