Brandon Fernandes will complete five years with the Indian national team on June 5. A day later would be perhaps the most important match of his Blue Tigers career. The dynamic midfielder has played his part in many crucial goals, delivering some notable assists over the past half a decade. He now hopes to create another such moment against Kuwait on Thursday.

“I hope I’m able to assist Sunil Chhetri on June 6,” wished Fernandes, who feels lucky to share five of the legend’s 19 years in the national team.

“Our relationship is fantastic. Chhetri is always open to discussing and sharing his knowledge about various things. When I first joined the team, he set a comfortable environment for me. On the pitch, we both are very compatible. We tend to gauge our moves quite well,” he added.

The Goan shared his thoughts on the five-year journey in India’s blue jersey and said, “It has been an amazing journey. It is an honour to represent the country, a huge responsibility, and I hope going forward, I’m able to continue for more years.”

Having registered seven assists in 25 appearances for India, his debut against Curacao in the 2019 King’s Cup in Thailand remains the favourite moment of his career.

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“Every time I walk onto the pitch wearing this jersey is a proud moment for me, but if I had to pick one it would be my debut match for it was a long-awaited opportunity I was seeking,” said Fernandes.

Although he has struggled a bit with injuries recently, only featuring in three of the last seven India matches, the former FC Goa captain showed exemplary form towards the back end of last season, scoring two sensational long-range strikes in the knockout stage of the ISL. But dealing with injuries and recovering well to be at his best again is something the 29-year-old has learned over the years.

“There’s one thing I always keep in mind that it is a part and parcel of our career and we can’t take things lightly. We have to be prepared for it and keep pushing physically and mentally at all times,” said Fernandes.

Regarding the crucial clash at the Salt Lake Stadium Fernandes said, “Kuwait is a very good team and we cannot take them lightly. We beat them before (November’s 1-0 win in Kuwait City) and I’m sure we can do it again. It’s going to be a tough game, we should keep our grounds and I’m sure we can come up victorious,” concluded Fernandes.