FC Zurich supervisor enthusiastic about returning ‘residence’ to Edinburgh

Jose Goncalves admits he’s delighted FC Zurich’s Europa League conflict with Hearts will give him the prospect to return ‘residence’.

The previous Hearts defender is now the Swiss champions’ group supervisor – a job that includes supporting the primary group behind the scenes.

And regardless of being at Tynecastle throughout Vladimir Romanov’s controversial possession of the membership, Goncalves insists the 4 years he spent there till 2010 helped form him as a participant and an individual.

Goncalves moved to Tynecastle January 2006. Pic: Hearts Information

Earlier than the pandemic, Goncalves even made an annual pre-Christmas journey again to the capital to go to pals, together with greatest mate Frankie Cusack – who used to valet the gamers’ vehicles.

The 36-year-old is thrilled to be going up in opposition to Hearts within the play-off spherical  – beginning in tomorrow’s first leg in St Gallen – however concedes it is going to be gutting that one group won’t progress.

Goncalves, who additionally performed for St Gallen, Sion and New England Revolution earlier than seeing out his profession in a participant/mentor position with the Zurich Below-21s, mentioned: “Once we came upon we might play Hearts, I used to be checking and double checking with the folks on the membership, it’s like residence for me.

“I’m very completely satisfied and proud to be returning to Tynecastle.

“I nonetheless have pals in Edinburgh and I see them as usually as potential and yearly since I left simply earlier than Christmas I received again to Edinburgh however for the previous few years I’ve not been due to the Covid state of affairs.

“I used to be very happy, excited that I can say I can be returning residence.

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“For me Edinburgh is my favorite metropolis.

“Once I arrived I used to be younger, 20. And the years I spent there weren’t solely fruitful as a footballer but additionally as a person.

“I spent many nice years at Hearts, we received the Scottish Cup, we have been second within the league and I grew up not solely as a footballer but additionally as a person.

“The respect the folks gave me, the respect I realized from the Scottish league and opponents – it’s essential to me.

“It’s additionally how I see life. I’m proud to have realized the best way soccer is in that league and I’ve nothing dangerous to say about Hearts or the league.

“I’m very completely satisfied we play in opposition to them and on the identical time it’s somewhat bit s**t as a result of one of many groups should lose however that’s the best way it’s.”

Goncalves can also be wanting ahead to catching up with Hearts head coach Neilson and goalkeeper Gordon, whom he each performed alongside throughout his time in Scottish soccer.

He added: “I performed with each of them so it is going to be good to catch up and chat in regards to the olds instances and likewise the brand new instances.

“Robbie is clearly the supervisor now and Craig seems like he has a couple of years left.

“It’s all the time nice when you may meet up with previous team-mates and focus on the previous.

“I’m not stunned Craig remains to be taking part in. In case you deal with your physique and mentally you’re completely satisfied and have the starvation to play on the highest degree then you may play.”

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Goncalves, in the meantime, insists he doesn’t regard any group as favourites going into Thursday’s first leg.

Regardless of successful the title final season, Zurich have made a gradual begin to the home marketing campaign with two factors from 5 video games.

He added: “I don’t see any favourites to be sincere. We’re the champions however you understand how it’s, now it’s a brand new season.

“What we did final 12 months we are going to bear in mind however you progress on.

“It’s two video games and the higher group over the 2 video games will advance to the group phases.

“I don’t actually care if we’re the favourites or they’re as a result of I understand how powerful the video games can be.”