Albino Gomes is one of India’s premier goalkeepers and is currently plying his trade with the Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League. The 27-year-old is an I-League winner with Aizawl FC and was also called up for national team duty on the back of his impressive performances after the 2016-17 season.
Gomes is also a hardcore Blues fan and joined Bollywood superstar Arjun Kapoor for episode 6 of Certified Chelsea. The Goan native shared the story of how he became a professional footballer and also revealed that it was his mother who encouraged him to take up the sport as a kid.
“When I was young, I was a shy kid, so my mother encouraged me to join the football team. She is a big football fan, so I went from the trials. I wanted to be a striker, but since I was tall, my PT teacher told me to try my luck as a goalkeeper.”
Gomes joined Salgaocar FC as a teenager after being spotted by a coach in Goa while playing a local tournament. Since then, he has steadily risen through the ranks to become one of the most impressive goalkeepers in the country, having represented Mumbai City FC, Aizawl FC, Delhi Dynamos FC and Kerala Blasters. He singled out Kerala Blasters Fans for special praise and thanked them for their unrelenting support in what has been a tough time for everyone associated with the sport due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The fans are really amazing, you can see it on social media as well. They cheer us on always!”
The 2020-21 ISL season proved to be a memorable one for Gomes, as he became the first goalkeeper in the competition’s history to save three penalties in a single campaign. He also recorded an assist against SC East Bengal earlier this year, becoming the second goalkeeper after former Delhi Dynamos star Toni Doblas to do so in the ISL.
When asked by Arjun Kapoor about how he became a Chelsea fan, Gomes narrated an interesting story.
“There was a tournament going on at the time and all my teammates were watching a game. Chelsea were playing, and I slowly began to develop an interest in the club. Later, I started watching games on my own and became a fan of the club.”
The 27-year-old looked back on the 2012 UEFA Champions League final and picked that as his most memorable moment as a Chelsea fan, as the Blues were crowned champions of Europe for the first time in their history under Roberto Di Matteo.
Amongst other things, Gomez also spoke about the harsh realities of being a goalkeeper, as he went on to say that each mistake made is remembered by fans across the world. He also spoke about the standout moment of his career, as his crucial penalty save against Bengaluru FC turned out to be an important moment in the 2016-17 ISL title race.
“When we won the I-League, we were drawing 1-1 against Bengaluru FC in a game. Sunil Bhai [Chhetri] got a penalty, and I saved it. We drew the game, but if he had converted the penalty, we could have lost the game and even the title.”
Finally, Albino Gomes named his Ultimate Chelsea XI. While some of his picks were relatively straightforward, his Chelsea team also included a handful of surprise names.
Albino Gomes’ Ultimate Chelsea XI (4-4-2): Petr Cech, Cesar Azpilicueta, John Terry, Thiago Silva, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, N’Golo Kante, Willian, Mason Mount, Eden Hazard, Didier Drogba
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