Tato was appointed as the assistant manager of FC Goa in June. Known for playing possession-based football, it came as no surprise when FC Goa decided to add more Spanish flavour to their family.
A former FC Barcelona youth player, Tato is excited to begin this new journey in a country where he feels at home. The former FC Pune City striker feels that the transition from player to an assistant manager was easy and he had no second thoughts about taking up this new challenge.
“The transition has been very easy. For six months I was still a player and after that, I came here. In my case I was lucky as FC Goa coach has a lot of confidence in me.
"I had no doubts while taking up this offer as I think I am ready for this challenge. Three-four years ago I started preparing for this change so I have no doubts. I was part of the ISL with FC Pune City and I love the country. I am glad to be here.”
Tato played under current FC Goa head coach in Morocco and has a good rapport with the Spaniard. This was definitely an influential factor in Tato choosing to accept this new role. The striker is aware of the fact that this role comes with its own set of complications and is ready to tackle them.
“When you are a player, you tend to think only about yourself. You just want to play and when you are not playing you are angry. This role is different as now you have to think about 24 players and 24 different lives. You are thinking to improve not only yourself but 24 people as well. It is not easy but I also want to learn while I work.”
Having played for FC Pune City in the third edition of the ISL, Tato is familiar with the league. Tato had positive words for the league and its impact on Indian football. The increase in quality of the players in these three years is reflected in the National team’s performances in Asia, according to the Spanish International.
“In two years (since my last stint in India), I feel the Indian players have improved a lot and are growing a lot. ISL has helped a lot because the competition is good and with foreign players and foreign coach they are getting the best. I told Lenny that he has improved a lot and the national team is another example. They were down a few years ago and in the past few years they have only gone up. This shows that Indian football has improved and in the next four years the national team might be becoming a great team in Asia.”
Tato firmly believes that it’s not just the result which matters, but how you achieve it. The Spanish international wants FC Goa to play a brand of football that wins games and entertains the fans. The transition into Lobera’s brand of football was not easy, but the team worked hard in the previous season and over pre-season and Tato believes that they are on the right path.
“Our idea is to win. But we want good football as well. Last season the fans enjoyed our football a lot. So we want to keep this way of football as it also important for the fans to enjoy. We have the best fans in ISL so we must give them something back. This is our principle objective this season.”
“After Lobera's arrival, there has been a change of style. The beginning was not easy for Lobera because you have to take risk in defense and increase bodies in attack to create a lot of chance. But during the season and after the pre-season we must keep working on the same lines because that is the right path. But we must improve little things from the past. No change in style but we have to improve on some things.”