Indian defender Adil Khan made a fervent return to where he had started his football journey when he signed for FC Goa in January from Hyderabad FC on loan for the rest of the Indian Super League 2020-21 season.
His addition not only strengthens Goa’s back-line, but it gives the head coach, Juan Ferrando, an option to use an extra foreigner upfront, meaning that Adil will either line up with Ivan Garrido Gonzalez or James Donachie at the back. The luxury comes in handy for the Guars given that they are set to play the AFC Championships League this year.
Adil Khan’s turbulent career is stacked with its fair share of highs and lows. Several injuries throughout his career have let down the 32-year-old, but the towering centre-back has always made a comeback.
Khan’s first taste of the Indian Super League came with the now-defunct Delhi Dynamos team in 2014; the first-ever ISL season. And although he missed the 2015 and 2016 season through injury, he marked a glaring comeback in the 2017-18 season with FC Pune City.
For most of the early part of his career, the 32-year-old strolled between various I-League clubs mainly Sporting Goa, Mohun Bagan, and Churchill Brothers. And upon arriving in the ISL, the centre-back experienced the difference himself.
“There’s a lot of difference you know,” Khan told SportsAdda in an exclusive interview.
“The way we used to play in the I-League was so different. Right from the infrastructure to the grounds and even the timing of the matches were not that great for personal growth. The talent you have had no significant exposure.
“But ISL has improved all these things. A lot of things have changed because at ISL you play with international players, big coaches who all bring different mentalities.”
Adil Khan may have played just three games so far for his new coach, Juan Ferrando, but he has been left amused by the work ethics that the Spaniard brings.
“Ferrando has an entirely different mentality,” says Adil. “He wants to win every match, which is so good. He tries to push this mentality in the players which I believe is not only good for Goa, but also for Indian football.
“Overall, he is a quiet guy. So far, I haven’t seen him making any jokes or interacting with the players just for fun because he is very serious about his work.”
The tactical nous of Ferrando has been applauded by many this season and Adil believes there is one particular approach that makes the Barcelona-born coach similar to the head coach of the Indian national team, Igor Stimac.
“I think what makes them similar is their style of play, which is to carry the ball from the back. They are similar in their ethics as both are so serious about the work they do. They both want Indian football to improve.”
Feature image courtesy: FC Goa Media