Mathew Gonsalves, the 36 year old stalwart of Sporting Clube de Goa’s defense, has explained the effort required to keep going at the top level of domestic and international football.
Speaking to The Navhind Times, the veteran defender who has represented Goa in the Santosh Trophy on several occasions explained, “Football has given me everything in life. All I could think in my life is only football. I am incomplete without it and what I am today is only because of football. It has given me the opportunity to travel all over the country and abroad too. Not forgetting my last trip to Thailand for the Special Olympics.”
The man of the moment conveyed the special regard he had for his coaches at Sporting of the past and the present, namely Oscar Bruzon Barreras and Clifford Chukwuma and mentioned that representing India at the Special Olympics was the pinnacle of his career.
Gonsalves added, “There is no substitute for hard work. This is my humble advice to youngsters who want to make football their career. Take your practices seriously and give your best in every match.”
“I always remember my dad’s words telling me to stay away from drinks, smoking and relationships. This is what I would like to pass onto upcoming players.”
Peter Vaz, club president of Sporting Clube de Goa, the man famous for prising away a young Gonsalves in the days he turned out to play for Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) football team, has praised the defender for all the hard work he has put in by the defender.
“I have no regrets for scouting Mathew when he played for MPT. Though he was raw then but today playing his eighth season for Sporting he has matured with good discipline.”
Adding further, Vaz explained, “No doubt he his short in stature but through his hard work and dedication he is the most feared defender by any striker.”
In turn Gonsalves has heaped praise on Vaz for his treatment of the players in his team, who he reveals are treated as a family by the Sporting President. “He understands our problems and comes with best of the solutions,” elucidated Gonsalves.
Adding a finishing touch to the interview, Vaz philosophized, “If Fabio Cannavaro captained Italy at the age of 34, Matthew has captained Sporting Clube at 36.”
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