Former Liverpool Player Takes On ISL Challenge
Luis Javier Garcia Sanz has played for over 10 clubs, in four countries (Spain, England, Greece, Mexico), and has now taken on the challenge of participating in the inaugural Hero Indian Super League this year.
The former Liverpool and Barcelona winger was announced as the marquee player for Atletico de Kolkata, and is already training with the entire squad in Spain at Atletico Madrid’s facilities. Garcia, while elaborating on the reasons that influenced his decision to return to professional football, said, “It’s different. A few months ago I had decided to retire because I missed family and being at home. Once that decision was made (a difficult one for a football player) I missed the day-to-day football life. I take this (the ISL) as a challenge and as a way to put an end to a football stage, with hope and eagerness to face it. It’s more of a personal challenge than a football one.”
The inaugural season of the ISL will see international legends like Alessandro Del Piero, David Trezeguet, Robert Pires and Freddie Ljungberg showcase their skills, and their presence is not lost on the Spaniard. “They have brought world-class players to give the ISL more grandeur. A draft of the best of India has been made and they want the competition to grow and be showcased to the world. This is a country of cricket and they want football to attract many fans.”
Like all top level players, though, Garcia isn’t participating in the ISL just for the ‘experience’. The former Atletico Madrid man insists that his new team’s target is simply to win. “Because of the investment that has been made in the team, the first objective is winning the title. It’s the first time that this Super League is created and the aim is to reach the final and be the first to conquer it.”
That should get fans in Kolkata going!