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  5. Bangladesh captain Jamal Bhuyan keen to help Mohammedan Sporting Club win I-League

Bangladesh captain Jamal Bhuyan keen to help Mohammedan Sporting Club win I-League

Newly promoted I-League side Mohammedan SC have named Jamal as one of their latest signings ahead of their next campaign.

PTI Written by: PTI
Kolkata Published on: November 09, 2020 17:53 IST
Mohammedan Sporting Club
Image Source : @ILEAGUEOFFICIAL

Mohammedan Sporting Club

Mohammedan Sporting Club's Bangladeshi recruit Jamal Bhuyan is keen to help the legacy team win the I-League and revive its glory days.

For the Bangladesh national team captain, the long stay in the eastern metropolis will also be an opportunity to connect with his roots, as his ancestors had lived here before Independence.

Newly promoted I-League side Mohammedan SC have named Jamal as one of their latest signings ahead of their next campaign.

"An offer from the I-League is very good for me. So when Mohammedan Sporting approached me I asked around to know more about their rich history," Jamal told the AIFF website.

"They just earned promotion and now want to win the league. I felt that this is the kind of intent I want to play with, and that I can make an impact there."

Being from Bangladesh, the 30-year-old will look to settle quickly into life in Kolkata and feels that knowing Bengali will help him develop a connection with the local players.

"I think the environment and culture in Kolkata will be very similar to the one we experience back here in Bangladesh," said Jamal.

"My family used to stay in India before Independence," said Jamal.

"That was a long time back, but I am really looking forward to it as it will be kind of getting back to the roots as well.

"
The Bangladesh captain has enjoyed a healthy rivalry with the Indian team in the international arena and has not lost to their neighbours on the three occasions they faced off.

Jamal feels a special motivation when it comes to playing against India on the international arena.

"It's always special to play against India, because India is like an elder brother to Bangladesh. And you always want to beat your elder brother when you play against him," the Bangladesh captain laughed.

Looking back at the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier that was played in Kolkata last year, Jamal said that the entire team was charged up ahead of the game.

"That day I sensed a different atmosphere in our camp when I woke up.
Everybody wanted to do well against India.

"Right from the morning we were cheering each other up, telling everyone to pick up the essentials, do our morning stretches properly and be ready for the game.
That match meant a lot to us," he said.

"In the stadium, the galleries were already full by the time we had come in for our pre-game warmups. That's when we felt that this is going to be a really good game. The crowd was amazing."

The holding midfielder had played a crucial role in the game. While he was carrying out his duties in the heart of the midfield, Jamal also had the added task of marking his Indian counterpart, ace striker Sunil Chhetri.

"Sunil is an icon and a legend in India. He's scored so many international goals, so we always had our eyes on him. The coach and I spoke about the game and he told me, 'you have to stop Sunil'," recalled Jamal.

"So I was focusing on not letting him get any chances.Whatever move he made, I went with him. My job that day was to cut him off from the rest and frustrate him."

While the Bangladesh captain neutralised Chhetri, he also managed to play a role in his side taking the lead in the first half, as he provided the assist for Saad Uddin to nod in a free-kick.

The Blue Tigers responded via Adil Khan in the second half, as the teams shared the spoils.

"Some of the fans recognised me when we were going around the city after the game.They came to me and told me about how well I had played. I was quite taken aback," he said.

"I had initially felt that they would maybe throw taunts at me because I was on the opposing side. But they showed a lot of respect, and as a player, you really appreciate that.

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