Witnessing a 24-year-old running down and easing past opposition defences is a delightful sight for any coach but Sergio Castel has done something edgy and something more rewarding after coming to the ISL with Jamshedpur FC on loan this season from Spanish giants Atletico Madrid. His tenure at Atletico was restricted to the encounters with the reserve team but that didn’t hinder his prospect of joining India’s biggest league.
An ambitious number nine, Castel’s arrival at Jamshedpur has been nothing short of a revelation. The Spaniard has scored on five separate occasions in his six appearances in the ISL and has emerged as one of the most prolific forwards in the league.
Leading goalscorer of Hero ISL 2019-20 season ✔️— Jamshedpur FC: The Red Miners (@the_red_miners) December 3, 2019
Highest goalscorer for @JamshedpurFC in #HeroISL history ✔️
Remember the name, Sergio Castel 🔥❤️#Castel #JamKeKhelo #JamshedpurFC #TheRedMiners #PridePassionGlory #Football #IndianFootball #JFCNEU #TheFurnace pic.twitter.com/KvIBlO6bEF
“It’s exciting to be part of this new project and come to a big club like Jamshedpur. It is one of the top clubs in India with a massive fan following.” Castel had the privilege of playing in the Segunda Division B – the third tier of Spanish football with UD San Sebastian de los Reyes where a phenomenal 2018-19 campaign that included 13 goals in 34 appearances laid the path for a brighter future in the game.
Castel boosts a healthy profile of playing with Spanish clubs which includes UE Rubi, Osasuna, Las Rozas FC before Atletico Madrid came calling and signed him up, keeping him with their B-team. Being loaned out to Jamshedpur in the ISL, Castel’s ascent was a clear sign of his varied experience gained in the polished domesticity of Spanish football.
“I’m ready to score goals and help the team as much as I can, I’m training a lot so I’m fit to try to make a good start of the season and hopefully score more goals than last season with SS Reyes in lesser number of games.” Castel’s consistency is what has worked for him so far as the lad has been on par with veterans like Sunil Chhetri. He is the leading scorer in the ISL 2019-20 campaign so far and has displayed immense authority whenever he has the ball at his feet.
Castel has also earned praise from his Jamshedpur coach Antonio Iriondo, who likes to play the game with heavy possession and create as many chances upfront to score. Given Castel’s natural ability to make those runs between the defenders, his link-up play with midfielder Farukh Choudhary has been pleasing to the eyes of the Jamshedpur fans.
Although Castel has galvanized the entire spectacle of ISL, the 24-year-old still believes his dream of becoming a solid number nine are far from over. His ability to showcase his talent on the highest stage has been the reason behind Jamshedpur’s good run of form in the league so far. A winner against a FC Goa side loaded with defensive powerhouses is proof of that.
Out of the plethora of foreign players in the league playing this season, Castel has emerged triumphant in making a decisive change for his team for the better. He is clearly of the opinion that the ISL is a great platform for players to enhance their skills and test their powers of adaptability. The colours of Jamshedpur are surely working their magic on Castel but it’s a story of an upcoming quality striker that will have his name imprinted on the front page of many newspapers soon.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter/ @Jamshedpur FC