ISL 2020-21: Mumbai City FC's Mandar Rao Dessai becomes first player to 100 ISL appearances

ISL 2020: Former FC Goa player Mandar Rao Dessai will become the first player ever to feature in 100 Indian Super League (ISL) games

Mandar Rao Dessai

Mandar Rao Dessai pictured during a Mumbai City FC's match against NEUFC in the ISL.   -  ISL Media

Mumbai City FC defender Mandar Rao Dessai will become the first player ever to feature in 100 Indian Super League (ISL) games after he was named in the starting XI to face SC East Bengal at the GMC Stadium on Tuesday.

Goa-born Mandar made 97 appearances for FC Goa (FCG) across six seasons before his move to Mumbai during the off-season.

"Next game will be my 100th in the ISL and I'm proud of this. I dedicate this to all the players who have played with me and the coaches who have helped me in this league," said the 28-year-old, who has also played for Bengaluru FC in the I-League

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Mandar began his career as a winger before slotting into the full-back's role at FC Goa. In 2014, when he was representing Dempo Sporting Club in the I-League, FCG signed him up for the inaugural ISL season.

After featuring in multiple positions on the field in the 2017/18 edition, Mandar found a permanent spot in the Goa backline the very next year. He also took over the captaincy of the side from Laxmikant Kattimani.

"Two years ago, my position changed from being a winger to playing as a left-back. The coach [Sergio Lobera] believed in me more than myself and I'm continuing as a left-back. The national team coach [Igor Stimac] also likes the way I play. I am growing as a player and doing well. But I look to do better," he added.

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