ISL: Meet FC Goa's newest star, Gabriel Fernandes

From humble beginnings to ISL star, FC Goa winger Gabriel Fernandes' story is proof that hardwork does bear fruit

Pune: Sacrifice is the key to success. This seems to be the mantra of FC Goa's Gabriel Fernandes.

FC Goa winger Gabriel Fernandes
FC Goa winger Gabriel Fernandes 

Despite staying away from home, Gaba — as he is fondly called by his friends — has made a name for himself by putting in everything for football.

Son of Irineu Fernandes, a police constable, life has not been easy for the Fr Agnel student.

"It was tough (growing up) as dad was the sole breadearner and we could just about meet our daily requirements," Gabriel told SUNDAY mid-day on the eve of his side's match against FC Pune City today.

A resident of Batim (Goa Velha), Gabriel used to help his mother and sister with household chores daily before going to school.

"Fetching water and cleaning the house was some of the work which I helped with before I made my way to the school," said Gabriel.

Like any Goan, he took a liking to football and before soon, his hardwork and commitment to the game saw him join the junior side of Dempo.

He later joined Sporting Clube de Goa before making a leap into the professional league with Mumbai FC in 2012.

"I still have a long way to go, this is just the beginning," said Gabriel, who will play for Dempo Sports Club in the upcoming edition of the I-League.

But two years of serious football has made life better for this 26-year-old winger who made it in the starting XI for the first time in his career against Kolkata in ISL.

"I was always on the bench and never in the first eleven, but on Thursday (Oct 23) I was stunned when my coach named me in the playing eleven," he said.

"I feel that hardwork and sacrifice will never go waste. I should thank Khalid Jamil, the Mumbai FC coach, who gave me moral support," said Gabriel.

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