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Aaron has been hailed by one and all for his dribbling skills, pace, acceleration and crossing abilities.
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The art of emerging as a match-winner featuring Aaron D’Costa

Aaron has been hailed by one and all for his dribbling skills, pace, acceleration and crossing abilities.
Aaron has been hailed by one and all for his dribbling skills, pace, acceleration and crossing abilities.

One of the most important factors that a club focuses on while evaluating a potential player transfer is the footballer’s ability to emerge as a match-winner. Luis Suarez’s capability to deliver the goods when it matters the most, emerged as a major boost in the Uruguay footballer’s favour, during discussions over his big-money move to Barcelona. Winger Aaron D’Costa shares similar attributes as evident from an anecdote shared over an exclusive interaction with Sportsjuana.

“I was representing South United FC in an I-League second division encounter against Chennaiyin FC (R), with the team 3 goals down in the opening 20 minutes. We were under a lot of pressure in the away encounter. However, I refused to give up setting up an assist just before halftime. That goal brought a surge of motivation, with the scoreline reading 3-1 at half-time. A comeback seemed right around the corner. However, things were not going to be as easy with one of our defenders sent off early in the second half. We had to play nearly 40 minutes with 10 men, which was going to be a massive challenge. While there was immense pressure, it also presented an opportunity for a player to emerge as a match-winner. I took up the mantle dribbling past four players, before being brought down by the fifth inside the box. We earned a second goal following a well-placed penalty.”

“The confidence was definitely back among the boys but time was running out. With just two minutes left for the encounter to conclude, I ran past two defenders and crossed the ball astutely resulting in the equaliser being smashed home. It was a massive moment, earning a lot of praise and appreciation.”

While this instance showcases his ability to emerge as a match-winner, Aaron is further a fighter to the core as evident from another anecdote shared.

“Maharashtra was taking on Kolkata in the Santosh Trophy, in a very exciting match which we were all enthusiastic about. Much to my dismay, I suffered a hairline fracture just a day before the encounter. While the coach advised me to not take a risk, I decided to throw caution to the wind as it was a must-win clash. While the pain was unbearable, I pushed hard for nearly 70 minutes helping the team out in every way possible. In the end, the coach subbed me off despite my hesitance, with Maharashtra losing the game following this move. The result was a shocker, with my withdrawal later termed as a decisive moment by experts.”

While these attributes are certainly praiseworthy, they are nothing short of ones expected from a player who idolises Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo.

“My journey with football started back in the 1998 World Cup, with Brazil and France facing in an exciting encounter. Zidane’s heroics and passionate gameplay developed a desire to emulate him. I started playing the game at the age of 6, slowly and steadily amping up the hard word. Cristiano Ronaldo is supremely determined when it comes to achieving his goals in life. He never gives up no matter how hard things get. Lionel Messi and Kevin de Bruyne are also amazing to watch. Would love to develop an eye for goal like Ronaldo, dribble like Messi and vision like De Bruyne,” he enthuses.

Aaron has been hailed by one and all for his dribbling skills, pace, acceleration and crossing abilities. His physicality is also quite unmatched as evident from the aerial supremacy. The winger has played for top clubs like Mahindra United, Union Bank, Air India, South United and is considered one of the best attackers in Indian football. Aaron primarily operates as a right-winger, striker or attacking midfielder and is comfortable playing in any position on the attacking line.

The footballer was a vital member of the Air India team which finished as a runner-up in the MDFA Elite Division & Nadkarni Cup (2015-16). His exploits further helped the team reign supreme in the All India Public Sector Tournament & Nadkarni Cup (2017 – 2018). Aaron also made his presence felt for Maharashtra in the 70th edition of the Santosh Trophy back in 2015.

Some of the other personal accolades include being named as the player of the season in South United Football Club’s 2018-19 edition.

“As a footballer, you have to keep an open mind. Any personal problems should be ignored when you enter the pitch with a supreme focus on the game. I maintain a disciplined lifestyle, with proper emphasis on ensuring optimum care mentally and physically. The sole addiction is towards being the best version of myself. I am the first person to volunteer when the coach is looking for a player to operate out of position. If you want to be the best footballer out there, you have to deliver the goods in any scenario. Keep challenging the opponent and leave them baffled with your intelligence.”

“Being mentally tough is key if you want to be a champion. My ultimate dream is to emerge as a top footballer and make my family proud. One thing is certain: You won’t see me giving up despite the sternest of challenges. Even during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the focus has been on maintaining a positive mindset and being ready for any opportunity that gets presented.”


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