Panaji (Goa) [India], February 19 (ANI): The calendar 12 months’s first Kolkata derby is simply hours away and Marcelo Leite Pereira, fondly often known as Marcelinho, is an excited man. No, it is not simply that he has been having fun with a sensational run of kind since becoming a member of ATK Mohun Bagan on-loan from Odisha FC in January.
The Indian Super League (ISL) Friday’s derby will mark the primary time Marcelinho has ever been half of an enormous derby as a participant. And he’ll get to play in a landmark one because the Kolkata derby enters its one centesimal 12 months!The Brazilian is aware of all about how thrilling derbies could be. As a Fluminense fan — Bagan had just lately posted a pic of a younger Marcelinho sporting the Brazilian membership’s inexperienced and maroon, the identical colors as his present membership — and as a graduate of Flamengo’s youth academy, the striker grew up within the center of the well-known Fla-Flu derby. But he by no means had the possibility to play in a single.
“I’ve not been part of a match as big as this,” mentioned Marcelinho in an ISL launch.
” I have watched as a fan. Like Flamengo-Fluminense at the Maracana. But as a player, I have not been part of a derby match,” he added.
This is Marcelinho’s fifth season in India and he has been right here lengthy sufficient to know the magnitude of the match.
“I am very excited,” he mentioned. I watched the earlier season’s derby. It’s very particular for India. It’s a standard match and I’m proud to be a component of it.”It will not, nonetheless, be a whole derby expertise for him with the match, just like the reverse fixture earlier within the season, to be performed out in an empty stadium. As a fan who was amongst 80,000 others, cheering on a derby recreation on the legendary Maracana Stadium, Marcelinho is aware of the function they play in making a derby what it’s.
“To be honest, I would like to play it in front of the fans. But anyway, it’s something special for every player and I hope I get to enjoy it a lot,” he mentioned.
Friday’s fixture is much more than only a derby. While SC East Bengal has nothing however pleasure to play for, league leaders Bagan are locked in a heated race to the League Winners’ Shield with Mumbai City FC. Just two factors separate the 2 groups with three video games left and any slip-up will probably be extremely consequential.
While such excessive stakes can usually heap extra stress on the workforce, Marcelinho insists this isn’t the case.
“To be honest, we don’t have any pressure. We are in the final (phase) and we have to do our best. But the team’s very confident. We will try to win every game against any opposition,” he mentioned. (ANI)