Rowllin Borges: Looking forward to combining with Paulo Machado

India international and Mumbai City FC midfielder, Rowllin Borges had a breakthrough Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) campaign last season with NorthEast United FC. Displaying great tenacity and enthusiasm in the middle of the park, Borges had an instrumental say in where the Highlanders finished at the end of the 2018-19 season.

His former boss and now Kerala Blasters FC head coach, Eelco Schattorie reinvented the 27-year-old’s style of play, turning the defensive mainstay into a box-to-box midfielder with immense success.

Borges’ stamina and ability to cover ground allowed the midfielder to record four goals and two assists last season, quite impressive figures for a midfield enforcer. His attacking forays did not dampen his defensive stats either, as he contributed with 53 tackles, 27 interceptions, 29 clearances and 20 blocks.

Speaking about his new team, the midfielder said, “I knew many of the Indian players, some of whom I have played with and some of whom I met in the national team. I’m getting to know the foreign players as well. We have a good team and hopefully, we will do well in the coming season. The team is quite good. I’m really impressed with the team’s training methods.”

In the upcoming Hero ISL 2019-20 season, the 27-year old midfielder will partner veteran Portuguese Paulo Machado, who signed a contract extension with Mumbai City FC this term. His leadership skills and experience in the middle of the park will be crucial in Borges’ development. Looking ahead to the link-up, Borges said, “I’m really looking forward to working with (Paulo) Machado. We know he has played at the top level. I am really looking forward to working and combining with him to reach our targets.”

He also hinted at the possible role he could play for the Islanders in the coming season. “In NorthEast, it wasn’t really different, but I had the freedom to join the attack. In this team, I won’t get as much freedom as I used to. However, I must adjust and do what the coach (Jorge Costa) wants me to do. If he wants me to attack, I will attack, and if he wants me to defend, I will defend,” the player reiterated.

Borges will most likely sit back and control the game, giving Machado more freedom to attack and fall back whenever necessary. The box-to-box midfielder will hope to establish himself as a key midfielder in the national side and will also be hoping that the Portuguese veteran adds more impetus to his progress.

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