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"I took an oath for the fans to win the I League, when I decided to sign for East Bengal":Eduardo Ferreira.

Our EBRP correspondent managed to catch up with the "Big Brazilian" Eduardo Ferriera who will share the major responsibility to man the Red & Gold backline.

www.EBRP.in: Your second spell in Kolkata, first with East Bengal FC. How does it feel to play for the Red & Golds, after having played for the arch-rivals earlier?

Edu: "Playing for East Bengal FC was always a dream coming true for me. I was excited & happy to play for a club who have a rich history & such a vibrant & passionate fan-base. I know it will be tough for me to settle down & prove it to the fans that my soul & body is Red & Gold now. I don't care who I had represented in the past, it is important to me that I am part of the East Bengal FC family. But this year when I signed for this club I accepted it as a challenge for me personally as I wanted to gift fans, I-League who has been waiting for 14 long years. I will give my best on the field."

www.EBRP.in: 3 matches played 2 goals scored from set-piece movements, we are witnessing a new avatar of Eduardo Ferreira. Are we going to see more goals scored by you? Is there any special training or plan as in your previous I-League campaign with Mohun Bagan you made 15 appearances but scored none?

Edu: Laughing out loudly replied. "Training is the key, my friend. I train hard every day in practice & try to implement it in the match. We have good dead ball specialist in the form of Katsumi, Amna, Lobo etc.. makes my job easier. I have a great bunch of teammates, coach, support staffs who help me get my act together. I focus & place myself in different set pieces during set-piece situations & hope will score more goals if the chance arrives."

www.EBRP.in: A new environment for you. Your views on the gaffer (Khalid Jamil), physical trainer (Djair Miranda Garcia), coaching staffs & squad, how are you guys gelling in?

Edu: Releasing a deep breath the "Big Brazilian". " After a very long time, I am happy to be a part of such a team where everyone has common philosophy & vision. I am thankful to the coach who has helped me to regain my fitness level physically & mentally, he has transformed me into another level in no time. We have some grueling practice sessions that tend to sap out each & every bit of energy out of the body. A very good sign. For Garcia, he is our buddy the players share each & every physical problem & he is there to patch it up. Small niggles, tight calves, etc. are treated with such ease. The support staff & my teammates help each other in many ways on & off the field. We hold a lot of meetings & sessions where we discuss strategy & our mistakes from the previous games. Our mind & body is getting stronger day by day. Our motto is one match at a time."

www.EBRP.in: You have a long career & have represented various clubs in the various countries. How do you rate Indian clubs & players, especially the fan-base in Kolkata? Do you see India moving forward as a football nation & competing with the top teams?

Edu: "Yes, I have played in many countries representing various clubs. I find striking similarities between the fans of Kolkata & fans from Cali (a city in Columbia), both are so passionate about the game. The fans swarming in the stadium in the matchdays & even breaking down into tears pained me a lot during the derby loss. The Indian football is on the rising curve. I see many Indian talents in ISL & I-Leagues. China had followed the same system & has gained success. Good coach, foreign players is now willing to play for Indian clubs, the infrastructure, coaching camps have increased. In 10 years time, I see India will be one of the top teams from Asia.

www.EBRP.in: What are the things you do to keep yourself calm before a match?

Edu: "I often listen to tracks, watch motivational videos to try & keep my focus on the game, train hard before a matchday."

www.EBRP.in: What Does Eduardo Ferreira do when he is not playing football back in Brazil?

Edu: "I spent a lot of time with my family, especially my son, go surfing & I love to cook. But right now I am shedding a few extra kilos so strictly maintaining a diet. I can cook pasta, chicken, rice. Spicy Indian foods don't suit me, back in Brazil I like all kinds of barbeques. Feijoada is one of my favorite dishes."

www.EBRP.in: Your first stint was in India with an ISL franchise team named Pune City FC. Then you opted to choose I-League previously with Mohun Bagan & now with East Bengal FC. Why?

Edu: "ISL is only a four-month-long tournament, whereas I-League clubs have a longer fixture & plays various tournaments was one of the reasons. Secondly, I am in love with Kolkata & its football crazy fans. It will be great for the players to compete & play if the league gets merged. But I am happy to be playing in I-League."

www.EBRP.in: The team has conceded in the last 3 matches & has failed to keep a clean sheet. Are you guys working on that, is the unstable back four might be the reason?

Edu: "In our last game Shillong Lajong FC failed to score from open play still went on to concede a goal in the dying moments of the game through a set piece. We all are working on this ailment every day, soon we will plug the gaps & return with a clean sheet."

www.EBRP.in: Now comes the most important part of the day.. "14 years of exile & pain, it's now or never again"... A slogan that is doing the rounds amongst the ardent East Bengal FC supporters. Your thoughts & message to our Red & Gold fans?

Edu: "I know it's been too long for the fans & a club like East Bengal FC. I request all the fans to visit the stadium to support & cheer for us & we will give our best shot. One game at a time is our motto & we will be concentrating on the games rather being curious about the points table & results produced by neighbors. Fans are our backbone & their presence inside the stadium only makes us stronger."

 Thank you, Eduardo, for interacting with us. We wish you & the team all the best for the upcoming match against Churchill Brothers on the 16th December,Barasat stadium. Eduardo signed off & promised us a signature Brazilian dish exclusively cooked by him after winning the I-League.

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