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Mohun Bagan

Antonio Vicuña: I know East Bengal is our arch-rival

12:46 GMT+4 02/07/2019
Kibu Vicuna Mohun Bagan
The Spanish manager has hinted that he will be looking to maintain a balance between attack and defense...

Mohun Bagan's new head coach Antonio Vicuña was unveiled at the club tent on Tuesday afternoon. The Spanish manager is eager to start working with his new club and informed that he will be hitting the training pitch from Thursday to prepare his team for the upcoming Calcutta Football League (CFL). 

"First I want to know the players better. I will need time. To know the players and understand them takes time. I have come here in India for a challenge. Mohun Bagan is the best team in India. They have great supporters. The target is to do our best in every tournament," said Vicuna. 

After Karim Bencharifa quit Bagan in 2014, the century-old club trusted on Indian managers in the last couple of seasons. Under the tutelage of Sanjoy Sen, they went on to win the I-League and the Federation Cup. But, after a disappointing 2017-18 season at the national stage, the club management has put their trust on Vicuna to turn things around. 

Speaking about his style of football Vicuna said," I like attacking football. I like to keep a balance between attack and defense. I will have to see the players and then judge the best way to play. Every coach has a different style. The idea of football of different coach is different. I like (Marcelo) Bielsa because he is a genius. He is passionate about the game. My philosophy of attacking football needs a solid central defender. Both the foreigners we have recruited so far are very good players. I am happy with both transfers."

The 47-year old manager seemed to have done his fair bit of homework on Indian football as he identified East Bengal as the primary rivals.

"I know that East Bengal are our main rivals. But we are not going to play all the matches against them. I don't know Alejandro (Menendez) personally. I know he worked at Real Madrid. He is a good coach."

Vicuna revealed that Bagan will be flying to a destination within India for a 10-day camp where they will play a few friendlies as well. 

But the former Legia Warsaw assistant coach did not want comment on whether he would be willing to join the Indian Super League (ISL).

"I can't speak about ISL and I-League. This is up-to-the officials, the directors of the club. I can't speak about the future. I am happy with wherever the club plays."

Mohun Bagan are the defending champions of the CFL and might play their first match on July 26.