FC Goa's Ferrán Corominas: On a hat-trick

After taking home the golden boot in his first two seasons with FC Goa in the ISL, Ferrán Corominas has 13 goals this season despite missing three games due to injury.

India was a country which always interested me, says Corominas.   -  ISL/Sportzpics

FC Goa’s Ferran Corominas has been a relentless goal-scorer ever since his move to the Indian Super League (ISL) in 2017. In fact, the Spaniard took home the golden boot in his first two seasons (18 and 16 goals in 2017-18 and 2018-19, respectively) and has 13 goals this season despite missing three games due to injury. He is the all-time leading scorer in the competition and will likely go down as one of the most iconic names in the club’s history.

Despite the unexpected sacking of successful coach Sergio Lobera, Corominas remains on a mission to lead Goa to more success in the ongoing season. In a wide-ranging interview, he talks about his time in Spain with his home-town side Espanyol, the disappointment of the administrative relegation with Elche, his role as a forward and more.

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Did you always play as a forward during your time in Spain?

No. This is the reason I didn’t enjoy [so much] in Espanyol. Because I play a lot of my time as a winger. My position is in the middle as a No. 10 and as a striker. I did not play too many games in the first XI. It was only 20 or 30 minutes and it was as a winger, but I tried to do my best to help my team. But it was difficult.

Before, in Elche, Girona and Mallorca, I played as a striker. I enjoy this position and I can do my best in this role.

You are often the No. 9 on the team sheet at Goa, but you tend to drop deeper from your striker’s role. How would you describe your role in this team?

Because of the style of FC Goa — where we take the ball and keep the ball, it is good. We play between the lines and take advantage of these spaces. And we have two wingers who are fast. And they can take advantage in these places when I come back and take the ball. There are more spaces to attack.

 

Your move to Cyprus was your first stint away from Spain in your playing career. What prompted you to make the move?

When I was playing in Spain, I was thinking that football abroad is not good. But when I went out of Spain, I looked at other places. Now I think they also play good football with a good style.

How did the move to Goa materialise?

India was a country which always interested me. When I was offered the chance and I spoke with the coach [Lobera], I thought it was a good possibility for me. I also spoke to others who played in India like [Marcos] Tébar, or Jofre [Mateu].

They told me Goa is a very good place, with a good club [FC Goa] and a very good stadium. And they told me I will enjoy it here, so I decided to sign here. This is my favourite season. If I don’t enjoy here, then I will stop. My family is also very important and they also enjoy it here.

For the third successive season, Corominas is FC Goa's top-scorer in the ISL.   -  ISL Media

 

You have been prolific in the ISL compared to your time in Spain and Cyprus. What would you put it down to?

I think the main difference is the position. When I played with Girona, I scored a lot of goals and in Elche, too. But in Espanyol, I played a lot as a winger and didn’t have too much [playing] time. The position is important. As a winger, you also have to help in defence and run too much. It’s a different proposition.

Sunil Chhetri has been the top striker in India for many years. Is there something lacking in the Indian strikers in taking their game to the next level?

Yes. What happens here is the foreign players play in the striker’s role [in the starting XIs]. And for the Indian team, it is difficult because Indian strikers don’t play in the first XI. Chhetri is a very good player. If not as a striker, he can play as a winger. That [versatility] is important.

And it’s not just strikers; I think it’s for all the positions. Indian players need to improve step by step. This country needs more [football] schools. And children must start when they are really young. A lot of time will be needed to get that improvement.

In the I-League, there are tall and physical strikers, and the ISL teams, too, have big strikers. But you seem to be an exception to that. Does India need to find a different route in its approach to producing strikers?

No, it depends on the style of the team because our team [Goa] prefers to take and keep the ball and pass around on the ground. There is a place for big strikers and it depends on the style. The idea of a striker being only strong is not right. Sometimes it’s good to have fast players with good technical ability.

How important is finishing in the top spot of the league table with the AFC Champions League qualification on the line?

Yes, it’s one motivation more. For the club to finish first and take the trophy. And we will fight for finishing first and winning the ISL.

Corominas played and scored in his home-town club Espanyol's Copa del Rey title win in 2006. It remains the last major trophy the club has won.

 

You were part of Elche when the club was relegated for administrative reasons despite finishing 13th in La Liga? As a player, how did you deal with it?

It was extremely disappointing. This club went up to the first division after 25 years. In my first year at the club, in the second division, we finished first and went up to La Liga. We played two years in the first division, had a lot of fun there and enjoyed the city. My family and I loved Elche. The players and technical staff did their job, but for economic reasons, we went down. That was terrible.

Playing in Espanyol for 10 years and winning the Copa del Rey... How would you describe your time playing for your home town club?

It was amazing; it was always my club. And to win a trophy for a club which is not a traditional big club [was important for me]. We have won only four trophies in our history; it’s incredible. I got to play and score in this game. It was amazing for me.

On sharing the pitch with Lionel Messi in the Barcelona derby...

Yes, it was difficult playing against the best player in the world and Barcelona. I played as a winger and sometimes my left back needs my help (laughs). It’s impossible [to defend] even when it’s 2 vs 1 against Messi. Because he is the best.