Miku will stay at BFC, says coach Albert Roca

The club begins its Indian Super Cup campaign with a game against Gokulam FC on Sunday.

Bengaluru FC coach Albert Roca... “I would like to start and finish a season with the same squad.”   -  K. Murali Kumar

Bengaluru FC (BFC) head coach Albert Roca expects Venezuelan striker Miku to honour his contract and stay at the club. Miku, in a recent interview to ESPN, had asked BFC to increase his salary as he has received a lucrative offer from a Chinese club.

“Miku has one more year left in his BFC contract. He will continue to compete hard for us,” Roca said, “I tell my players that it is not just about their contracts. Things like having high ambitions for the team, helping a team-mate get better – that’s part of life, not part of your contract.”

Roca recalled the exit of Spanish winger Edu Garcia, who left BFC to join Chinese League One side Zhejiang Luchng earlier this year. “The team did not benefit from Edu’s exit, as we lost some balance. Sometimes, a decision regarding a player’s exit goes over my position as head coach. I can’t control it. It’s a shame. As a coach, I would like to start and finish a season with the same squad. But this is very difficult,” Roca said.

After a gruelling Indian Super League (ISL) campaign, BFC has had little time to rest. The club begins its Indian Super Cup journey with a game against Gokulam FC on Sunday. While many ISL sides are reluctant participants in this knockout tournament, Roca stated that his team will put its best foot forward.

‘Most difficult game of the season’

“It doesn’t matter to us if other teams are not taking the Super Cup seriously. We will give our 100 percent. Having said that, the match against Gokulam FC could be the most difficult game of the season for us, because we have to mentally recover from our loss in the ISL final,” Roca said.

Apart from the Super Cup, BFC also features in the AFC Cup. Four days after taking the field against Gokulam FC, BFC faces Aizawl FC in a tough AFC Cup group stage away match. It will not be easy for Roca to keep his players fresh and ready. “John Johnson and Juanan cannot train because of injuries sustained in the ISL. It is a concern,” Roca said.

The 55-year-old took a measured stance on Dhanpal Ganesh’s exuberant celebrations after Chenniayin FC defeated BFC in the recent ISL final. “I understand that when you win something important, you will be happy. But if we had won against Chennaiyin FC, we would not have celebrated the way they did. While players should celebrate victories, we should respect our rivals. These are the important things in life,” Roca said.