Rowllin is Goa’s football star of 2018-19 season; to sign for Mumbai City FC

Rowllin is Goa’s football star of 2018-19 season; to sign for Mumbai City FC

AUGUSTO RODRIGUES | NT

Sports Editor

PANAJI

Rowllin Borges is the star that has kept Goa shining on the Indian football sky as curtains draw on the 2018-19 season. The twenty six year old lad from Nuvem has finished the season as the only player from Goa to have represented India in an AFC Asian Cup and the highest goal scorer in Indian Super league (ISL) 5.

“I did not know I was the first Goan player to represent India at this stage of the AFC Asian Cup. I thank God and my family for helping me reach so far. I think, I am at the beginning of my career,” Rowllin told The Navhind Times over the phone.

Rowllin is linked to a big transfer at the end of the Super Cup. Mumbai City FC coach Jorge Costa has his eyes on this youngster from Goa and so did ATK. Currently earning around Rs 5,555,555, the withdrawn midfielder, Rowllin has impressed with his play upfront and his interceptions at the back and finally decided to join Mumbai City FC for an undisclosed amount.

“Rowllin was being tracked by ATK and Mumbai City and both teams were ready to splurge to get this boy from Goa,” a senior player agent told The Navhind Times on condition of anonymity.

“I took a decision based on what is best for me.  At this moment, I am concentrating on my teams Super Cup games that are to come. I will discuss about the transfer later,” Rowllin told The Navhind Times.

Rowllin, who did not score a single goal last season, finished with four this year and was the mainstay of NorthEast United coach Schattorie. He could not play for the second semi final due to an injury sustained in the first against Bengaluru FC which they had won 2-1.

Rowllin finished ISL 5 on the 12th rank with a player rating of 7.52. Bengaluru FC goalkeeper Gurpreet Sandhu was one rank on top of him along with Sunil Chhetri who finished four places above him.

Rowllin Borges is the only player from Goa to have represented India for the AFC Asian Cup in 2019 and only player from goa to be part of an Indian team to have qualified for the Asian AFC Cup. Rowllin scored his first goal for India during the 2016 SAFF Suzuki Cup and has scored two more thereafter.

The youngster from Nuvem has had eight shots on target during ISL 5 and 18 shots in his 19 games and has helped defensively with 27 interceptions and 989 passes. He had 18 fouls to his name and two yellow cards.

Rowllin was given the freedom to play upfront in NorthEast United and played a more defensive role under former India coach Stephen Constantine. Both coaches, however, used him for set pieces. Rowllin makes his presence felt in the opponent’s defensive area and slides down to help his teammates in the defense when the time calls and therefore plays an important role during ninety minutes. He finished ISL 5 with 1162 touches.

“Playing for India during the AFC Asian cup was one experience I will never forget. We did what many people never expected. Reaching the qualification in itself was big and then the results during the tournament. I think, luck let us down in the end,” said Rowllin.