Kannur: Jessel Carneiro took to Instagram on Wednesday to bid a heartfelt farewell to everyone at Kerala Blasters FC.
This came after the club announced that their skipper would be departing, as his contract expired on May 31.
As his four-year tenure with the Blasters ended, Carneiro expressed his gratitude to the club, the management, and the fans for their unwavering support in a poignant post. He acknowledged the club's significant role in shaping him into the player he is today.
"Kerala Blasters FC will always be in my heart. The club that gave me an opportunity to become from nothing to something," Carneiro said.
The Goa-born defender joined the Blasters in 2019 after an impressive tenure with Dempo SC. Despite the club's average performance in the Indian Super League (ISL) that season, Carneiro emerged as a key figure for his team, providing five assists and making significant defensive contributions with 78 clearances, 28 tackles, 22 blocks, and 22 interceptions. Notably, he featured in every minute of the season for the team.
Following an impressive debut season, Carneiro was awarded a three-year contract extension in July 2020. He was also appointed as one of the vice-captains of the club for the upcoming season. In the absence of first-choice captain Sergio Cidoncha, who was sidelined due to an ankle injury, Carneiro led the team in the majority of matches. Prior to the 2021-22 season, he was officially designated as the club's permanent captain.
The defender made 63 ISL appearances during his time with the Blasters.
"It has been four years since I joined the club, and what a journey it has been, filled with both good and bad memories. But it was worth representing the club and fighting for the ultimate dream. A dream of mine and all the fans of Kerala Blasters FC," he stated.
Alongside the upsides, the 32-year-old experienced some downsides during his time with the club. In January 2022, he sustained a shoulder injury during a match against Hyderabad FC, which ruled him out for the rest of the season. Upon his return from the prolonged injury, he initially struggled to regain form.
Carneiro expressed his gratitude to the fans for their unwavering support, acknowledging them as the best fans in the world.
"I would specially thank you for all the love and support I received during my time at Kerala Blasters FC. Especially to the amazing fans in the world, Manjappada, the yellow sea. Thank you for backing me up when I was down and respecting me as a club captain in the last three years," he said.
"In return, I can confidently say that I gave my all to make our dream fulfilled of becoming champions," Carneiro added.
Every good thing comes to an end, and Carneiro also mentioned that it is time to conclude his journey with the Blasters and embark on a new chapter in his life.
"As you know, life has its own destiny and secrets, and now it's time for me to move on in life and say adieus to my club, Kerala Blasters FC," said the defender.
"This journey with Kerala Blasters FC will always be special to me and my family. Coming as no one to earning a name for myself, becoming the club captain, and leading the yellow army has been an honour for me and my family," he expressed.
As he signed off, Carneiro extended his best wishes to Kerala Blasters FC. "Thank you, Kerala Blasters FC, for making me who I am today. From the bottom of my heart, I sincerely wish the club the best of luck for the future," he said.