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Champions League

Romeo Fernandes: For four years, I waited for an opportunity to come back to FC Goa

The 28-year-old is delighted to begin his second stint with the Gaurs…

Romeo Fernandes is relieved to have returned to Goa after a gap of four years and has now been named in FC Goa’s 28-member squad for the 2021 AFC Champions League (ACL).

The Goan outfit is set to start their maiden campaign with an encounter against Qatar’s Al Rayyan.

Back to FC Goa

“It was very tough for me in this situation,” Fernandes mentioned of the time he had to give a trial at the club amid the Coronavirus pandemic. Though he was not selected into the first team, he rebuilt his match fitness by representing the club’s developmental side playing in the Goa Pro League. 

“Coming back (to the FC Goa first team) after a gap of four years, it was an opportunity I was waiting for and working hard to get here with the development team,” he looked forward to performing at his peak once again after being one of the stars at the club in the first couple of years of the ISL before a move to Delhi Dynamos (later Odisha).

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“There is no pressure. Back then, there were supporters and now also, there are people supporting me. I was working hard with the developmental team where I got a chance to improve my fitness. The management worked very hard to push me. At last, I got the opportunity here (in the ACL).”

Brazilian to Spanish style

Romeo thrived under former Brazil legend Zico at FC Goa where he scored six of his seven goals and recorded seven of nine assists in the ISL over three seasons. Romeo is confident of adapting to current coach Juan Ferrando’s system.

Romeo Fernandes FC Goa NorthEast United FC ISL season 3 2016

“As a player, I have to improve myself. Whether it is Brazilian style or Spanish, the mentality remains the same. The team has been preparing very well and we are working hard to win the first match (against Al Rayyan in the ACL),” Fernandes pointed out.

While he is both confident of fighting for his place amid the competition for places in the squad and in the team continuing their attacking brand of football in the Asian competition.

“It’s very tough (to make it into the 11) because there are a lot of good players. You have to work hard to get in the team. The players have been giving their 100 percent in training like they have done in the ISL. So I think this will carry on in the AFC Champions League also,” he mooted.

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