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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I will probably play my last game in Green and Maroon colours: Bhaichung

Indian football captain Baichung Bhutia is all keyed up. He has led the country and his club Mohun Bagan with reasonable success this season and is now waiting for a fitting end to it. Of course, he is aware that even a win against Mahindra United in the Capital on Thursday, the last day of the I-League, may not ensure his team the title. Never one to shirk challenges, Bhutia talks about the season that is all set for a climactic finish. Excerpts:

On the threshold of winning the first I-League title for Mohun Bagan, what are your feelings and predictions? If it happens, it will be fantastic for me as well as the team. This season, Mohun Bagan have won everything they have played. And now, we are in a strange situation. It’s tight and very absorbing as well. I am hoping to win the match and then see...

After 10 wins on the trot in I-League, where did Bagan lose ground to Churchill Brothers? It was the Churchill match in Goa. We lost 3-1, played very badly. I was suspended. Barreto got injured. That loss turned out to be very crucial and has made all the difference.

How did the overall season go? I couldn’t have asked for a better season. India did very well this season and so did my club. My contribution in both causes has been quite satisfactory. It will be overwhelming if we could manage to win the league now.

How is your body responding to such a gruelling season? Right now it feels very tiring. Travelling has taken a huge toll on all of us. There has been hardly any time to recover. We have been flying in and out for AFC Cup matches as well.

Is your body saying ‘how long’ or is it saying ‘carry on’? Well, it’s not that bad. At the end of the season every player is tired. Actually, now mental fatigue is catching up. If at the start of the season my body starts asking questions, then I will know it is time to take a call.

For the first time, a foreign coach could win the I-League. Do you think, it’s going to become a trend from now on? I can’t say about that. But Karim Bencherifa (Bagan coach) has done a great job and the results are there for everyone to see. He has handled the pressure very well considering that it was his first season in Kolkata. But one thing is for sure, to win anything a coach has to have a good team. The signings must be good during the transfers.

What is Dempo or Churchill’s recipe for success? They have kept the same group for a long time. In fact, Churchill are reaping the fruits of Bencherifa’s hard work. Suppose Bagan bring in 15 new players next season, the team is unlikely to find much success. How has 12 years of NFL helped the national team? I have always believed that club coaches produce players. Wayne Rooney was not the product of Fabio Capello or Sven-Goran Eriksson. He is an Everton product. Our clubs must realize this. Karim can claim that he has made Rakesh Masih but how many club coaches can claim to have done that? Most of them (coaches) hardly give opportunities to new players. And all clubs have foreigners in the striking position. The federation (AIFF) has to address this issue.

Will you ever return to East Bengal? At the moment I am happy with Bagan and I have a year’s contract to serve. But the possibility of joining East Bengal is bleak. Unless something drastic happens, I will probably play my last game in Green-and-Maroon colours.

No emotions left for the red-and-gold shirt? I have very good memories with East Bengal and also equally bad memories. I would rather leave it at that.

How is the players’ association doing? It is doing well and slowly growing. But the players’ association is a new concept in our country and has not been fully accepted as yet. The clubs and the AIFF must realize that the association is there to help, it is not their enemy
Source: Times of India

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MOHUN BAGAN ATHLETIC CLUB-The National club of India

A Short History:

MOHUN BAGAN AC-The National club of India, the oldest Club in Asia,
was established on 15th August 1889 when India was up in arms against her collonial head, England.

Eversince its establishment the Club had been winning a lot of local leagues and cups but the moment of greatness that surpasses all came in the year 1911 when Mohun Bagan AC became the first Indian club/team to defeat the foreigners in their own game of football.

On 29th of July 1911 Mohun Bagan won the IFA shield beating East Yorkshire 2-1. Eversince there has been no stopping!

The club has won and keeps on winning many a laurel for the country! It has made our Nation Proud!

According to FIFA rankings, in Asia, Mohun Bagan is the 16th biggest team to have an avg. home crowd of 19,888. According to World standards, Mohun Bagan has been ranked of 127 much ahead of other big clubs like Udinese(Italy), Benfica(Portugal) and Fulham(England) to mention a few.

It is however,not an easy task to consolidate the history of a club which is more than 117 years old*...(read more...)

*For Further Info:Please visit The Offical site of MAC: History section please open in a New Window

Location: Kolkata Maidan
Green and Maroon
Symbol: Sail Boat

Stadium: Mohun Bagan ground
Yuva Bharati Krirangan

MOHUN BAGAN AC- It's not just a club, it is an institution, a religion, a passion. LIVE IT...DIE FOR IT...

A Pictorial trip of the Mohun Bagan Ground!

Satellite Imagery of our Club Ground!*
*Open in a New Window please.
Images of Yuva Bharati Krirangan*
*Open in a New Window please.

Photos by: Soumyadeb Sinha
Photos by: Soumyadeb Sinha


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