Kolkata: He has emreged as front runner for the post of India's national football coach but Karim Bencherifa, who on Thursday, led Salgaocar to Fed Cup title on Thursday, is still undecided about the job.
The hugely successful Moroccan, who had guided Mohun Bagan to the same title in 2008 did it for reigning I-League champions Salgaocar, who tasted the triumph after 14 years.
The success was a double achievement for Bencherifa having won I-League and Federation Cup in the same calendar year as he has emerged most likely candidate for India coach's post lying vacant due to Armando Colaco's refusal to AIFF's one-year contract.
Asked whether this day with Salgaocar would become his last day if he takes up India coaching job, Bencherifa said, "My fate is not in my hands."
"I am a professional coach, I will approach the entire thing professionally. Salgaocar like Mohun Bagan and Churchill have given me a lot.
"So I don't want to be unfair to them. Again I don't want to be unfair with AIFF. So let things happen. I will have to talk it out with the chairman (in Salgaocar) and AIFF," Bencherifa, who still has a year contract left with the club, he told reporters.
The coach further credited their success to their defenders and goalkeeper Karamjit Singh. "The goalkeeper and defence of this team deserves 100 per cent credit."
Bencherifa also hailed their defender Luciano Sabrosa who played despite twisting ankle in the last game. "Luciano had a big role. For the second game he played with a twisted ankle. Also the the team spirit was fantastic. We scored 11 goals and conceded one penalty. It's everybody for else to see."
Bencherifa said it was flattering to hear his East Bengal counterpart Trevor James Morgan saying that they were outplayed by Salgaocar.
"I'm flattered about this comment. The game today is about counter-attack, we had a hard time especially on the end of the first half. But I am happy for the boys."
Bencherifa said East Bengal missed their mid-fielder Mehtab Hussain who had to be replaced in the fifth minute after an injury.
"Mehtab is a great player. Mehtab could have made a better final. It's really unfortunate for him."
The secret for them at Salgoacar is that they bond like a family, Bencherifa said. "We have a purely professional relationship. We try to build a family. Respect is very important. I am very proud that we respond to each other very well. This relationship is very important."
Asked to compare this win against the one for Mohun Bagan against Dempo in 2008, Bencherifa said jokingly that the prize ceremony this time was better organised.
"Last time I remember we ran straight to the dressing room after the win. But this time we had some time to lift the trophy at the prize ceremony. It was better organised," he said.