Kerala Blasters' Sergio Cidoncha - You can feel the professionalism in ISL

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ISL/Sportzpics
Sergio Cidoncha feels Kerala Blasters can aim for the top prize if they keep working hard...

After a promising season at Jamshedpur FC, Sergio Cidoncha is set to don the jersey of Kerala Blasters in the sixth season of the Indian Super League (ISL). 

The 29-year-old Spaniard, who started his career with the reserve team of Atletico Madrid in Spain, scored and assisted three goals each last season and helped the Jamshedpur finish fifth on the table. 

Cidoncha told Goal, "It (last season) was a good experience for me. It was tough for the team. It is a very difficult league that has good players and good teams. But I think the experience was good because we finished the league in the fifth position. 

"I felt very good because I love this league. I love to play here, I think it is at a very good level. There are very good players here and I felt good. You can feel the professionalism here." 

Kerala Blasters went on a signing spree in the summer and brought onboard foreign players who have prior experience of playing in India. Midfielder Mario Arques was Cidoncha's teammate at Jamshedpur and Bartholomew Ogbeche nearly won the Golden Boot at NorthEast United last season.

Jamshedpur player Sergio Cidoncha celebrates the goal against ATK the match in Hero ISL

"Mario (Arques) is a very good player. He is the typical Spanish player because he wants to play, he wants to keep the ball. It is very good for me. He is always looking for me on the pitch, looking forward. 

"I think Bart (Ogbeche) is one of the best players in the league. For us, it is a pleasure to play with him. We want to see him score lots of goals for us. I would love to give him a lot of assists to score."

Indian football has recently witnessed an inflow of Spanish talent at various levels of the sport. I-League champions Chennai City's title run was heavily influenced by their Spanish attackers. Sergio Lobera and Carles Cuadrat have added a Spanish flavour to football at FC Goa and Bengaluru FC respectively. Cidoncha isn't surprised at this change. 

"Spanish players want to play attractive, attacking brand of football. The philosophy in Spain is to play with the ball and keep the ball. It is about beautiful football," he said. But can Kerala Blasters follow a similar route to be one of the top teams in the country?

Cidoncha gfx

He said, "We are working hard, we are improving. We can improve more. I think we have a good, competitive team. In the future, we can be at the top of the table.

"Many young players are coming in, they are very good. Like the other players, he (Eelco Schattorie) wants me to keep the ball and be focused on the pitch."

The only worry for Blasters would be their fanbase who infamously boycotted home games last season as a measure of protest against poor performances. Cidoncha will be hoping it won't happen again.

"I think those things can happen. I cannot say anything about it. I want to see everyone in the stadium supporting us. For us, the fans are the twelfth man."

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