Brandon Fernandes reflects on 'unexpected' departure from FC Goa - "I couldn’t afford to end the season without a contract" 

Brandon Fernandes
FC Goa's Brandon Fernandes will leave the club after seven years

FC Goa announced their decision to part ways with long-time player Brandon Fernandes following the expiration of his contract. The 29-year-old midfielder will join ISL champions Mumbai City FC for the upcoming season after spending seven years at FC Goa.

During his time in Goa, Fernandes made 130 appearances, scoring 17 goals and providing 31 assists, while also holding the club’s record for the most assists. He was instrumental in FC Goa’s success in the Super Cup, the ISL Shield, and Durand Cup in 2019, 2020, and 2021, respectively.

Fernandes’ departure from his hometown club, where he played a key role under coach Manolo Marquez this season, certainly came as a surprise.

In an interview with the Times of India, the attacking midfielder expressed that financial disagreements eventually led to his unexpected exit.

“It was heartbreaking. I did not expect to leave the club so soon, but everything happened so unexpectedly,” Brandon said. "I wanted to continue here and build my legacy. But then the situation was such that I had to take a decision (on the future). I couldn’t afford to end the season without a contract."
"I wanted an assurance from Goa that they would sort out the financial situation and hand me a new contract. The club told me that the player signing guidelines for next season were also not clear, so a final decision could not be taken. I did not want to end the season without a contract. I wanted to sign and be secure. What if there was an injury? Nobody would have valued me," he added.

Regardless, Brandon Fernandes’ name will echo throughout the Fatorda for years to come. It was at this very club that he grew and evolved into one of India’s most talented midfielders, which undoubtedly cements his status as a legend.

“Brandon will always be welcomed back to FC Goa” - FC Goa CEO Ravi Puskur

FC Goa’s CEO Ravi Puskur had only kind words for Brandon Fernandes, stating that he ‘became ingrained with the fabric of the club.’

Speaking to FC Goa’s media about Brandon’s departure, he remarked:

"Brandon wore the badge of FC Goa for seven years with great pride and was a fantastic ambassador for the values the Club stood for on and off the pitch. While he leaves us today, Brandon will always be welcomed back to FC Goa in whatever capacity he may choose with open arms and this club will always have a special place for him and his family," he stated.

Fernandes is currently with the Indian national team, preparing for the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Kuwait and Qatar. Although an official announcement from Mumbai City FC is still pending, he is expected to join the club for the pre-season.

Head coach Petr Kratky will undoubtedly be thrilled to add a player of Fernandes’ caliber, especially since he is in his prime.

He topped the league in terms of chances created last season (59) and will only further strengthen Mumbai City’s attack alongside Lallianzuala Chhangte, Vikram Pratap Singh, and Bipin Singh.

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