Ahead of the upcoming 2019-20 Indian Super League (ISL), Mumbai City FC central midfielder Paulo Machado spoke to Republic TV on Friday and said that the team is geared up to win the ISL title this year. After finishing third last season, Machado said that the team is a family and if we play as a family to help each other then everything is good. The former Porto player also compared his experience in Portugal's Primeira Liga with his current club and said that it is 'different'.
Paulo Machado, who is also the captain of the Mumbai City FC said, "Portugal is very different from here because here we see that we need a lot of media here whereas in Porto, the media comes to you. So it is a little bit different there. Porto is a big team, they work every year around the Champions League and Europa League and they have big players. But here in Mumbai, I think they will start to do something soon to bring better players. I think the club in a few years will be a very good team."
Machado spoke about the support for football in India and how it was growing slowly and steadily. He said that there is a visible change in the mentality and that people are loving football, maybe not as much as cricket since it is the first sport but we can see a great support in Kerala. There are around 22 million people in Mumbai and people will hopefully start loving football soon, the Portuguese added. When queried about the ISL and the I-League, he said, "I cannot compare because I have not played in the I-League. I think there is a need of change because there they get to play the Champions League and here we don't get to. It is a shame because we have better teams and better players and there will be more competition if we play in the Champions League."
He also stressed on the significance of players promoting their teams individually in order to garner more support for the sport. He said that people should start getting kids to watch the game and that will help the sport grow exponentially for which the players are also responsible. Machado also assured that there is a bright chance to win the season this year as the team was more compact and confident. He stated that the team had various options to try out and that the team can do something better to win the title this year. Mumbai City FC is scheduled to play their first game of the season on October 24 against Kerala Blasters FC.