FC Goa (also known as The Gaurs) is an Indian professional football franchise based in Goa that competes in the Indian Super League. The club was launched on 26 August 2014. The team is owned by Goan Football Club Pvt. Ltd. which consists of Goan businessmen Dattaraj Salgaocar and Shrinivas Dempo as well asVenugopal Dhoot and Virat Kohli.
The legendary Brazilian Football player Arthur Antunes Coimbra (Zico) is the club’s Manager (Head Coach). Former Brazil skipper, World Cup winner and Champions league winner Lucio has signed as FC Goa’s marquee player for the second season.
FC Goa represents Goa, the only state to declare football as its official sport. The logo represents Goa’s state animal the Gaur while the colours blue and orange symbolizes the Goan coastline and sunrise. Although Goabeing the smallest Indian state FC Goa has signed eight Goan players for the second season, which is the highest number of local players by any club in the history of Indian Super League. The club play their home matches at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa.
The team finished the league stage in second position last season. In the end-of-season play-offs, they lost via a penalty shootout against Atlético de Kolkata in the semi-finals after a goalless draw.
History : Inception
One of the traditional powerhouse regions of Indian football, Goa was bound to be one of the cities to participate in the Hero Indian Super League from its inception. In early 2014, it was announced that the All India Football Federation, the national federation for football in India, and IMG-Reliance would be accepting bids for ownership of eight of nine selected cities for the upcoming Indian Super League, an eight-team franchise league modeled along the lines of the Indian Premier League and Major League Soccer in the United States. On 13 April 2014, it was announced that Venugopal Dhoot had won the bidding for the Goa franchise along with Dattaraj Salgaocar and Shrinivas Dempo. The club was officially launched on 26 August 2014 at a well-attended ceremony at the Goa Marriott Resort & Spa in Miramar. On 23 September 2014 Virat Kohli Indian Cricketer was unveiled as one of the co-owners. The brand ambassador of the club is Bollywood actor Varun Dhawan. FC Goa is the first Indian sports club to launch a satellite TV Channel – FC Goa TV on Videocon D2H.
Zico Era: 2014–present : 2014 FC Goa season
The Legendary Brazilian Football player Zico signed as the club’s Head Coach on 2 September 2014. On 20 September 2014 FC Goa officially confirmed French World Cup Winner andArsenal legend Robert Pires as their first marquee player. On 26 September Afghanistan captain Zohib Islam Amiri joined FC Goa. On 29 September another former Arsenal player André Santos joined Indian Super League side FC Goa. 14 players from the Dempo SC outfit alongside a Mohun Bagan loanee in Bikramjit Singh comprised the 15-player FC Goa domestic contingent. From the 2014 ISL Inaugural International Draft FC Goa selected Miroslav Slepička, Jan Šeda, Bruno Pinheiro, Youness Bengelloun, Miguel Herlein, Gregory Arnolin andEdgar Marcelino.
On 15 October 2014, FC Goa played their first Indian Super League match against Chennaiyin FC at the Fatorda Stadium,Goa. FC Goa lost four out of their first six matches but came back strongly in the second half of the tournament with five victories from their last eight encounters keeping five clean sheets in their 14 matches. Overall, Zico has done a remarkable job with six wins, four defeats and four draws, which took them to the second spot of the standings with 22 points. By finishing second in the league, the club qualified for the end-of-season play-offs, where they lost via a penalty shootoutagainst Atlético de Kolkata in the semi-finals after a goalless draw.
At the end of season, Miroslav Slepička was the highest goal scorer for the team(5 goals). FC Goa had the longest unbeaten run in the league 10 games, Longest winning run in the league 4 games, Most shots on target in the league 134 shots and Most clean sheets in the league 7 games. Jan Šeda won the Golden Glove award.
Particularly encouraging from the first season was the arrival of Romeo Fernandes on the national footballing>scene. The Goan’s consistent displays on the pitch quickly turned him into a fan favourite and attracted interest from lands as far as Brazil. His performances culminated in him being loaned out to Atletico Paranaense from parent club Dempo SC, where he became the first Indian to play professionally at the senior level in South America.
