Alexander Romario Jesuraj, the 24-year-old winger of FC Goa is certainly a player to watch out for in the upcoming edition of the Indian Super League. He came into the limelight in the 2017/18 season with Chennai City FC in the I-League. He orchestrated many of Chennai City’s menacing attacks. After notching up 34 appearances in 2 seasons for Chennai City FC he was signed up by FC Goa on a 3-year contract. The pacey winger was sent out on loan to Mohun Bagan immediately by the Gaurs. After a decent loan spell with the mariners, Alexander Romario Jesuraj is now back at his parent club FC Goa.
IFTWC recently caught up with the talented winger for an Exclusive Interview
Here’s what “namma neymar romario” himself had to say about his future aspirations with FC Goa and his footballing journey so far.
IFTWC:- How did you start playing football in your childhood and what motivated you to continue towards your goal of being a footballer?
Romario:- The backbone of my football journey is my uncle. He wanted to make me a football player and he trained and groomed me according to it. During my early days, the senior players of Dindigul district and the members of the Dindigul Association including the secretary played a huge role in my career.
After that I was sent to MCC school in Chennai, the physical director played a crucial role. The MCC college and the Chennai League created the base for my professional career. I signed for Chennai City FC in 2017, and that proved to be a real game-changer.
IFTWC:- How did your 2 years at Chennai City develop you as a player and how pivotal is Akbar Nawas’s role in your career so far?
Romario:- The whole credit during my Chennai City days goes to the owner Rohit Ramesh. At that time there were many talented football players from Tamil Nadu but there were no proper platforms for them. It is Rohit sir who created the platform for us local players buy forming this I-League team.
Akbar (Nawas) coach joined the team, at the end of my first season and when we played the Chennai League. From that time itself, he used to tell what were our positives and where we lacked. He created the team for the next season and the best quality about him is that after the practice sessions he used to call each and every player individually and will tell our mistakes and what to do to overcome it.
Akbar (Nawas) coach actually created the atmosphere for us and he is the sole reason for the team bonding that winning season, and I would say we could win the title that year because of the atmosphere that he had created for us.
His techniques are really good and he will encourage everyone individually and push us forward to do our best. Also, I learned a lot in Chennai City FC from the Spanish players, they were very friendly with us. They taught us and helped us to perform better.
IFTWC:- Chennai City FC was a team that scored 48 goals in just 1 season. What do you think the team did differently compared to other teams that year?
Romario:- Chennai City FC was a very good attacking side that season. We had the best attacking players and that was the main reason for the team to score that many goals. Apart from that, there was a great understanding between the foreign players and the Indian players and therefore it was very easy for us to perform well as a team.
IFTWC:- What is the story behind your transfer to India’s 2 most prominent clubs, first a transfer to FC Goa and then the subsequent loan to Mohun Bagan? And how are all the three you have been related to different from each other?
Romario:- I always wanted to play for FC Goa if I played in the ISL. Even my uncle used to tell me that I should definitely play for this club in my professional career. So when I first heard that I am going to sign for FC Goa, my happiness knew no bounds. I felt very happy.
However, I had to go on loan for an I-League club for one year, and every Indian football player’s dream is arguably to play either for East Bengal or Mohun Bagan as they are the oldest and greatest clubs in India. So I was very happy to sign for Mohun Bagan.
All three clubs are very similar to the attacking side of playing. But Chennai City FC was in my comfort zone, there was no language barrier mainly. Last year when I played for Mohun Bagan, that was the very first time I am going to a place outside of my comfort zone and I felt that if you can survive in Kolkata, you can survive anywhere in India because the fans were so crazy there about the game. Football is all about learning something new every day and I am really looking forward to joining FC Goa this season and do my best for the club.
IFTWC:- What’s your mantra behind winning two trophies back to back? What do you do to maintain your form?
Romario:- Both the teams were very well balanced in those respective seasons. It was due to God’s grace that I won back to back titles and also the amount of hard work that the players and the coaching staff had put was the main reason that we could win it. All I do to stay in form is by dedicating to my practice and workout sessions. I am keeping myself motivated to climb up the ladder of success.
IFTWC:- You had an injury in the middle of last season, how difficult was it to sit out for an entire month? How do you keep yourself on track for recovery?
Romario:- I was very upset with my injury as it was my first I-League match and I got injured within the first few minutes. I was very disappointed to sit on the bench but injuries are a part of a football player’s career and I feel it is important how you handle and come out of the injury rather than worrying about it.
IFTWC:- How was it winning the I-League in front of your home fans? What were the scenes in the dressing room after the win?
Romario:- It was the first time I had played in front of such a huge home crowd. And to win for the Mohun Bagan fans – who were very crazy for the club and the game was a very happy feeling
We won the title with a few more games in hand as well. The team was very happy and as usual, celebrations went on in the dressing room after the victory. But what is slightly disappointing is that we did not have a formal celebration with the trophy as the pandemic happened. it would have been better had we held the trophy in front of the fans. But, I was still very happy about winning the title.
IFTWC:- First you had Akbar Nawas, then Kibu Vicuna and now Juan Ferrando. As a player how difficult has it been to play under a different coach each season. Furthermore, what do you think about your current coach, Juan Ferrando, and his style of play?
Romario:- It is common for a footballer to play under different coaches in his career. But by playing under different coaches you can learn a lot. Learning is what matters the most. The common style with all the three coaches is attacking.
I saw an interview of coach Juan where he said he wants the whole of Asia to talk about FC Goa. So I am really looking forward to playing under him and to learn from him.
IFTWC:- Now that you are back with FC Goa from the loan, how excited are you to play the AFC Champions League and How is the team preparing for pre-season?
Romario:- FC Goa is the first team to represent India in the AFC Champions League group stage and I am very delighted to be a part of it. The pre-season is going on well and we are currently doing it individually as per the given schedule. I am looking forward to practicing along with the team soon.
IFTWC:- What will be your personal goal for next season and how would you like to improve yourself from the previous seasons?
Romario:- My individual goal is to work on myself for whatever it takes to contribute for the team’s success. I really want to help the team win the ISL title this year and i also want perform really well in all the matches including the AFC Champions League.
IFTWC would like to wish FC Goa’s Extremely talented Tamil Nadu winger Alexander Romario Jesuraj all the very best for his future
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