If someone asks FC Goa fans a question, about who do they think the club’s best Indian signing of season 2020-21 is, then unquestionably a name will be heard. It will be a name that possesses a unique hairstyle that is none other than Glan Martins!
From I-League to ISL to Indian national team, the hardworking Goan lad’s story is a tale.
Recently, in a round table media interaction, Glan Martins spoke about how the past year has been, which inspired him to move upwards with confidence and pride.
Looking at Martins background, he started at SESA football academy as a young kid, where he later joined Sporting Clube de Goa in 2015. Later in 2019, he joined Churchill Brothers.
“I was short-tempered when I was a kid. When something was wrong with me, I used to be angry very quickly. As I joined the academy, I learnt to control my emotions,” he said.
Before ISL 2020-21 started, ATK Mohun Bagan signed Glan on a two-year deal from Churchill Brothers. Unfortunately, the versatile defensive midfielder played just seven matches under coach Antonio Lopez Habas and did not get a chance even once to feature fully in those matches.
As the January transfer window opened up, FC Goa found the lustrous opportunity to snatch Glan from the Mariners. While on the other hand, Lenny Rodrigues, who wanted to leave, went the other way.
“From the day I joined FC Goa, the entire team started supporting me. They are the reason that pushed me to work harder and build my confidence,” Glan told IFTWC.
“Every day you learn something new. Since I joined Goa, I got to play a lot of matches. I want to keep going in the same way and be available whenever the coach expects me,” he added.
What brought Glan into the limelight surely has a marvellous answer. His long-range strike from 30-yards against Mumbai City FC in the last ISL season! Fans loved and started to call him “Super Glan”.
“That goal is my best one,” smilingly says Glan.
“I never take the pressure. I give my best in training itself, that makes it easier for me to play free of pressure. Juan Ferrando is the one who will always motivate and tell passionately whenever we make mistakes. He is a friendly person,” the 27-year old didn’t forget to credit the Spanish head coach, who has identified him very well.
Glan Martins’ performance in ISL, as well as FC Goa’s AFC Champions League campaign, caught the eyes of National team head coach Igor Stimac.
“Champions League? It’s a much higher level competition. You don’t get much time on the ball and must be quick in distribution. This same experience helped me for national team matches.“
The defensive-midfielder made his national team debut against mighty Qatar in the World Cup Qualifiers. Later, Martins also played featured fully against Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the last ISL season was held in a bio-bubble and the upcoming season will follow the same.
“Last year it was tough to be in the bubble. But, this time ourselves (players) and the club know how things work and I think this time it will be a bit easier for us,” he admits.
The liking of Goankars for Portuguese football is known worldwide. Glan too supported Portugal in Euro Cup and Brazil in COPA America tournament. He confessed, he does miss out on some matches, to watch but there’s a reason for it, too.
“I woke up at 4 in the morning for training, so I missed some matches. But, I willingly saw how players who played in my position played,” Glan said.
His intention to be physically fit will surely be one of the key factors for his continual and consistent outings. FC Goa didn’t just let Martins to go of and recently extended his contract to make him stay with the Gaurs for three more years, till 2024.
“FC Goa has a plan for the future. The roadmap and the structure of club have stunned me. I am really happy to play for my home club.“
With the hunger to learn more and his love for the home club – FC Goa, Glan surely has a long way to go on!
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