2015 FC Goa season
“We felt it would be apt to award the ISL 2015 finale to Goa as an ode to the state’s passion for football. The fun-loving, football-crazy Goa will be a perfect destination for Indian football’s greatest party. Indian Super League is delighted to offer an exciting blend of football and festive spirit in celebration of the beautiful game”
Brazil’s legendary No 10 Zico returned as FC Goa manager for the Indian Super League’s second season. Former Brazil skipper and World Cup winner Lucio has signed up as FC Goa’s marquee player for the second season.Players retained in the team include- Domestic: Romeo Fernandes, Mandar Rao Desai, Laxmikant Kattimani, Narayan Das, Debabrata Roy, Bikramjit Singh. International: Gregory Arnolin (FRA).Players from the open market include- Domestic: Pronay Halder, C S Sabeeth, Denson Devadas, Joaquim Abranches, Raju Gaikwad, Keenan Almeida,Nicolau Colaco,Luis Barreto. International: Jofre Mateu González (ESP), Lucio (BRA), Elinton Andrade (BRA), Reinaldo Da Cruz Oliveira (BRA), Victor Simões de Oliveira (BRA), Jonatan Lucca(BRA), Léo Moura(BRA). Players selected from draft include forwards Victorino Fernandes and Thongkhosiem Haokip.
FC Goa will play its opening match on its home turf on 4th October with the Delhi Dynamos FC.
Brand, Crest, Colours and Motto
The FC Goa brand stands for strength, integrity and pride. A single club united and resolute in its pursuit for glory. The team embodies the spirit of Joga Bonito, playing the beautiful game the way it should be played- with pace, power and passion.
The FC Goa official club logo is a combination of Goa’s State animal the Gaur (Indian bison) and a shield. The Gaur stands out fiercely to protect its turf. The logo symbolises strength, attack and defence, all of which epitomise FC Goa. The logo FC Goa personifies the character of Goan football and the fundamentals of the team.
The colours of FC Goa are blue and orange. Blue symbolises the sea. Since the coastline is an integral part of Goan life, the colour adds to the indigenous personality of the team while orange is the colour of sunrise, it denotes the awakening and rise of the team. For the home matches FC Goa wears a blue jersey with three orange stripes on the shoulder with the logo proudly presented on its chest.
Believe. Strike. Inspire.
In terms of football FC Goa pedigree is unmatched with the combined experience of over 100 years in running football teams. The franchise is owned by Goan Football Club Pvt. Ltd. which consists of Dattaraj Salgaocar (37% stake), Shrinivas Dempo (37% stake), Venugopal Dhoot (26% stake) and Virat Kohli.
- Venugopal Dhoot is the Chairman of Videocon. and has been its Managing Director since 2005. He is one of the promoters of the group and has been instrumental in the growth and promotion of the Videocon. According toForbes he is worth $1.7 billion.
- Virat Kohli the Indian Cricketer is also one of the co-owners. He is the current captain of the Indian team in Test cricket and vice-captain in limited overs. Kohli has been the recipient of many awards such as the ICC ODI Player of the Year in 2012 and the BCCI’s international cricketer of the year for the 2011–12 season. In 2013, he was given the Arjuna Award in recognition of his achievements in international cricket. SportsPro, a UK magazine, rated Kohli as the second most marketable athlete in the world in 2014.
“The people of Goa own this team and feel so close to it”
- Shrinivas Dempo serves as the President of Dempo Sports Club Private Limited.The club is owned and sponsored by the Dempo group of companies. The team has been a constant performer in all the national football championship and gained immensely popularity in the last four decades of its existence. He has been named amongst the 50 most influential person in Indian sports in the annual Sports Illustrated Power list.
- Dattaraj Salgaocar is the Managing Director of VM Salgaocar and Company. Salgaocar FC is owned and managed by VM Salgaocar and Company to give a platform to the Goan youth to showcase their talent to the country and to the world.
TV Channel and Magazine
FC Goa TV is the dedicated official channel for FC Goa. It is the first and only Indian sports club to have its own satellite TV Channel. The channel first launched on 10 October 2014 onVideocon D2H channel 100. FC Goa TV includes buildup to matches, post-match shows, exclusive interviews with players and staff besides an inter active section which gives fans the chance to get some answers from first team players.
FC Goa launched its magazine Forca Goa at Fatorda Stadium, on 1 November 2014. The magazine was unveiled by All India Football Federation President Praful Patel in the presence of brand ambassador of FC Goa Varun Dhawan, supporter Sonu Nigam and co-owners Venugopal Dhoot, Anirudh Dhoot, Dattaraj V. Salgaocar and Shrinivas V. Dempo.