Zico's FC Goa have come close to winning the Indian Super League title in both the editions of the tournament in the past, but they couldn't just get it done. Will this time be something different? That remains to be seen.
The Goa-based franchisee decided on retaining the core of the team ahead of ISL 2016 and former World Cup winner with Brazil, Lucio, is back again as the marquee player of the side. FC Goa made it to the semifinals in the first edition of the Indian football competition, while they made it to the final last season, losing out to Chennaiyin FC.
This makes anyone ask if ISL 2016 is indeed theirs to win.
One name who will be absent from the team this time around is Brazilian midfield maestro Leo Moura, who has been pure exceptional for the Gaurs last season. The 37-year-old utility player had agreed to terms with FC Goa but his club, Santa Cruz Futebol Clube, was not keen on releasing him as they are fighting to save relegation in the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A.
The franchisee saw two of its major owners Dataraj Salgaocar and Shrinivas Dempo quit FC Goa earlier this summer. That leaves India cricket team hotshot Virat Kohli, Videocon's Venugopal Dhoot and Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, one of India's best known stock market investors, as the only co-owners of the side.
FC Goa take on NorthEast United FC in their first game of ISL 2016 on 4 October.
Zico's men, like every other season, have been training ahead of the main season in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They recorded a 1-3 defeat against Bangu Atletico Clube in their first preseason game, then a 2-2 draw against Rio Branco AC in their second one. FC Goa now take on CR Flamengo in their next preseason fixture on 22 September, before heading back to Goa on 25 September.
Lucio (marquee), Rafael Coelho, Gregory Arnolin, Jofre Mateu, Rafael Dumas, Richarlyson, Trindade Goncalves, Julio Cesar, Reinaldo, Luciano Sobrosa.