ISL: For Atletico de Kolkata, opener is nothing less than final
Atletico de Kolkata may be the newest team on the horizon in a football-mad city but it hopes to embrace the metropolis with a spectacular performance against Mumbai City FC in the Indian Super League opener on Sunday
Kolkata: Atletico de Kolkata may be the newest team on the horizon in a football-mad city but it hopes to embrace the metropolis with a spectacular performance against Mumbai City FC in the Indian Super League opener on Sunday.
It may sound as an alarm bell to Mumbai, ATK's opponent's in the ISL opener, that the city franchise is considering the match nothing short of a 'final'.
"Namaskar, we are ready, we are very excited to start. For many it may be the start of the league, but for us it is the big final. We'll try to win that final. We'll see what happens," ATK's Spanish recruit Arnal Llibert Conde Carbo told reporters today.
"For us the target is Sunday, it's Mumbai," he said. Arnal played as a centre forward in Spanish clubs and in ATK his role may be changed to winger and he said it's
important to adapt to different positions in the new franchisee league.
"It's not difficult, I'm a striker, I'm a finisher. I played as centre forward last three-four years. Here the technical staff wants someone to play in different positions.
The good thing is there would be many changes in this tournament. We need to adjust in different positions," he said. Since the bulk of the team is from Spanish origin be it the coach or the technical staff or the players, the 33-year-old said it did not matter as long as they played for the same target -- to score goals.
"Most important is to work in the same way. Nobody is above the team. It's not we adapt to them or they adapt to us. In the end football is football. Be it here, Kazakhstan, China or in Spain. It does not matter. We have to score goals and don't want to concede," he said.
The 10-week-long tournament would demand a lot of travelling but Arnal said it would be same for all the teams. "In Spain we play all around. I don't think it will
be a problem," he said.
Fresh from their one-month training in Madrid, the Spanish forward said they had gelled well as a unit and it's time to perform well on the artificial turf at the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan.
"We've been working for one month in Madrid. We adjusted to the same philosophy of football. We just need to adjust to the field. It just takes three-four days to do that," he added.