PANAJI: FC Goa strengthen midfield further with Indian international Raynier Fernandes signing a multi-year deal
FC Goa has completed the signing of their fourth Indian international this transfer window with the arrival of ISL-winning midfielder Raynier Fernandes, the Club can officially confirm. The 27-year-old, who recently helped Odisha get their first taste of silverware with the Super Cup win, was also a key figure of the Mumbai City team that won the ISL and the League Winners Shield double in 2021.
This is FC Goa’s fifth signing of the window as the Indian international joins fellow national team stars Rowllin Borges, Sandesh Jhingan, and Udanta Singh. Exciting young speedster Boris Singh, meanwhile joined earlier this week.
“I like to express myself on the field. And FC Goa – their philosophy – gives me the best opportunity to do that. I have been fortunate to be part of some great teams in my career, but I feel there is another level to my game. I believe the Club’s plans for success coincide with mine and thus, the project really appeals to me,” stated Raynier following the completion of formalities.
“I am looking forward to working with coach Manolo (Marquez) and the rest of the team. This is the start of a new chapter in my football career and I am really excited about playing in Goa in front of all the diehard fans.”
Ravi Puskur, FC Goa’s Director of Football also expressed delight at the new signing. He said, “Raynier is an exceptional player whose technical prowess and astute reading of the game are truly outstanding. His creativity, vision for a pass, and ability to maneuver out of tight spaces will undoubtedly add a new dimension to our midfield.
“Beyond his footballing abilities, Raynier’s character will be a tremendous asset to our dressing room. His professionalism, dedication, and positive attitude will undoubtedly contribute to the team’s overall dynamics and cohesion. We eagerly await his presence as part of our squad, as we believe he will make an immediate impact both on and off the pitch.”
Adding quality to the midfield
The midfielder joins former Mumbai City and India teammate Rowllin Borges who arrived earlier this month to Goa. And now alongside the likes of young Brison Fernandes, Ayush Chhetri, and the experienced Brandon Fernandes will form a strong Indian core in midfield.
Raynier kick-started his footballing career with the academy team at Air India FC, from where he secured a move to Mohun Bagan ahead of the 2016-17 season. His time with the Kolkata outfit saw the 27-year-old impress in the I-League as his team finished third.
While at Mohun Bagan, Raynier also got his first taste of continental football, when he played in the AFC Cup for the Mariners. Two years later, he also earned his first cap for the Indian national team, starting in a famous 1-0 win over Thailand.
By then, he had also completed a switch to Mumbai City, eventually wrapping up his maiden season in the ISL with two goals and an assist. The 2020-21 season ended spectacularly for the Mumbaikar, winning both the League Winners’ Shield and the ISL Trophy in a rare double. The following season saw him make five appearances in the AFC Champions League for the Islanders.
For FC Goa, the signing of Raynier Fernandes represents another step forward in the right direction as the Club aims to make a strong impact in the upcoming season.