After being placed at the bottom of the ISL table at the end of the first leg of fixtures, Zico changed the players in attack coupled with getting a new set of support staff which has seen Goa’s fortunes change for good.
“Of course it is one of the greatest moments of my career because it is not easy to have a turnaround like this just before the semifinals. All the eight teams could have qualified for the semi-finals and it is satisfying that we have made it with one match in hand,” he told at the pre-match press conference.
The Brazilian didn’t divulge whether he would rest key players for the tie against the Kolkata outfit having already made it into the semis.
“I already have made a decision about tomorrow’s (Wednesday) game and I have already kept the team ready for it. You will get to know about it,” he said.
Zico isn’t unfamiliar with the Salt Lake Stadium as it was under his tutelage, Japan thrashed India at the said venue 4-0 in the 2006 World Cup qualifiers.
“Last time we had come here for the World Cup qualifiers and we were expecting everything to be right. I was not disappointed at all last time because we had received good response from the viewers here. So I have good remembrance and good memories of Kolkata. The only difference I see now is that last time it was real grass and now it is artificial turf and I don’t think it is suitable to play football,” he said.
Though the team has made it to the last four already, the coach informed that they are ready to face any side.
“We don’t have to choose anyone (as our opponents). We qualified ourselves and we are ready to play whoever we are pitted against,” he mentioned.
Talking about the home team, the former Iraq boss said that Kolkata has a number of good players at their disposal.
“They have a good team and a number of good players. The position they are in is a proof of their quality,” he told.
“I always tell all the teams that I have coached, to go on the field and play football and nothing else,” he added when asked to comment on the brawl which transpired earlier in the season when the two teams faced each other in Goa.