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New Brazilian star in Indian football horizon

sports Updated: Sep 06, 2007 04:09 IST
Abhishek Hore
Abhishek Hore
Hindustan Times
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After Jose Barreto and Marcos Periera and in the brief while he was here Cristiano Junior, gave India a glimpse of Brazil. Got over last year, Edmilson Marques added himself to the success story of footballers from the land of four-time world champions in India.

On Tuesday, Eduardo da Escobar gave enough indications of being able to join that select club.

The face reminded one of England’s Rio Ferdinand. There is quite a gap between the dazzling array of skills the Portuguese brings to the football field but Escobar nevertheless was exciting to watch when JCT played Vasco in the opener of the 29th Hero Cycles Federation Cup here on Tuesday. “I’m very happy with the way I played in my first match. I scored one goal, set up another and my team won so it’s very satisfying,” says the Brazilian who hails from Paranaiba in the district of Mato Grosso Do Sul.

“This is my first match and I’m sure I will get better with every outing. I will try my best to perform even better in the coming matches and help my team win the tournament,” Escobar says.

After he made the spectators take notice with some excellent football, the adulation and praise were expected but Escobar made sure the oohs and aahs don’t reach him. The pint-sized Brazilian dynamo actually seemed unfazed by the admiration he garnered from the few spectators that showed up at the Guru Nanak Dev Stadium to watch the home team play.

With striker Sunil Chhetri in good form, Escobar’s inclusion to JCT makes it a side to reckon with and the Brazilian is eagerly looking forward to partnering the India striker.

“He (Chhetri) is a very intelligent player. He is very smart. We just played our first match together and I’m sure we will strike the right chord very soon,” Escobar says. Chhetri feels “it’s too early to say anything but he is an excellent player.”

“We just had one day practice but it’s good that we now have some time to practice together,” Chetri says.

As has been the case with many Brazilians, English is an obstacle for Escobar too, and he would rather prefer tackling the best of defenders. But in good friend Marcos, with whom Escobar played club football in Costa Rica, he has got someone who can take care of his language constraint.

It is early days yet but the way Escobar made the ball dance to his tune and the way he dribbled past Vasco defenders on Tuesday gave the impression that he would be in the news in the season ahead.

If the sun doesn’t set on the latest sensation from Brazil in the season ahead, Marcos would do well to stand by his friend’s side for all those bytes and quotes. Otherwise writing becomes a difficult job.