The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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I’m 50 per cent now: Barreto

Calcutta: Brazilians Jose Ramierz Barreto and Marcos Perreira arrived in the city Wednesday afternoon, and both said they were not fit enough for Mohun Bagan’s derby match versus East Bengal Saturday.

“I was on a holiday, having fun, being with family and friends,” said Barreto, “and serious practice was far from my mind”. So does he think he is good to take the field Saturday' “Look, I feel I am just 50 per cent fit, and I do not think that I will be 100 per cent. I leave it to the coach, but I believe I will take anything between seven to 15 days to be fit for play.”

That leaves little time for coach Aloke Mukherjee to try and prepare the Brazilian star for the ‘big’ match, but Mukherjee believes since he has been taking a risk with an injured Ashim Biswas anyway, this could also be a risk worth taking. In that case, may be Barreto, who is expected to sign for Bagan Thursday, could be seen on the bench, even if not in the first XI.

It isn’t so easy, though. Barreto said he was tired after his long journey from Brazil (“via Los Angeles, and Tokyo and then south-east Asia before reaching Calcutta”) and he now needed rest.

How did Barreto spend his holiday' “Entertainment,” said he. “I did go to a gym regularly, these last two months, and I did go for 40-50-minute runs, and even played some friendly matches. But there was nothing serious. I was easing out, letting my hair down, so to say.”

He felt that he would be comfortable in the team. He said he knows Ashim Biswas’ style and that that “he is a good player”. He said he as never interacted with coach Mukherjee, but “I know him as Tollygunge Agragami coach and I should not have any problem on that count”.

He steered clear of the current fracas at Mohun Bagan, saying he was concerned with his football and official wranglings should not be his bother.

Marcos Pereira has yet to get his clearance, because his former club Vasco has not provided him with the release letter. Even IFA secretary Subrata Dutta was following this up. “I have requested AIFF secretary Alberto Colaco to look into the case and see if things can be sorted out,” said Dutta. “After all, Bagan have already sent the requisite draft.”

Marcos had a tiff with Vasco and the club had reportedly issued a showcause to the player, though Marcos said he had not received any notice to that effect.

Marcos also said he was “not in very good shape” as far as football goes. “I was also on a holiday, and have put in little serious practice.” He said he was glad he was with a big team like Mohun Bagan and was glad he would be able to play alongside Barreto.

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