Rowllin Borges has been a key member of the Indian national team ever since his debut in 2015.
However, he has seen the competition around him increase manifold after coach Igor Stimac took charge. He found chances difficult to come by before the Croatian handed him two starts in the 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup joint qualifiers against Oman and Qatar.
The Goan shared with Goal his takeaways from the two qualification games.
"Playing as a team, the takeaways for me will be that I helped the team in attack as well as defensively as much as I could," Borges stated.
"Against Qatar, we did not keep the ball as much as they did but in the end, it is the result that matters and I think we played well against them," he added.
Talk about adapting to Stimac's game plan, the former Sporting Clube de Goa midfielder mentioned, "The players are both enjoying themselves and adapting to it. We like to keep the ball, play around and move. We enjoy passing even in training. That is what we are trying to do during the matches as well. And that's what coach wants us to do - to keep the ball."
The way India has played of late, especially through the midfield has been pleasing to the eye where Borges' involvement has been instrumental.
"Everyone is working really hard to be in the team right now because the coach makes you feel that any player can play. That is what brings 100 per cent from each and every player. Whoever plays (alongside in midfield), if it is (Anirudh) Thapa, Sahal (Abdul Samad) or Brandon (Fernandes), they give their 100 per cent and help the team as much as they can," he mentioned.
At club level, after a three-year stint at NorthEast United, Rowllin Borges has finally made the switch to Mumbai City FC.
"For me, it was a new challenge that came my way and I accepted it with both hands because I want to test myself as I was at NorthEast for almost three years," he explained the move.
"Now I have to prove myself with my new team as well as with a new coach. The coach (Jorge Costa) has new plans and new ideas. So I have to fit into his plan and I have to perform the way he wants me to. I have to train hard and make my place in the team. I'm sure it will be interesting," he concluded.