Former Bayern Munich and Inter Milan defender Lucio has claimed the Indian Super League side FC Goa are ready to take on the other seven franchisees in the second edition of the ISL, following the successful completion of their preseason tour in Dubai.
The Goan side unveiled their squad at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco on Thursday, and an upbeat Lucio, who won the FIFA World Cup with Brazil in 2002, said the team have a real chance of putting on an impressive display in the ISL.
"I am impressed with the team in Dubai. They trained really well. If the boys continue with what they do in training, we have a real chance in the ISL. I am eager to see the team play," Lucio spoke to The Times of India, after the team launch, ahead of the ISL season 2.
FC Goa recorded a solitary win and a loss, along with two draws, in the four friendlies they played in Dubai during preseason. Marquee player Lucio also saw a red in the game against Al Shabab, which Goa won 2-1.
"Don't read too much into the results of friendlies," Lucio continued. "These games are just to train. I really don't care about the results.
"From those matches till today, the team is in much better shape. Sometimes train in the morning and play a match later in the day. These matches are only for preparation," the three-time Bundesliga winner with Bayern, added.
Lucio continued by saying the reason for him joining the cash-rich Indian Super League this season has been the presence of Brazil legend Zico. And not only that, he also found the assignment to play in India as very challenging.
"I was mulling over offers from Brazilian clubs and some countries in Europe. But, I found the FC Goa assignment very challenging and decided to take it up," the 37-year-old said.
"Zico makes a world of difference not just in the manner in which we train but also approach the ISL. He knows the conditions here and I am here only because of him."
FC Goa open proceedings in the second season of the ISL against Delhi Dynamos at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda on 4 October. The Delhi franchise is coached by Lucio's former national teammate Roberto Carlos.