30 Nov 2023 | 10:45pm IST
Sergio Lobera's Return to ISL and Vision for Odisha FC: Building a Football Family Beyond the Pitch
Sergio Lobera, the seasoned coach known for his iconic successes in the Indian Super League (ISL) with FC Goa and Mumbai City FC, has returned to India to lead his third team, Odisha FC. Despite a stint managing Chinese outfit Sichuan Jiuniu F.C., Lobera expresses that the love and warmth he experienced from Indian fans played a pivotal role in his decision to come back to the ISL.
Reflecting on his return, Lobera emphasizes that one returns to a place where they felt happy and appreciated. In an interview with the league, he acknowledges the positive environment, organizational setup, and the competitive nature of the ISL as factors that contributed to his decision. Lobera's return to India goes beyond football; he appreciates the warmth and love shown by the people, and his family, currently residing in Bhubaneswar, is deeply connected to the country.
Lobera's daughter has spent more time in India than in Spain, and he values the enriching experience for his family. He sees it as an opportunity to learn from Indian culture and customs, emphasizing the importance of building connections beyond football.
His tenure at Odisha FC mirrors his past approach, with Lobera bringing in familiar faces like Mourtada Fall, Ahmed Jahouh, Cy Goddard, and Amey Ranawade. Lobera emphasizes the significance of having players who understand his ideas and can contribute to building connections within the team. For him, the collaboration between Indian and foreign players is crucial for the team's success, both on and off the pitch.
In his vision for Odisha FC, Lobera aims to build a close-knit family within the club, acknowledging that success involves navigating both good and bad moments. The coach believes that managing challenges together strengthens the team, creating a winning mentality.
As Odisha FC prepares for their upcoming match against Jamshedpur, Lobera's focus remains on fostering a sense of unity and resilience within the squad.