Ex-Mohun Bagan star Jose Barreto ‘relieved’ by retention of club’s logo and colours after merger with ATK
The ATK-Mohun Bagan merger is like the coming together of two spirits, according to the 43-year-old Brazilian who made 371 appearances for the Mariners in two different stints.
Former Mohun Bagan star Jose Barreto is relieved that the club's iconic green and maroon jersey and logo have been retained as they prepare to play in their maiden ISL as ATK Mohun Bagan.
Barreto, who has served Mohun Bagan with distinction, said on Saturday the change in name will not have a negative impact on the fans of the celebrated club.
"Feeling relieved about the logo and the colours of the shirt are there. I don't think so the name ATK will affect it in any way. The logo and the colours are something that we fans are emotional about," Barreto told ISL.
"You can't imagine a Mohun Bagan fan putting the green and maroon shirt away and calling any other colour the club shirt. It would be difficult for them."
The ATK-Mohun Bagan merger is like the coming together of two spirits, according to the 43-year-old Brazilian.
Barreto, one of the all-time favourites of Mohun Bagan fans, is working with the kids at the Reliance Foundation Young Champs (RFYC) academy for the past four years.
Asked about the possibility of arch-rivals East Bengal following Mohun Bagan into the ISL, he sounded optimistic.
"See, Bagan and East Bengal are two giants. Surely East Bengal is also looking hard to come into the ISL. Probably, it is a question of time. There could be a time soon East Bengal comes into the ISL and it will be then interesting to see a derby.
"ATK Mohun Bagan versus East Bengal or maybe East Bengal too could have another name and join in with another ISL club, who knows. This will bring a lot for the league. Just keeping hope and keeping the faith, it is possible."
The prolific striker of his time was happy with Bagan's entry into ISL.
"It has been a long story. Since 2014-15, all the supporters of Mohun Bagan have been dreaming to be part of it. Finally, it has become a reality. The dream has come true for the supporters.
"It is a great feeling as an ex-Mohun Bagan star and as a Mohun Bagan fan. I am sure all the fans share my excitement as well."
He urged the ATK Mohun Bagan management to focus primarily on youth development programmes.
"My only request for ATK Mohun Bagan will be to invest as much as they can for grassroots and youth programs. That is where the state of Bengal really needs them.
"Maybe in the future, we can have a lot of talents coming from Bengal once again. Focus on youth development and set it as your priority to help Indian football."
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
Past Masters of Indian Sports: Jarnail Singh Dhillon, the hard tackler who many consider the all-time best Indian defender
Jarnail survived the horror of partition and played through pain to become a giant of the sport. Largely considered the best defender ever to play for India, Jarnail's heroics on the pitch for both India and Mohun Bagan remain one of the biggest treasures of Indian football.
Manitombi was a key member of the Stephen Constantine-coached India Under-23 side that lifted the LG Cup in 2003 by defeating Vietnam 3-2 in Ho Chi Minh City.
East Bengal legends Baichung Bhutia, Subhas Bhowmick addressed the club, supporters and the press during their centenary celebrations in Kolkata on Saturday.