The calendar yr’s first Kolkata derby is solely hours away and Marcelo Leite Pereira, fondly referred to as Marcelinho, is an excited guy. No, it is not simply that he has been playing a sensational run of shape since becoming a member of ATK Mohun Bagan on-loan from fellow Indian Super League-side Odisha FC in January. Friday’s derby will mark the primary time Marcelinho has ever been a part of a large derby as a participant. And he’s going to get to play in a landmark one because the Kolkata derby enters its 100th yr.
The Brazilian is aware of all about how thrilling derbies may also be. As a Fluminense fan — Bagan had just lately posted a percent of a tender Marcelinho dressed in the Brazilian membership’s inexperienced and maroon, the similar colors as his present membership — and as a graduate of Flamengo’s early life academy, the striker grew up in the midst of the well-known Fla-Flu derby. But he by no means had the danger to play in a single.
“I’ve not been part of a match as big as this,” mentioned Marcelinho. ” 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.”
This is Marcelinho’s 5th season in India and he has been right here lengthy sufficient to grasp the magnitude of the fit. “I am very excited,” he mentioned. I watched the former season’s derby. It’s very particular for India. It’s a conventional fit and I’m proud to be part of it.”
It won’t, however, be a complete derby experience for him with the match, like the reverse fixture earlier in the season, to be played out in an empty stadium. As a fan who was among 80,000 others, cheering on a derby game at the legendary Maracana Stadium, Marcelinho knows the role they play in making a derby what it is. “To be truthful, I wish to play it in entrance of the fanatics,” he said. “But anyway, it is one thing particular for each participant and I’m hoping I am getting to experience it so much.”
Friday’s fixture is a lot more than just a derby. While SC East Bengal has nothing but pride to play for, league leaders Bagan are locked in a heated race to the League Winners’ Shield with Mumbai City FC. Just two points separate the two teams with three games left and any slip-up will be highly consequential. While such high stakes can often heap more pressure on the team, Marcelinho insists this is not the case. “To be truthful, we haven’t any force,” he said. “We are within the ultimate (segment) and we need to do our perfect. But the staff’s very assured. We will attempt to win each recreation towards any opposition.”