AFTER A NEAR miraculous fightback that saw Mumbai City FC glide into the semi-finals, experienced Portuguese international Jorge Costa extended his stay at the club, vowing to win the elusive trophy for the club.
As of now, he will nurture and helm the side for one more season, with an eye firmly on the finals of the Hero Indian Super League and eventually the title.
In his first season at MCFC, Costa brought to the fore a strong and effective counter-attacking brand of football. It helped the club achieve some stunning milestones during their impressive run, including a club-record 9 game unbeaten stint.
Literally from the bottom of the table, they rose to the Number Two position before making it to the semi-finals for only the second time in the club’s history. In the knockout clash, they shared victories with FC Goa but lost out on a place in the title-clash on goal difference.
The 46-year old was delighted to work with the club, saying that ‘he didn’t have to think twice’ before putting pen to paper on an extension.
“Since my first day at this club, I've had a great experience with the management and all the staff. The organization here at Mumbai City FC is thoroughly professional and has done everything to make my job easier and make me feel at home. We are not satisfied with stopping at the semifinals, but are proud of the season we’ve had,” Costa said.
“Our fans have been a huge part of what we are as a club and they have been immense this season. I'm very happy that I can be in Mumbai next season, continue our good work and give our fans some great memories at the Arena,” he added.
Costa, who won the UEFA Cup and UEFA Champions League for FC Porto and made 50 appearances for the Portuguese National Team as a player, started off his managerial career at SC Braga before moving to other Portuguese clubs.
Costa later also guided CFR Cluj to the Romanian Liga I title in 2011-12 and had coaching stints in Cyprus, Gabon and France before making his way to Mumbai.
"Jorge has been a thorough professional and has given his everything in taking the club forward. His formidable, counter-attacking style of football has given Mumbai City FC a unique identity. He has ambitions for the club and when we knew there was an option of having Jorge in charge for another season, we didn’t waste any time,” the Islanders’ co-owner Ranbir Kapoor said about the decorated Portuguese.
Club co-owner Bimal Parekh reiterated the club’s confidence in Costa and expressed his delight on his extension.
“We knew we had found the right man for the job in Jorge Costa and the positive season we’ve had is a testament to that. Continuity has been one of the most important aspects in the fabric of the club and we’re glad that we will have Jorge at the helm foee’r the next season to build on the foundation he has laid and lead the club to newer heights,” he remarked.
Jorge’s immediate task is the 2019 Hero Super Cup in which they take on Chennaiyin FC in the Round of 16 on March 29 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar.