FC Pune City have the best attack on paper in Indian Super League: Marcelinho | football | Hindustan Times
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FC Pune City have the best attack on paper in Indian Super League: Marcelinho

Marcelinho believes FC Pune City possess the best attacking unit in the Indian Super League, on paper, and can have a successful season ahead this term

football Updated: Nov 12, 2017 21:52 IST
Sarthak Bal
Marcelinho (L) is confident of FC Pune City doing well in the upcoming season of the Indian Super League.
Marcelinho (L) is confident of FC Pune City doing well in the upcoming season of the Indian Super League.(Twitter/FC Pune City)

FC Pune City’s Indian Super League (ISL) journey so far hasn’t been the most rewarding. In the three seasons, they have had three different managers and never made it to the knockout phase. But Pune City’s new acquisition, Marcelinho, is confident of the team making the final in the upcoming edition.

Marcelinho, whose goal-scoring exploits at Dehli Dynamos won him the Golden Boot, is joined at Pune by the league’s third highest goal-getter last year -- Emiliano Alfaro. With 15 goals together in the previous season, Alfaro and Marcelinho are being dubbed as the most dangerous attacking duo in the league this season.

Joining Marcelinho from the capital club are midfielders Kean Lewis and Marcos Tebar.

“If you look at the players in the Pune side this year -- Alfaro, Marcos and I, we all understand Indian football so we have that slightly added pressure to carry Pune to the finals. But personally, I am very positive about the team reaching the finals this season,” said Marcelinho.

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Marcelinho also believes that Pune boast of the best attack on paper, but that can only transition into the league’s top attacking outfit on the pitch, if the whole team is able to link up.

“I think Elfaro is a very intelligent player, Kean as well. We know each other from last year. I think we are very fast and strong offensively,” he said.

“On paper I think we have the best attack. But like the coach said, you don’t always get what you want. Of course we will do our best but the team is not just the attackers. If we are connected as a team we will surely be the best attacking side in the league.”

Pune City’s manager, Ranko Popovic, on the other hand, is looking to use his role for a dual purpose: firstly, to promote the ‘beautiful game’ in the country and leave the fans satisfied with the quality of football exhibited by Pune. Secondly, and more importantly, to inculcate a winning mentality into his team as Pune seek their first title.

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“We want to try to play nice clean football. We want to leave the fans satisfied because football is a nice and beautiful game. So if we try and destroy it, it’s not acceptable. We are here to promote this game in India, and we must make it attractive,” said Popovic throwing some light on Pune City’s approach this season.

When asked about facing pressure from the management, given their lack of trust in managers over the years Popovic said: “If there is a big gap between your target and eventual result then you have a problem. But one must be realistic in your approach. Of course I want to win, all my life I have played to win, even if I play against my kids I want to win, or teach them how to win. This is what I want to teach my boys.”

FC Pune City host Delhi Dynamos in their first game of the season on November 22. For Marcelinho, Kean Lewis and Marcos Tebar, it will be an emotional opening game, as they look to get their campaign up and running against their old club. But Marcelinho admitted that he would be happy to score against Delhi because it is his job.

“Delhi Dynamos were my first team here in India. But with another team it’s a new beginning and I will celebrate because my team deserves it. Switching teams is a part of professional football,” said the Brazilian.