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From LaLiga to the ISL Spotlight: Michel Zabaco's Journey with NorthEast United FC

25 Sunday 2024 | NEUFC
In the heart of the Northeast, where the passion for football reverberates through the hills, a decorated defender, Michel Zabaco, has found a new home at NorthEast United FC. With an illustrious career that includes playing at the highest level in Spain (LaLiga) for prominent teams, Zabaco made headlines when he joined the club during the summer transfer window. As NorthEast United FC embarked on the Indian Super League journey, starting with the Durand Cup, Zabaco shared his insights on the team's progress and aspirations. "We are having a good season till now; we were very competitive in the Durand Cup. In the league, we are fighting for the playoffs, and I think we are doing a good job. We are still a work in progress, and we will see what will happen at the end of the season. But we are a tough team to beat right now." Despite NorthEast United FC's challenging performance in the previous season, Zabaco was never hesitant to join the club. Speaking about his decision, he revealed, "I spoke to the coach and Mandar (CEO) before coming here. They explained everything I needed to know. I spoke with a couple of my friends in Bengaluru FC, and they all told me how good Mandar is as a person and as a CEO. Also, John Abhram, I met him when I joined the club. He is a very smart person, he listens to you, and he also knows everything that is happening in the club, which is very important." Under the leadership of Juan Pedro, Zabaco acknowledged a transformative influence. "Juan Pedro changed everything in the club," he stated emphatically. "He is everything for us. He is a very smart guy, comes in with a lot of experience under his belt. It was a big challenge for him and all the people working at NorthEast United FC this season. He is like me; he likes this type of challenges. And we try to follow every single decision he takes." Reflecting on his experience in the ISL, Zabaco expressed pleasant surprise. "The league surprised me. It is very professional, well-organized. The stadiums are very huge here. The Indian players have good quality. A few very good players, strong, fast, and it’s a good mix of foreign and Indian players. They help each other, and I wish to continue playing here for more years." Zabaco recognizes the significance of the passionate fans who stand by NorthEast United FC. "The fans are very important for us, and we are working very hard behind the scenes to make them proud. We play every match for them." As Zabaco continues to make a mark on Indian soil, his journey with NorthEast United FC adds a new chapter to his illustrious career.
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