Chennai, August 13, 2019: Defensive stalwart Lucian Goian today completed a permanent move to two-time Indian Super League winners Chennaiyin FC. The 36-year-old central defender will turn out for John Gregory’s men for the upcoming 2019-20 season.
There was a steely determination in the Romanian’s voice, who was speaking to the club from the city of Cluj in his homeland. When asked what brings him to Chennaiyin FC, the instantaneous response was, “The coach (John Gregory) asked me if I want to come back to India to win the ISL title with Chennaiyin FC. I said “Yes.” That is the honest answer.”
Goian made 50 appearances for Mumbai City FC over three seasons and has always been heralded for his no-nonsense and aggressive style of play. And the same traits resonate when he speaks. “I am not a difficult guy. When I want something and trust something, I go for it. I trust the project that John (Gregory) has in mind for this season. I have always known he is a good coach; he has proven it in his time in India. Moreover, Chennaiyin along with John (Gregory) know how to win trophies. It didn’t take much for me to make up my mind,” he shared.
Goian is particularly impressed by the CFC fans, especially given their unconditional support in the wake of the disappointing campaign the club endured last time out in the ISL and AFC Cup. “I look forward to giving my everything for the fans. Whenever I played in Chennai, with MCFC, I remember them creating a fantastic atmosphere. They are a passionate fanbase who deserve the success along with the team. I cannot promise them 5 goals or 10 clean sheets, I cannot promise anything objectively. But what I can promise is that I will give my everything, till the last drop of sweat and blood,” said a committed Lucian.
Having plied his trade at clubs in his homeland of Romania, followed by China and Australia before India, Goian is no stranger to new challenges. He aims to bring his experience to the fray, in order to help CFC bounce back with renewed vigour. “I was surprised at the way Chennaiyin played last season, to be honest. But these kind of things do happen in football. What is important is to start afresh. And always remember to give everything to football, because only then will football give back to you. That is something I have always believed in,” he confessed.
Goian plays at the back but has always been known for leading from the front. He is looking forward to creating a strong bond with the entire group in pre-season. “We have a great bunch of players, some of them local too, some of them playing for their national teams. We have to stick together and be a united family. The coach (John) is of course the father of this big family. We have to only look to the future and do everything required to bring the trophy back. We will have enough time in pre-season to make the adequate connections. We will do everything to turn the squad into a close-knit team,” promised the former Dinamo Bucharest player, with whom he has featured in the UEFA Cup.
Football has always been a part of Goian’s life. Hailing from the city of Suceava in north-eastern Romania where most of his family still lives, he is the youngest among four brothers and three sisters. His brothers have also played professional football, and interestingly all four of them have the distinction of playing in the Romanian top-flight.
“Football has always been in my blood. It was always my dream to be a football player. I can say I have been fortunate to play high level football. Interestingly, my idol was Alessandro Del Piero while growing up. I was a striker till 16-17, then I evolved into a central defender as the team required me to be at the back and my coach felt I would do better in that position,” shared a reminiscent Goian.
The footballing legacy in Goian’s family is surely set to continue, with his 8-year-old son Luca also a big fan of the sport. A fan-favourite at MCFC along with Goian, Luca was even pictured singing the Indian national anthem on many occasions. When asked how excited Luca was about returning to India, Goian revealed, “Luca cannot wait, he is very happy to come back to India. He was a bit disappointed when we left Mumbai. He had a lot of friends and the fans love him there. But then when I told him we are going to Chennai, he asked me all about the club and believe it or not even did his own research. Now he is super excited!”
While looking ahead in excitement, Goian also took the opportunity to thank his former employers. “I want to say a big thank you to everyone at Mumbai City FC. I enjoyed three great seasons there, with many fantastic memories. Now I look only forward to my time at Chennaiyin FC,” concluded Goian.