BY ANSELM NORONHA Follow @apnoronha on twitter
Roberto Mendes da Silva a.k.a. Beto has won five major titles with Dempo SC in the six-year period that he was with the club, which includes winning the national league four times and reaching the semi-finals of the 2008 AFC Cup.
On his return to the Golden Eagles after joining Churchill Brothers in 2011, with whom he won the I-League last season, Beto feels nothing less than a happy 'homecoming'.
"The way I have been treated here (at Dempo), it feels as if I never left," said the midfielder in an exclusive chat with GOAL. "The players, the management and the coaching staff are treating me well and it's a great opportunity for me to give back to the club."
The former Mohun Bagan player feels that his side has what it takes to challenge for titles in the coming season and claims that the fans of the club can expect a "different" Dempo.
"I'm really happy from what I have seen. I have been practicing here for the last few days. The hopes are very high, the players have a lot of quality and the intensity of the training is very good. I really believe that Dempo will improve a lot. The supporters and fans will also have a different Dempo - more aggressive and more hungry for titles," he stated.
Dempo forever this time?
"We have to concerntrate to work day-by-day. You cannot just think about the last day. Of course, Dempo is a big club. We have Mohun Bagan, We have East Bengal, with a big fan base, but Dempo, for what they have done in the last 10 years, it has reached the hearts of football lovers all over India. Wherever Dempo goes, you can see supporters," Beto added.
The 34-year-old reiterated that Dempo will go all out for titles on all fronts.
He said, "I really believe Dempo will make a good impact this season and people can expect Dempo to be on top and fighting for titles. For the size and the name of Dempo Sports Club, you have to fight for trophies in every tournament, from Goa league to the national league, and when we achieve the national league we can think about [performing well in] Asia."
As far as personal targets are concerned, Beto spoke of his determination to break records and win trophies while also admitting a possibility of retiring at Dempo SC.
"I like breaking records and I want to win many trophies this season. It's a possibility (retiring at Dempo SC). As of now, I have signed for one year. Let's make it really good and then we can think about the future."
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