Seriton Fernandes: National team call-up was a big achievement in my life

Right-back Seriton Fernandes was one of FC Goa’s best players last season and helped his side to the top of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) standings to book a place in the AFC Champions League’s group stages. His performances were rewarded with a call-up to the Indian national team, a feat which the defender considers the biggest in his life.    

"The national team call-up was a big achievement in my life but I'm not disappointed about not being able to join the India camp right now because we have to understand the (COVID-19) situation," the right back said during an Instagram live session with an FC Goa fan club.

India were slated to take on Qatar, Bangladesh and Afghanistan in India's 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup joint qualifier matches in March but now the Blue Tigers are expected to resume their campaign on October 8th when they take on Qatar.

Seriton’s name was part of the 43-player national camp which was to be held at the beginning of March, and the defender revealed that he met head coach Igor Stimac in Goa before the Croat released his final list. "(Igor Stimac) told me he liked my game and how I play. He asked me to keep working hard and offered me some tips on how to defend and attack," Seriton said.

Seriton Fernandes also expressed his delight with the recent addition of Leander D’Cunha to the FC Goa senior squad. "I spoke with Leander. He told me that I am the best player and that he is learning more by watching me play. I (had) told him to stay at the FC Goa developmental team and I said to him that he will make it to the senior team. So, I am very happy to see Leander (in the first team)," he said.

While looking ahead to the upcoming Hero ISL season and discussing the likelihood of playing behind closed doors with no fans, Seriton commented, "Without fans, football is incomplete. You can see in Italy, Spain, they are all playing without fans. I don't think we can (enjoyably) play (without fans). I personally feel motivated to play with the cheering from fans. But I understand the COVID-19 situation."

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