ISL opening ceremony
It was an evening to remember for the people residing in ‘Mecca of Indian Football’ as a riot of colours lit the Salt Lake skyline with much awaited Indian Super League (ISL) doing everything possible to strike the right chord with the football afficianado.Touching the hearts of the football-loving crowd, chairperson of IMG-Reliance and founding Chairperson of Football Sports Development (ISL) Nita Ambani formally declared open the ISL.“Ami Indian Super League er Subho Suchona Korchi (I declare the auspicious opening of ISL) -- I formally declare the Indian Super League open,” she said surrounded a rare amalgamation of Bollywood and cricket and world football celebrities who represented the eight franchises.The fireworks lit up the sky in a full capacity Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan to conclude a 45-minute opening ceremony as the 70,000 capacity crowd were treated to some eye-catching visual extravaganza.With chants of ‘Sachiiiiin, Sachiiiiin’ reverberating the colossal stadium which had the earlier capacity of 120,000 now reduced to 72,000, crowd gave a standing ovation to the retired legend.For a moment, it felt Tendulkar was once again going into the middle to take guard before the reality took over as clad in yellow t-shirt Tendulkar and his Kerala Blasters marquee player David James made the entry into the centre podium.Bollywood diva Priyanka Chopra was the highlight of the show as she made a grand entry with Bollywood chartbusters ’Tune Mari Entriyaan’, ‘Ram Leela’ before welcoming the crowd in Bengali style -- ‘Kemon achen Kolkata!’Starting with Atletico de Kolkata, Priyanka called the team owners one by one on to the centre stage and quipped to Sourav Ganguly: “Dada chose to own a football team because he can remove jersey whenever he wants...”Ganguly-Luis Garcia (Kolkata) were followed by Parineeti Chopra and Italian World Cup winner Alessandro Del Piero (Delhi).John Abraham was paraded alongside New Zealand marquee manager Ricki Hebert (Guwahati), Dattaraj Salgaocar and Robert Pires (Goa), Abhishek Bachchan and marquee player Elano Blumer (Chennai), Hrithik Roshan and French World Cup winner David Trezeguet (Pune), Ranbir Kapoor and Fedrik Ljungberg (Mumbai) and Tendulkar -- David James (Kerala) were called one by one by star perfomer Priyanka.The ceremony began at 5.20 pm with West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, ISL founding chairperson Nita Ambani, AIFF president Praful Patel and Atletico de Kolkata co-owner Sanjiv Goenka leading on the centrestage to convey their heartfelt thanks.Urging the country to promote the sport, CM said: “Thank you so much for choosing Kolkata for the opening ceremony. Lets’ love football, eat football, think football, sleep football and drink football.”Terming it a dream come true, Patel said: “This is a dream come true. It’s a great opportunity for us to take this game to every corner of the city. Special thanks to Nita Ambani and IMG-Reliance.“I will assure that we will not leave any stone unturned to make this ISL a super success.The performance by the children culminated in a dramatic formation of the ISL logo.The memorable opening ceremony came to a close amid fantastic fireworks, with a special rendition of the League anthem being performed by Salim Merchant.Also present in the gathering were honourable Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Sarbananda Sonowal.
Atletico de Kolkata
Former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly’s Atletico de Kolkata, with its association with the current Spanish La Liga champions and being the representative of the football capital of India will surely have a mountain of expectation to live up to in thA heavy Spanish influence is prevalent in the team that starts with their coach, Antonio Lopez Habas. The veteran gaffer has vast amount of managerial stints in national and club football, which includes Valencia. The Indian contingent also got the chance to train in Atletico Madrid’s home ground Vicente Calderon recently. As for the squad, defence is the team’s USP and possesses a plethora of rock-solid players who can patrol the backline with distinction Indian Super League (ISL). The Indian contingent comprises of Arnab Mondal, Denis Franco and Biswajit Saha – all of whom have made their presence felt in Indian football. The midfield is not far behind either. India’s Climax Lawrence, whose was one of the key figures in Indian football over the last decade is a part of the team. The younger players include Calvin Lobo and Sanju Pradhan, who has been earmarThe fans of the Reds will remember the Spaniard for his wonder-strikes. He was equally erratic too and has yet another chance to salvage some pride as Garcia is a tad younger than the other marquees in the ISL.ked for great things in the future. The striking options are a quite the polar opposite of Atletico Madrid, who always have a goal-machine leading the line. East Bengal’s Baljit Sahni, Mohammad Rafi and Mohammad Rafique are just about adequate and it remains to be seen what Ethiopian Fikru Teferra can come up with.
Mumbai City FC
Mumbai City FC, is one of the eight football teams participating in the inaugural season of the Indian Super League. The team is co-owned by Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor and renowned Chartered Accountant Bimal Parekh, who are also overseeing its operations. The team will be playing their home matches at the DY Patil Cricket Stadium in Nerul, Navi Mumbai, which has a capacity of seating 55,000 fans. Former Everton and Manchester City midfielder Peter Reid was roped in as the manager with Steve Darby as his assistant.Other foreign recruits include, goalkeeper Andre Pereira, defenders Pavel Cmovs (Czech Republic), Ilias Pollalis (Greece), Johan Letzelter (France) midfielders Tiago Ribeiro (Switzerland), Jan Stohanzl (Czech Republic), Francisco Luque (Spain) and Argentinean forward Diego Nadaya. The Indian contingent of Mumbai City FC includes home boy, Raju Gaikwad, who has notched up over 22 appearances with the national team. Another regular player from the national set-up is the versatile wing back Syed Rahim Nabi and goalkeeper Subrata Paul; the pair have thrice won the Nehru Cup
Today Kolkata wins the football match
Kolkata Won the match emphatically by 3-0 margin courtesy Arnal Llibert’s quick counter attack. Mumbai are probing and they are caught in the counter with a flood of Kolkata players rushing to the opposition territory and its a goal. It was a three on one situation and Arnalt Libert simply has to tap the ball into the net and the final whistle is blown. Loud cheers as the first match of the ISL ends in a resounding 3-0 victory for the home side.