AS A PART OF UEFA champions league trophy tour India, former Barcelona and Liverpool winger Luis Garcia graced the occasion at Mahalaxmi Race course in Mumbai, today.
He also indulged in a five-a-side match against Indian national team captain Sunil Chhetri along with the winners of a contest run by the organisers. The match ended in a draw. Later Garcia unveiled the trophy and the tour was kick-started.
Garcia was also part of the opening edition of the Indian Super League where he led Atletico de Kolkata to lift the trophy.
TFG got the opportunity to ask the former Liverpool player few questions and below are the excerpts from the same.
You came up the ranks from playing at the Barcelona academy, any regrets you didn't get to play much for the first team?
No, I don't like to have regrets in my life. At that stage, I thought that it was the best decision for me to move to Liverpool and later I had the chance of winning the Champions League with them and that is the reason I am here right now. Of course I would have love to play a lot with Barcelona as I was happy to play with players like Ronaldinho, Xavi, Iniesta and others but don't hold any regrets. Pretty happy with the career I had.
Will we see Luis Garcia back in ISL?
(Laughs) Well who knows, you never know. I retired once many, many years ago and I finished playing here so I won't say that since I've retired I won't be coming back here. Otherwise, I enjoyed very much in my first season and it's great to see some of teammates winning the title again last year. But I also see a lot of improvement in the league, a lot of Indian players coming up and showing a lot of fantastic talent. So I'm sure whatever happens the league is going to continue and it will keep growing.
How has the post playing days been like?
I'm enjoying, I've been travelling around. Being the ambassador for UEFA, for Liverpool and Barcelona and so doing a lot of events related to this and travelling around. Just trying to give back to the fans who show their love and support and engaging in some events with them around during these years. I don't know if I'll be coaching in the future because it is not something that is on my mind right now. I'm more enjoying spending my time travelling so at the moment I would like to keep it this way.
He further said that he would wish to see more and more Spanish players coming to India and playing and those that are already there, continue to be there.
"I follow my teammates like Jofre who was part of Goa last season and he did a fantastic job. Hopefully we can continue to seeing Spanish players play in the Indian Super League and let's see what's happening because I hear rumours of what is going to happen, it is going to be a longer format. Hopefully it continues to keep growing and we see more from Indian football."
Finally to conclude, memorable moments with Liverpool, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid?
Many with Liverpool but to pick one it will be the Champions League final I played, the best memory ever. With Barcelona again some fantastic memories, got an opportunity to grow up there, the chance of playing next to Ronaldinho was an amazing moment for me. Finally for Atletico Madrid, we qualified twice for the Champions League and at that time it was best the achievement ever.
You can also listen to the full conversation, tune into TFG Interview Podcast tomorrow on our YouTube channel.
Get the latest in the world of Sports, Teams, and Players! Free Delivery to your Inbox.