Exclusive Interview: Myanmar Coach Marcos Falopa
Myanmar have been grouped with defending champions Singapore, Cambodia and co-hosts and opening game opponents Indonesia in Group A of the competition.
As the top two progress to the final four, it is a tough ask for Myanmar but, after last month’s triumph at home in the Royal Challenge Cup, Falopa is feeling confident.
Goal.com: It was your third successive win in the Royal Challenge Cup. What were the secrets to the victory?
Falopa: There are no secrets in football. The secret is work, training and work again. We made a plan for our national team to target to reach the finals of the Grand Royal Challenge Cup in Myanmar. We even won the title. So, we succeeded mentally and tactically.
Will that victory help you at the AFF Suzuki Cup?
Yes, surely, we try to continue our long road to the ASEAN championships this month. It was not a warm-up, it was really a big challenge.
Myanmar won five ASEAN championships from 1965 to 1973. What are your side’s chances in this edition?
We know we will face a big challenge there. There won’t be any easy matches but we are preparing to get there. Certainly, Singapore and Indonesia are the favourites but certainly we will try to finish in the top two positions and qualify for the semi-finals.
Was it heartbreaking that your side couldn’t defend the Merdeka Cup and lost to Vietnam?
At the end of the first half, it was very tidy with the scores tied at 1-1. In the second half, they took advantage of our mistakes and scored the goals. The same team of Vietnam played here in the Royal Challenge Cup and didn’t qualify for the semi-finals. This is football!
How long were the training camps in preparation for the AFF Cup?
The camps began on November 24. We had two days of rest after the Cup win.
Your contract with the Myanmar national team expires after December. Have there been any talks of renewal?
You were also linked with Indian club East Bengal at the start of the I-League season…
This was reported in the news but I still have a contract with Myanmar Football Federation.