ISL: Hated in Rio four months ago, Andre Santos finds love in Goa

Updated: Nov 23, 2014, 23:36 IST | Amit Kamath

In professional football, four months is a long time. And no one knows this better than former Arsenal player Andre Santos, who currently plays for FC Goa in the Indian Super League (ISL)

In professional football, four months is a long time. And no one knows this better than former Arsenal player Andre Santos, who currently plays for FC Goa in the Indian Super League (ISL).

Andre Santos
Andre Santos 

Before taking up the offer to play in the ISL, Santos was plying his trade for Flamengo back in his native Brazil — a stint which left more bitter than sweet memories for the left-back, who was beaten up by the Brazilian club's fans back in July, before eventually being released by the club at the end of the season.

It was then that the Brazilian decided to take the 13,400-km journey from Rio de Janeiro to Goa. The trip has changed Santos' fortunes and given him the one thing that he could not find in his own country — acceptance.

"People are crazy for Flamengo, even though they are not that good. I have moved on (from that attack)," Santos told mid-day from Goa recalling his ugly altercation with the fans back home.

"It's been wonderful so far (in India). The fans have been really very supportive of the team. They have loved me and I'm really happy to see this support and love," he said before adding, "I would definitely love to come back (to play in the ISL). I am very happy in India. I love the people here."

Santos' stint in India has also seen him being played in an unfamiliar midfield role, but with a goal and an assist to boast of here, he isn't complaining.

"For me, it is much better (to play in the midfield) because I have better chances to score and help the team," he said.

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