Anwar Ali: I waited so long for this opportunity

posted in Interviews by FC Goa Official on 19th February 2022

posted in Interviews

by FC Goa Official

on 19th February 2022

Anwar Ali: I waited so long for this opportunity

Goa, 18 February, 2022: FC Goa unfortunately have not had much to rejoice about so far this season, and this is where Anwar Ali comes in. The young defender has shone like the Sun on a cloudy day, with a series of impressive performances since joining the Gaurs in January.

An absolute livewire on the field, Anwar is visibly enjoying every moment of his stint with the Men in Orange – making everyone conveniently forget that he was not in the Indian football picture for a long time.

We all know the former FIFA Under-17 World Cupper’s story – his brilliance in the blockbuster competition which was later overshadowed by health issues. A very rare heart problem temporarily pulled the curtains down on his fledgling football career, but he fought hard and won the rights to be back on the pitch, doing what he loves the most.

“It’s a dream come true for me to be playing in the ISL. I waited so long for this opportunity,” the 21-year-old said to the media on Friday.

“I’m very thankful to FC Goa for giving me this chance. I had stayed away from football for a really long time, hence all the opportunities that I’m getting now are truly wonderful.”

Focused only on the positives

While Anwar Ali is enjoying a decent season and a good start to life in India’s top-tier league, the same cannot be said for his team, FC Goa. The Gaurs are currently in ninth place, with 18 points from 17 games and have only a very minute chance of qualifying for the playoffs – something which they have successfully done in each of the previous four seasons.

“The results haven’t been great and it’s difficult to keep motivating ourselves,” Anwar admitted. “But it’s also important to end the campaign on a positive note, so as to be on the right track for the next season. We are, hence, looking to win all our remaining matches,” he added.

Having played mostly as a centre-back to-date, the youngster was in for a surprise earlier this week when FC Goa head coach Derrick Pereira played him as a left-back against ATK Mohun Bagan.

“Playing as a left-back was slightly tough, because I haven’t played there much previously. I was able to settle well soon, though, as I’ve previously featured as a left-sided centre-back,” he revealed on Friday.

It also showed how the 21-year-old is ready to meet his coach’s expectations, as he knows the value of opportunities.

“I’m really happy to be a part of this team and I’m giving my best during games and in training sessions. Not all things will always go in your favour, but it’s important to remain focused and work hard,” Anwar Ali signed off.