Jamshedpur FC recently signed Brazilian attacking midfielder, Alexandre Monteiro de Lima, fondly known as Alex. The 31-year-old spoke to the media after completing his signing. Here are some excerpts from the conversation:
On joining Jamshedpur FC
I am excited to be a part of the club and I am so honoured that I would get the opportunity to help them hopefully reach the playoffs, and more; it has been a long wait for these amazing fans. I have played football across four continents so to now join this exciting football league and wear the colours of one of the top clubs in India makes me feel proud. I can’t wait to meet my teammates, but most of all, I just want the Jamshedpur FC fans to know that we are going to fight tooth and nail to win this season of ISL.
On his relationship with Owen Coyle and his time with him at Houston Dynamo
To be playing for Owen once again is a great pleasure. Our time at Houston Dynamo was intense. He is a coach with a strong personality; somebody who knows what he wants. I am thrilled to play at number 10 under him as not only will I get the opportunity to distribute the ball but I’d also be contributing in fighting the hard duels on both sides of the pitch.
On his football journey across the four continents
Well, I started very early, with my father being my first coach. After my initial years as a footballer in Brazil, I jumped at the opportunity to play in Europe at the age of 19. During my time in Switzerland, I learned a lot about discipline, that football is not all about just showing off pretty dribbles but also about grinding day in and day out.
I was ready to play in the MLS (Major League Soccer) when Chicago Fire showed interest in me. The league is still in its growing phase and I had a lot of fun playing for Chicago and later for Houston Dynamo (that’s where I met Owen Coyle). Then finally in 2018, I made the decision of leaving the MLS for South Korea and experience a different part of the world and a different style of football and it has been a roller coaster ride so far.
On how he likes to play the game
For me, it is important to enjoy the game. One has to play attractive football, constantly move the ball forward, score, and win games. This is how I like to work around the field. Of course, I always leave the tactical work up to the Head Coach.
On his experience of playing the Western Conference finals with Houston Dynamo in 2017
That was one memorable experience! From jam-packed stadiums to energetic dynamics between the teammates, it was all I could have asked for. In the end, a fantastic atmosphere and great team spirit is what we players live for.
On his expectations from the ISL and India
Everyone in football is talking about ISL. I've been watching a lot of games from last season to prepare myself. What I can say for now is that I absolutely love the enthusiasm of the fans and I can’t wait to play for them. Although, unfortunately, this season I'm going to miss them at the stadium due to the situation.
On the COVID-19 pandemic
Be it any part of the world, we must be careful in following the hygiene rules and other safety protocols. The professional way Indian Super League is dealing with the pandemic is exemplary. I haven't arrived in India yet, but so far, I feel that the necessary precautions have been taken and will continue to do so to provide us with the safest possible environment.