ISL 2016: Diego Forlan key to Mumbai City FC semifinal fate, says Alexandre Guimaraes

Diego Forlan could be the difference between the two Indian Super League (ISL) semi-finalists on Saturday and his Mumbai City FC coach Alexandre Guimaraes on Friday said the Uruguayan superstar is one player who wants to contribute in each game.

Forlan has proved to be the trump card, helping Mumbai make their maiden semifinal.

 ISL 2016: Diego Forlan key to Mumbai City FC semifinal fate, says Alexandre Guimaraes

Mumbai City FC coach Alexandre Guimaraes. Sportzpics

"Indeed he's one marquee player who, unlike others, want to play and contribute in every game," the Mumbai City FC coach said at a pre-match press conference on the eve of their first leg semifinal against Atletico de Kolkata here.

The 2010 World Cup hero, who was reportedly in negotiations with ATK, was eventually snapped up by the Ranbir Kapoor-owned franchise as the Kolkata franchise retained the injury-prone Helder Postiga.

Forlan has overshadowed Postiga on the field as the Uruguayan has scored five goals from nine matches with 955 minutes of field appearance, compared to the Spaniard (two goals, nine matches, 663 minutes).

"His intention of development of football is evident. He is one who sets the precedent through his winning mentality and professionalism. He is someone who really wants to contribute for the team and development of Indian football," the 57-year-old Costa Rican hailed his marquee player.

Having topped the table in league phase and beaten ATK at this venue through Forlan's goal, Mumbai FC are tipped favourites, but the coach quipped: "Well, this is our first semifinal appearance, ATK have made all three."

He said the drama would unfold only in the second leg.

"I think it will be decided in Mumbai. We all are excited to play our first semi-final. We want to play the way we have been."

Turning out for Villarreal, Forlan had played against Atletico Kolkata's current coach Jose Molina (Deportivo La Coruna) in 2005-06 in the La Liga, but the Spanish goalkeeper said he's not only focusing on the Uruguayan.

"He's not the only player for Mumbai, they have 10 others. We will have to defend as a team and not against one player. We will try our best to win."

Asked about their underdogs tag for the semifinal match-up, Molina said: "I don't lose my sleep over that. Our aim is to be in the final.

Updated Date: Dec 09, 2016 22:21:09 IST