October 26, 2021

East Bengal’s Francisco Da Costa – Working with Nelo Vingada was like a dream come true

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The new East Bengal coach suggested that Malaysian and Indian football are comparable…

Francisco Bruto Da Costa, recently appointed as a coach of East Bengal, has the experience of working as an assistant manager at Indian Super League (ISL) clubs NorthEast United and Kerala Blasters

He has also worked with the Malaysian senior national team.

The common factor among all his aforementioned assignments is Portuguese coach Nelo Vingada who had taken him under his wing. He worked alongside Nelo Vingada for the first time at NorthEast United and then followed him to Malaysia before joining his coaching team at Kerala Blasters.

The new East Bengal coach suggested that it was an honour for him to work alongside a coach like Vingada who was associated with the Portuguese national team in the past. He had taken charge of the Seleccao between 1993 and 1994 as well.

As an assistant manager, Vingada has won the U20 World Cup with Portugal twice. He won the Asian Cup with Saudi Arabia in 1996 as the head coach apart from titles in Egypt, Jordan and South Korea,

“Working with Nelo (Vingada) was like a dream come true for me. First and foremost, he is a great human being with a great personality. God has blessed him with so much success. If you see his achievements, it is no mean feat. They are incredible. I was very fortunate to meet and work with such a person. Unfortunately, it did not work in NorthEast United. After that season, he had asked me to continue working with him as a part of his technical staff,” Da Costa told Goal.

The Goan spoke about the differences of working as a coach in a club and a national team. He also touched upon his time in Malaysia which lasted for only six months.

“It was a very good experience. There is a difference between working with a club and working with a national team. At clubs, you get to work every day. On Saturday you lose a game and fans are upset and then on Wednesday or Thursday, you win a game and fans forget the previous match’s defeat.

“But in the national team, you play matches once a month or once in two months and then you lose and then you have to wait for two more months to make the changes. It is challenging and it is a different type of work experience.”

Da Costa praised the league system in Malaysia and touched upon how ISL has improved Indian football.

“The league is very well organised in Malaysia. ISL also is very well organised. In Malaysia, all the clubs have great facilities, own grounds, training grounds. The infrastructure is very good there. India too has reached that level in recent times. I’ll say the ISL has helped Indian football in a great manner. From infrastructure to the standard of the game, everything has improved.

“It is difficult to compare the standards of Malaysia and India. Indian players are very hardworking and are willing to learn. It is nice to work with the Indian players. Malaysian players also are eager to learn, they do their best. I would say both the countries are in a similar situation. The thing is I don’t want to compare between the two countries. Each country has its pros and cons.”