Happy to play at a high level again: Jamshedpur FC's Elsinho basking in his heroics against East Bengal FC

Elsinho negated the threat from East Bengal attackers with great panache.
Elsinho negated the threat from East Bengal attackers with great panache. (Image Courtesy: JFC Media)

At one point in the Monday night clash between East Bengal and Jamshedpur FC, not a minute went without the commentators announcing Elsinho's name with almost disbelief overpowering their modulation.

The Brazilian was gobbling up everything that the Red and Gold attacking brigade had to throw at him and that too with utmost deftness.

Every cross or through ball from Carles Cuadrat's side was met with either a towering header or a hooved clearance from the 32-year-old.

Unsurprisingly, Elsinho ended the night with a staggering 11 clearances, the second most by any Jamshedpur player in the Indian Super League (ISL). The last time the midfielder had played any sort of competitive football was way back in May 2021.

But when he slotted into the Jamshedpur FC backline as a makeshift center-back, there was not a moment where the Brazilian international looked out of depth.

In an exclusive interaction with Sportskeeda, Elsinho stressed that he was glad to be able to play football at a top level once again.

"I am very happy to be able to play at a high level again!" he expressed.

His performance against the Kolkata giants has made many turn their heads and take notice of this Brazilian international, who was a bit of an unknown asset before kick-off.

Elsinho, during the interview, underlined that he was now focused on building on his debut performance and steering the Red Miners forward throughout the season.

Read the excerpts from Sportskeeda's exclusive interview with Jamshedpur FC's Elsinho below to find out more about the Brazilian international's role in the center-back spot, and his opinion on his two Indian defensive partners:

Question: Firstly Elsinho, congratulations on that incredible performance against East Bengal. What did you think of Jamshedpur FC’s performance as a whole? Did you feel you guys could’ve taken the three points there?

Elsinho: Thank you very much. I think we played a great game. The first game always has that anxiety and creates a lot of expectations, but our team knew how to deal with it and yes, we had opportunities to score goals, unfortunately, it wasn't completed.

Q: Your debut performance has been widely appreciated by everyone now, so how does it make you feel? Does all this appreciation encourage you more?

Elsinho: I'm happy for all this recognition, in football players need confidence and I think this is an important point for this, so it's about continuing to seek this confidence daily!

Q: Before Monday, everyone thought of you as a central midfielder. But then you played as a center-back and put in one of the most memorable defensive performances. How did this change in role happen?

Elsinho: I had already worked in this position a few times, Scott (Cooper) already knew this and as we have a good relationship he asked me to perform this role.

Q: With the first match of the season done, what is your assessment of the squad Jamshedpur FC have assembled?

Elsinho: Simply put, we have a strong squad with great players who will fight for great things this season.

Q: You were partnered by Laldinpuia and Pratik Chaudhari in the defense line. What has it been like playing alongside these Indian boys?

Elsinho: They are two great players who played a sensational match and with that, our defensive system worked well!

Q: You’ve played in multiple clubs across multiple countries but how do you see the challenge of playing in the Indian Super League?

Elsinho: I like challenges, and I hope to face them in the best way possible, I am working and preparing for this.

Q: Now that you’ve had the first experience of playing in India, how does it feel and how do you assess the quality of football in the country?

Elsinho: The debut game is always different, but I can already tell that there is a lot of quality and a lot of intensity.

Q: Finally, Elsinho, what is your personal goal for the ISL 2023-24 season?

Elsinho: Firstly, I want to achieve collective goals together with all my teammates, but something personal at the moment is being able to work calmly and with a clear head, trying to improve every day.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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