Playing behind closed doors is not something the players enjoy and for some it is difficult to motivate themselves, but FC Goa's new recruit, Spanish winger Jorge Ortiz, feels he will hold an upper hand in this regard owing to his most recent experience of playing in front of empty stands in Spain.
Ortiz's contract with FC Goa
The 28-year-old penned a two-year contract, which will keep him with the club till the summer of 2022.
The former Atletico Madrid B star last played for Atletico Baleares in the Spanish Segunda Division - Group 1.
The 2019/20 season saw the fleet-footed winger lead his side to the top position with 58 points from 28 games, thanks to his eight goals and three assists.
The seventh edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) will be held at a single venue, Goa, this season with all matches played behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"When I was playing the last set of matches there in the playoffs, it was played behind closed doors. From the experience that I have got, it does affect the player as we always play for the fans," Ortiz said to a question posed by IANS during a virtual media interaction arranged by FC Goa.
"Even when I signed for Goa, I was told a lot about their passionate fans. So for me it's a big thing and I hope fans can come back soon to the stadiums.
"It's going to be a different year. I am coming to India for the first time. But I was always convinced that this is the next step I want to take.
"Given the fact that I am coming from playing two matches in the playoffs where there was no crowd and the stakes were higher than normal..it was a knockout situation. So I have the experience of having to play with motivation despite not having fans behind you. But having said that, we have to ensure players motivate each other," said Ortiz who is a product of the Getafe youth system.
Asked why he chose FC Goa, Ortiz said: "The club has been consistently doing well. People had good things to say about the club. I am reaching my peak and I wanted to explore this opportunity."
"I have a few teammates playing in ISL. So I got to know them too."
"We were tracking him for some time. It takes a little bit of convincing. A player of his quality coming to India in his prime is something we are trying to achieve. We are trying to go in the direction of bringing in more of these kind of players," said FC Goa's Director of Football, Ravi Puskur.