Kolkata: After ditching top ISL teams to join I-League club Mohun Bagan, Haitian international Sony Norde made a big statement saying that he wants to, “become the next Jose Barreto” of the club as he was handed the number 10 jersy for the upcoming I-League on Saturday.
Norde, who in his three seasons with the Mariners, has already become a fan-favourite, had reportedly demanded the number 10 shirt. He cited that, his urge to take more responsibility for the team was the main reason why he demanded the central role.
In an interview with Xtratime, the winger said, “Well, it was me who asked the no.10 shirt from the officials. The reason is that I want to become the next Jose Barreto of Mohun Bagan. I want to take the same responsibility which he used to shoulder over the years.”
It definitely wouldn’t be easy to step into the shoes of the Brazilian Barreto, who has become a cult figure among the Bagan fans, but it’s not impossible either.
Norde just like Barreto has won the I-League in his very first season with the club (Barreto joined the club in 1999), although he has scored just 28 goals in 64 appearances in his three years association with the club which is far less when compared to Barreto’s 34 goals in his first three seasons.
While, it will be too early to compare the two, Norde surely with his footballing skills can match up to Barreto and become the next God like figure for the Bagan fans to cheer about.
Often called ‘Green Parakeet’ by the fans, Barreto, in his 11 years association with the Green and Maroon brigade has scored more than 200 goals for the club, while also winning the coveted I-League trophy for a record five times.
The Haitian star knows it will be tough to emulate the Brazilian legend, but insists on achieving the greatness that the former Mohun Bagan icon has achieved.
Barreto is not only loved by the fans for his goals and the trophies that he has helped the club achieve, but also for his love of scoring goals against arch-rivals East Bengal. Barreto has netted 17 goals against the rival club during his time with the Mariners and Norde will have to achieve a similar feat to etch his name into the heart of the fans.
With the first Derby of the season set to happen on the 24th of September, Sony knows there cannot be a better opportunity to prove his point and make a mark, other than putting up a heroic effort against arch-rivals East Bengal.
Edited by Souryaprokas Bhaduri