The Blaugrana team is due to be unveiled next week.
Mohun Bagan announced their provisional 51-man squad for their exhibition match against Barcelona legends, which is scheduled to take place on 28th September. The match is going to take place at the Salt Lake Stadium, just a day before the Indian Super League kicks off and is expected to feature some of the biggest names in both clubs’ history. General Secretary Anjan Mitra formally announced the huge squad, some of which might feature in the mega-game organized by the Merlin Group next month.
Mitra seemed to be pleased by the names they’ve been able to table in and said, “You have known that a big event Barcelona legend’s team is coming on 28th September at the Salt Lake stadium. Barcelona vs Mohun Bagan legends. Mohun Bagan has many legends above the age of 45, but we have kept the legends who are below the age of 45 to keep the game more competitive.”
Some of Merlin Group’s representatives were also part of the squad unveiling and Koushik Mollick, who has played a big part in organizing the game was also in attendance. The Mariners General Sec also indicated that while a 51 man list might have been made up now, it will get cut out to around 25-30 players who will actually feature in the match.
There are some big names who are part of the list, as some of the Mariners biggest legends in Mehtab Hossain, Renedy Singh, Bhaichung Bhutia, Rahim Nabi, IM Vijayan, Isfaq Ahmed and Prashanta Dora are all tipped to feature in the game. It was also announced that Shishir Ghosh, who is part of Bagan’s technical committee, will also feature as the manager cum player for the Mohun Bagan legends.
But the big news which might excite fans is that Bagan’s fan-favorite Brazilian, Jose Ramirez Barreto is confirmed to feature in the match. Along with him, Beto is also expected to play in the match, something which might help the Mariners have a competitive edge to the game. Mohun Bagan’s provisional squad includes players from outside Bengal, as Mitra spoke about this and said, “We have organized our ex-players not only from Bengal but from all over India. From the South, Kashmir and many other states.”
The General Secretary also indicated that the “senior players”, who are mostly above the age of 45, will also be facilitated and be allowed to feature in some capacity during the game. About the tickets, the price is going to be 250 RS and 500 RS, while there will also be corporate and specialized tickets for VIPs.
About the considerably high ticket price, Mollick said, “Our partners at Bookmyshow for the ticketing department. This is 2018 hence we are keeping the price more than earlier exhibitions matches. We can spend 500/100 in multiplexes, so we can do can definitely shell it out for this as well. There are plenty of offers for the fans, like the cashback for various banks and movie vouchers as well.”
Mollick also assured that there will be no clashes with the ISL regarding the match, meaning it will definitely take place at the Salt Lake Stadium. He explained, There is going to be no problems regarding ISL start and this. Football Is for everyone, be it ISL or this. This will be great for football and I’m pretty sure fans of the sport here will be delighted by it. Football is bigger than any particular event.”
Mohun Bagan’s Football Secretary, Swapan Banerjee also added some words about how the event is solely for the fans. He said, “We are doing this to celebrate Mohun Bagan. This is being done for the supporters. It’s because of them that we are doing so well. It’s for them that we are doing the match between Mohun Bagan and Barcelona. “
It was also announced that the match will take place at 7 PM IST under the floodlights. The Barcelona team will be announced next week, as well as Mohun Bagan’s final squad who will feature in the star-studded event next month.
Some names that are expected to feature in the game for the Green-and-Maroons are: Aloke Das, Shilton Paul, Hemanta Dora, Tomba Singh, Amitabha Chandra, Gurbir Singh, Denson Devdas, Mehrajuddin Wadoo and Habibur Rehman.
It was also indicated that the current manager of Mohun Bagan, Sankarlal Chakraborty might also feature in the game. Sources have revealed that Indian captain Sunil Chhetri will be requested to play a part in the game. His response is awaited.