Indian Super League 2021: Javier Siverio thinks the ISL format is ‘too short’

The 24-year-old Hyderabad FC forward believes Indian football will benefit from having a “longer competition.”

Javier Siverio during a training session; Credit: HFC media
By Karthik Raman | Dec 10, 2021 | 5 Min Read follow icon Follow Us


In the hope of adding more firepower to the frontline, Hyderabad FC turned to Javier Siverio in August. The young 6-foot forward has spent his entire playing career in Spain before taking the bold decision to move to another country. In his brief career, the 24-year-old has demonstrated enormous potential wherever he has played. At 19, Siverio was a part of the Las Palmas B side that trained under current HFC head coach Manolo Marquez in the 2016-17 season. After spending a couple of seasons with Las Palmas B, Siverio joined Racing Santander in 2018. In the 2018-19 season, the striker turned up for Racing Santander II. He found the back of the net 16 times in 22 appearances in his debut season, where he also played and scored for the Racing first team in Segunda B as a part of the side that earned a promotion to Segunda A Division after a four-year absence. 

He followed it up with a 24-goal campaign for Racing Santander II next season, wherein he also featured and scored for Racing’s first-team in the 2019-20 Segunda A Division. Right now, playing for the Indian Super League side, Javi Siverio’s immediate target is to help the team reach the playoffs. Last season, Hyderabad FC narrowly missed out on a Top-4 berth, finishing fifth in the league table. Currently, sitting at fourth place after playing four matches till now, HFC will hope to finish in the playoffs spots. Speaking to Sportslumo, Javi Siverio opened up about his short, long term target and why ISL will benefit from having a longer format.

Q. Do you think ISL should be held throughout the year like European leagues or are you happy with the current format?

I think that it is too short. For me, there could be a minimum of 30 matches. I think that for Indian football is better to have more matches and a longer competition.

Q. Normally there is a belief that foreigners join an Indian Super League club only during the later years of their careers. But you have made the move in your early 20s. What was the thinking behind it?

Like I said before the project and the confidence they showed in me convinced me to come here. The experience it provides too is important. For me, this is the first time that I play out of my country and so far it has been pretty good.

Q. How is ISL seen in Spain? How eager would you say other players might be in following your footsteps in joining the league at a young age?

I think the league is improving a lot every year. I’m not the only young player that is here. I have seen many of them. It’s not common here but I think that young foreign players can do a great job in this league and also help young Indian players to improve.

Q. What are your expectations for the current season?

I have really big expectations here. I think we can have a great season. Last year the team finished the league in 5th position. This year practically we are the same players so why can we not finish in playoffs. Personally, not too much, I just want to help the team achieve our objectives, and obviously, it is better if I can help with a few goals.

Q. What do you make about Hyderabad FC, your new teammates and coaches?

The first impression was really nice. I think we have a lot of young talented players and some experienced ones and for me, this is the best combination. I think that if we have confidence in ourselves, we can achieve what we want. I know coach Manolo from a few years ago and how he works so it’s not new for me.

Q. What made you choose HFC? 

The confidence they showed in me was amazing. And for me the experience is incredible. It is better with fans in the stands but this is the first step, maybe next year we can enjoy with them. Like I said before the objectives of the club are really interesting and this is what made me come here.

Q. Do you believe Hyderabad FC can become one of the heavyweights of ISL in the coming years? 

For sure. We have a lot of young players like I said before. If the boys believe in their qualities, continue working in this way and try to improve every day, we will be a great team in the upcoming years. They need more matches to get that confidence.

Q. What do you make about the job done by Manolo Marquez with HFC?

I think last year the coach did an amazing job. But we have to forget this job and keep our focus in the present. I think all of us can help the team to achieve his objectives.

Q. As a forward, are you a poacher, a target man, a roaming forward, or a false nine? 

I’m number 9. I like to play near the box, giving support to my teammates, arriving in the second line, and work for the team. Also, I am comfortable with air balls for touch and love making a run for a cross.

Q. How much your experience of playing in Spain will help you in Indian Super League?

I think a lot. All of us know that there is a great football level in Spain. Fortunately, I have played in good teams and in good categories, so I think I’m ready to play here.

Q. You have not got much senior team football under your belt. So does this move help you in showcasing your skills to the world?

It’s true that I have not played a lot of matches, but I think that always when I played, I did my job and I was at the level of my teammates and the category. I’m here for giving my best and to help the team. 

Q. Finally, on a personal level, what are your short and long-term targets?

My short-term target is to reach the playoffs with the team. It is our main objective. And a long target is to do a great season and maybe why not stay here a lot of year living the experience. Right now I’m really comfortable here in India.



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