If you have more than a passing interest in the Cambodian Premier League, then you would have noticed the Angkor Tiger strike force of Iago and Gabriel last season. Yet while the two impressed during the campaign, Tiger largely struggled.
Now both of them have moved to PKR Svay Rieng, setting up a potentially tantalizing front three of Iago, Gabriel and last seasons golden boot Markus Haber.
We went to sit down with Iago Fernandez to discuss what went wrong last season, just how scared defenders should be and his hopes for Bothe coming season and his future.
To read about the Cambodian Premier Legate click here
Iago Fernandez can you tell us a bit about your background?
Iago – My journey professionally is still short, in Brazil I played a few games as a professional, so my best moments at the beginning of my career were at the academy. I started playing football very young like any other boy who dreams of being a great athlete, but I believe that my responsibilities came too early because at the age of 13 I left home in search of fulfilling my dreams and at that age I had to leave my parents and live far away from them to be a football player and help my family financially. Those who don’t know me might think that I came from a rich family but actually my conditions were never the best.
After that at the age of 16 I signed my first professional contract at Atletico Mineiro, a club I stayed with for 6 years in total and played only one game professionally and then played another 2 years at Coritiba FC before moving to Cambodia and starting my real career as professional athlete.
You can read about Atletico Mineiro here
Last year Tiger had arguably the best attack in the CPL, what went wrong?
Iago – Yes, we had a young team so it was exciting when we played and managed to create great opportunities within the games but sometimes what went wrong were some details that, due to lack of experience, cost us dearly in big games.
We knew we could have done more, but in many games the mistakes were due to lack of attention and many times they were things that we always talked about and tried to fix. the team was very young so it is normal at times for you to make mistakes like that because many athletes were gaining experience. I was perosnally disappointed because at times I felt and others also felt that we could have won some games if we had entered more connected and focused.
To read our interview with Alistair Heath click here
Part of the front three included Mouzinho. Many including us have touted him as having huge potential, just how far do you think he can go?
Iago – I believe that Mouzinho arrived at a time when our team was already having a drop in performance, so this was unfavorable for him for the rest of the season, but with him we all felt that everything could improve because he is a great player.
I believe he will still go a long way because he is young too and has a lot to improve, his evolution will be great so I believe he will be a very important player for any team he plays for.
To read our interview with Mouzinho click here
How scared should defenders be of the Iago, Gabriel, Iago front three?
Iago – I believe that for the last season that we did, everyone knows what we are capable of doing so for sure together the expectations will be high so I think that in some moments the defenders should worry a lot about us.
We are getting along during training and we will reach a very high level together and will earn the respect of all defenders. we are working hard for this.
Can you help PKR Svay Rieng win the league this season?
Iago – This is my biggest wish for this season. and during the last few weeks this confidence that we can be champions of the CPL is increasing according to our evolution, our group is improving at each stage so it’s normal to create expectations, but we know that we have to work a lot to reach that goal, but I feel that the chances of being champions are high because we such a high quality squad.
To read our review of PKR Svay Rieng click here
Do you plan to stay in Cambodia, or is this just the start of your football journey?
Iago – I have already thought about it a little bit, but it’s hard to talk about my future now because I recently transferred to Svay Rieng, so my first focus now is to do my best here and achieve my goals that I have for this season and then I will start to to think if I intend to really stay or follow my journey.
But from what I can see, Cambodian football is evolving a lot so maybe I can stay and evolve along with everyone here, but it’s still too early to talk about that. Eventually I would like to play in Japan, I always had that desire even before I came to Cambodia, but at most it’s just a wish and everything will depend on my individual performance this season.
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