Huge achievement for Indian Football, echo FC Goa stars ahead of ‘special’ AFC Champions League debut

Indian Football is all set to move forward together into a new era, with FC Goa having the “special” distinction of being the first club from the country to play in the AFC Champions League Group Stage.

FC Goa and Indian National Team midfielder Brandon Fernandes feels that bringing the AFC Champions League to India is an achievement for the entire nation.

“It’s a huge achievement for the state and the country. It’s more like a national representation rather than a club or state. The entire nation will be watching us as one and so we ought to give it our all,” said Brandon.

India had earlier been granted a direct spot in the AFC Champions League Group Stage and having finished at the top of the Hero ISL table in the 2019-20 season, the Gaurs had qualified for the ACL, creating history in the process.

Owing to the ongoing pandemic situation, the Group E matches of the competition will be played in Goa this time, as the state will play host to teams like Persepolis (Iran), Al-Rayyan (Qatar), and Al-Wahda (UAE), along with FC Goa.

“It’s a very important step for us. It’s not going to be easy. We are not just representing Goa, we are representing the whole country,” said goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem, who had also represented India in the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017.

“Everyone is very excited and we are looking forward to this big event. We will make sure we prepare well and give our best and try to use this opportunity in best way we can.”

Ishan Pandita, who recently made his Blue Tigers debut in the 1-1 draw against Oman in Dubai, UAE, feels that this is an opportunity to make the nation proud.

“It’s obviously a very special feeling. It’s not only Goa that we’re representing but the whole nation. It’s a great opportunity that we have to show Asia and the world that India can play good football. We’re training hard and our preparations are going well. We ready to put in some good performances and hopefully do our 1.3 billion proud,” said Pandita.

Adil Khan of FC Goa arrive during match 101 of the 7th season of the Hero Indian Super League between Bengaluru FC and FC Goa held at the Fatorda Stadium, Goa, India on the 21st February 2021 Photo by Faheem Hussain / Sportzpics for ISL

Goa’s local lad and National Team defender Adil Khan feels that it is a “pride and privilege” for the state to host such prestigious matches in such difficult times.

“It is extremely special that for the first time, India is being represented at the biggest football stage in Asia. It is a historic occasion for India, and massive pride and privilege for Goa to represent the country in the Champions League,” he said.

“We hope all football fans will back us in all our matches as we give our all, not just for Goa, but for India too.”

Midfielder Amarjit Singh Kiyam, who had captained India in the FIFA U-17 World Cup four years back, mentioned that the magnitude of the occasion is understood by everyone in the camp, as all the players and coaches look to prepare for the matches against the best in Asia.

“It’s a very special moment for Indian Football, and for FC Goa. It’s a proud moment for us to be competing in the AFC Champions League. All the players and staff have gotten together, and we are all really motivated and excited for our first match, and everyone’s working really hard to match up to the best teams from Asia,” said Amarjit.



For Trial related updates: Latest trials updates in Mumbai Football

Also Read: Edu Bedia: We have to take our chances in the AFC Champions League

Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for all the latest happenings in the world of Indian football

India Khelo Football Season 3 Trials for Mumbai and Thane are here

India Khelo Football (IKF) is back with Season 3 of its widely acclaimed trials with an aim to cover more than 50 cities this time around. After the resounding success…


Mastering the Art of Football Trials: Key Pre-Trial Factors to Keep in Mind

Football trials are a critical juncture for aspiring players to showcase their skills and secure a spot in a team. To maximize your chances of success, it’s essential to tailor your approach based on your playing position as well as keeping in mind a few pre-trial factors.


Somaiya Sports Academy to conduct trials for MFA 2nd Division campaign

Somaiya Sports Academy is looking for passionate young football players for the Somaiya Sports Academy Football Team to compete in the MFA 2nd Division League 2023-2024. If selected, you will…


BFC Soccer Schools – Mumbai to conduct trials for U14 & U16 Girls

The BFC Soccer Schools Elite team girls’ trials are coming up in search of talented players from the U14 to U16 (Born 2009 and after) age groups into the club’s…


Opportunity to make the team: U.K.M. Kothrud FC conducts selection trials for girls team

Pune-based U.K.M. Kothrud FC has announced that they will be conducting selection trials for their girl’s team on 15th January 2023 The club welcomes all players to come and showcase…


The Sunday Football League Season 4 is back

The Sunday Football League is back with its fourth season, and it’s shaping up to be the best one yet. With eight talented teams competing at the Kes Kandivali turf, there…


BFC Soccer Schools Elite team trials in Feb

Bengaluru FC launched their Mumbai program last season with the Soccer Schools and Elite programs with its local partner Soccer Schools of Excellence (SSE).  Bengaluru Football Club is a professional club…


India Khelo Football Season 2 Trials in Mumbai: A Chance to Kickstart Your Football Career

After conducting trials in 34 cities & villages across India, India Khelo Football is coming to Mumbai to hunt talent on 7th January. India Khelo Football kickstarted its season 2…


Mumbai Customs to conduct trials for Elite League

Former champions Mumbai Customs will be holding open trials for the upcoming MFA Elite Corporate League (Elite Division) The 2019 MFA Elite Division champions Mumbai Customs are conducting open trials…


Sunday Boys to hold trials for MFA 1st Division

MFA 1st division side Sunday Boys FC will be conducting trials in the first week of November for the upcoming football season Sunday Boys Football Club was established in the…