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Sony Norde’s Mohun Bagan goodbye gets emotional but star forward promises return

Sony Norde promised Mohun Bagan fans that he would be back at the club as soon as he regained fitness during an emotional goodbye that saw him break down in tears.

football Updated: Jan 22, 2018 20:26 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Sony Norde,Mohun Bagan,I-League
The face Mohun Bagan fans can’t forget. Fans sport Sony Norde masks at the club tent on Monday.(HT Photo)

His face was their mask, his name their chant and when Sony Norde saw and heard it all and had fans touching his feet, he broke down. Struggling to regain composure, Mohun Bagan’s Haiti international said he would be back.

“As soon as I am fit, I promise you guys that I will be back. The love I have got makes Mohun Bagan unique among all the clubs I have played in. I didn’t want to go but for the sake of my family, my career, I have to,” Norde told a throng of supporters who had gathered at the club’s lawn on Monday. He leaves on Tuesday.

Out for the season with a right knee anterior cruciate ligament injury, Norde will have surgery on February 2 in Buenos Aires and do his rehabilitation at Boca Juniors, said Mohun Bagan director Debasish Dutta. Norde, 28, played for Boca Juniors B from 2008-11.

Norde’s season lasted less than four games this term but even though he has been Mohun Bagan’s lodestar since 2014 and the I-League’s highest paid player with a reported salary of Rs 2.5 crore, the farewell seemed to have taken him by surprise.

That Mohun Bagan outplayed East Bengal in Sunday’s Kolkata derby of the I-League would have a lot to do with the absolute lack of rancour at his sudden departure.

“A derby is always 50-50 but yesterday, Mohun Bagan played like Manchester City or FC Barcelona. We could have scored six or seven goals…. If they play like this, they won’t need me,” said Norde.

Norde said it was when he felt pain during training on January 18 that he decided to consult his doctor in Argentina. “He told me that I needed surgery and a rehab for seven weeks. He also said he would help me with the rehab.

“I couldn’t sleep that night and the next day, I couldn’t face my teammates because all this while they had thought I would be playing the derby.”

Norde said he would miss playing with Cameron Watson and Akram Moghrabi, Mohun Bagan’s new recruits who had a big influence at Salt Lake stadium on Sunday.

He also deflected criticism off Mohun Bagan’s former coach Sanjoy Sen, saying no one forced him to play 84 minutes against NEROCA FC. “I did that on my own because I felt the team needed me. No one forced me to,” said Norde.

First Published: Jan 22, 2018 20:26 IST