Home FEATURES Rowllin Borges – The Engine of Mumbai City FC

Rowllin Borges – The Engine of Mumbai City FC


Mumbai City FC has made a fantastic start to this ISL season and as we approach the climax of the group stage in the beautiful state of Goa, the club has made a record 33 points which is their highest ever points total in ISL history. The likes of Le Fondre & Ogbeche have been among the goals while the supply line of Bipin and Boumous has been tremendous. Not to forget the industry of Jahouh & Rowllin Borges in midfield and the stability of Fall and Ranawade in defense along with “Superman” Amrinder doing his thing between the sticks.

All the new signings have hit the ground running and have been brilliant. But, there is one player who has definitely taken his game to peak levels this season under the stewardship of Lobera. He has become one of the best midfielders in the ISL this season and the engine of Mumbai City FC. Yes! We are talking about Rowllin Borges. The Goan lad has impressed every football fan this season and been the key for Mumbai’s success in his home state.

rowllin borges leads the interceptions list in ISL

Rowllin has made the most interceptions in the ISL this season (Image Source: Mumbai City FC Twitter)

Rowllin has been key for Mumbai City FC since his signing from Northeast United in 2019. He has been the key defensive midfielder for the club since his arrival. Sergio Lobera arrived at Mumbai City FC this season with an intention to make this team one of the most fluidic attacks in the league. With the flair of Boumous and Jahouh who like to be the playmakers in this setup and venture forward whenever they can, the role of Rowllin Borges becomes even more important as even the full-backs are high up the field and he is left alone to guard the center-backs Hernan & Fall.

Rowllin Borges’ positioning is his USP as a defensive midfielder. His game-reading abilities are second to none in this Mumbai City FC setup. He understands moments of potential danger to his defense even before most attackers can make those moves themselves. Rowllin’s exceptional tackling & slick movement makes it easier for him along with his mind radar of the game to make solid tackles to stop attacks and make key interceptions. Rowllin Borges leads the chart for most interceptions in the ISL this season, a stat that alone proves his worth to the Mumbai City FC’s defensive setup.

Image Courtesy: Sofascore

Thanks to Sofascore, we can see Rowllin’s heatmap in the ISL this season. It clearly shows the way he has been dominant in his role of shielding the backline with great discipline while also venturing into the opposition half at times in games with his good dribbling abilities as well as his exceptional long-range passing which is like threading the eye of a needle. Another strong suit of Rowllin that makes him perfect for the Sergio Lobera style of football.

Rowllin has been notching up some exceptional numbers while being the engine of this Mumbai City FC setup. He averages 72.5 touches per game and 1039 touches overall, which is 3rd highest in the ISL this season. He averages 3.9 successful long-range passes per game which considering Mumbai’s not-so-direct approach to football is truly amazing. He averages 2.4 interceptions per game and has a league-high 48 interceptions to add to his 19 clearances and 18 shot blocks this season. He has also made 63 tackles this season.

Rowllin also has a huge role in this team in retaining the ball in offensive transitions and his nimble footwork helps him in guiding the ball out of tight spaces and corners which no other defensive midfielder in the ISL is capable of doing at this moment. He has a passing accuracy of 83.29% which considering his aggressive style of play is very good. He is one of the more direct players in this not-so-direct offensive setups. With his 862 passes this season, he ranks 3rd behind Edu Bedia and his Mumbai City midfield partner Ahmed Jahouh in the top passers list this season.

If there is indeed one area that Rowllin would probably want to improve on is his efficiency in front of goal which is only at 9% at this point in time. Under Lobera, he definitely has that mentorship to look forward to while improving on that aspect. Regardless, his impact in every victory that Mumbai City FC has gotten this season hasn’t been overlooked. Sergio Lobera has been very impressed by the Goan midfield dynamite and surely these are good signs for the Indian National Team as well where the potential partnership between Rowllin Borges and Anirudh Thapa in central midfield is indeed mouthwatering.

Mumbai City FC will look to seal the top spot in their upcoming games and the impact of Rowllin Borges in this period will indeed be vital. His tenacious work-rate in midfield, impressive ability to read the game and shield his defense will be important for the Islanders’ hope of winning the shield. Hopefully, we see the best of Rowllin Borges for the rest of the season!


Also Read: TSD Interviews: Jim Proudfoot, Premier League commentator


(All stats taken from Sofascore and Indian Super League Website)

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