Luis Garcia enjoyed his best career days at Anfield, where he won the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FA Cup. He also scored the famous “ghost goal” against Jose Mourinho‘s Chelsea in the semi-final of the UEFA Champions League. Luis Garcia enjoyed a special relationship with Liverpool fans and they honoured him with the chant: “Luis García, he drinks Sangria/he came from Barça to bring us joy!/He’s five-foot seven, he’s football heaven/So please don’t take our Luis away!”
Garcia scored 30 goals in 121 appearances for Liverpool, most of them were decisive goals. Luis Garcia announced his retirement from football earlier in January this year. In his first press conference in Kolkata, Garcia explained the need of producing more Indian talents so that a budding player in the country idolizes the local stars.
Luis Garcia: “For me the situation is like this. Right now every team needs a marquee player. In a game every player has to be important. I am talking about all the teams. The most important is that the young players from India have to be their best.
“You need a league like this to popularise the game in the country. The onus is also on the Indian players. They have to learn from players like me, or Alessandro del Piero or Nicolas Anelka. It will not happen overnight. The young boys here want to have their hero or idol from India.
“Of course the Indian players in the beginning of their career when you were a boy say five or six years old, you didn’t have the opportunity or the facilities or the training. But they do have the quality, talent and passion for football.”
Luis Garcia also talked about the training in Madrid and the astro turf in the Salt Lake Stadium.
He added: “There were many changes for the Indians there – weather, grass and so on. After one week we could see the real players. Right now the team is looking a lot better than before. If you ask me on a scale of 10, we have achieved 8.5.
“Astro turf is not the best way to play. It’s something however we have to deal with.”