I-League clubs in recent past have had to really suffer due to inflation in the salaries of the players. The players have shifted their base from one club to another club. But there are few players in the Indian league which have been loyal to their clubs and have left example for the youngsters. And as we pass through the transfer period in Indian Football, it is imperative that we take a look at such players The following five players are the one who had been loyal to their clubs. They have been with the club when the club was going through golden period and have also seen the worst of phases with their clubs.
Samir Subhas Naik (Dempo Sports Club)
The soft spoken defender from Goa has been with Dempo Sports Club for last 14 years. The defender has seen all with the club since he joined them in 1999. The defender joined Dempo Sports Club when the club was in disarray. The club was relegated from the National League and was fighting to get promoted. The defender played a pivotal role in the promotion of the club and further helped the club win the national league for a record breaking five times. The defender even went on to win the Dilip Sardesai Sports Excellence award which is a prestigious award in Goa.
The defender last year took retirement from the national team and had an average season with his club as well and as a result there were many speculations regarding his future at the club . There were few offers for him from a host of other I-League clubs and IMG league but veteran defender decided to stay loyal with the club which gave him his identity in the Indian Football.
Clifford Miranda (Dempo Sports Club)
The former Tata Football Academy prodigy Clifford Rayes Miranda joined Dempo in 2000 and has been with the club since then. The winger who known for his teasing crosses and darting runs down the flanks has been an integral part of the Dempo Sports club for many years now. The winger since his arrival at the club has made the left wing his own.
The winger has been a leader in the midfield for the club. He is one of the reasons of Dempo Sports club’ s domination of Indian football in the last 10 years. The winger was in excellent form last year but injuries to his fellow teammates made the club suffer. Since the arrival of Arthur Papas there has been uncertainty over the winger future at the club but Arthur Papas put his faith in the experience of winger and handed him an extension. The winger did not hesitate much to sign the extension. The fans of the 30 year old winger will certainly hope to see his best when he takes the field for the blues next time.
Alvito D’Cunha (Kingfisher East Bengal)
We rarely see a Goan Footballer having a successful stint with a Kolkata club. The Goan Footballer always prefers staying in Goa or moving Mumbai which does not have much pressure from the fans. But Alvito Dcunha has been a sole Goan Footballer who made an exception. The Sanvordem footballer joined the red and gold brigade in 2002 and since then have been favorites among the officials, players and fans. The winger had made Bengal as his second home and adjusted well with the culture.
The winger has won lots of prestigious tournament with the club such as National Football League, Federation Cup, IFA Shield and Durand Cup. The veteran had not been a regular member of the club for last few years but has a bigger say in team. The experience of the veteran will really help host of young East Bengal midfielders.
Jose Ramirez Barreto (Mcdowell Mohun Bagan)
Foreigners coming in India mostly switch clubs on regular basis when they are offered with better incentives. But Jose Remirez Barreto is an exception to the rule in Indian football. The Brazilian joined Kolkata Gians Mohun Bagan in 1999. The strikers since his arrival has been impressive and has helped the club win many laurels. The striker won many hearts with his beautiful play and eye for the goal.
Barreto after that had still with Malaysian club Penaga FA and Indian club Mahindra United but his love for the Mohun Bagan made him return back. His skills and leadership helped him to earn many fans. In his farewell match the strikers got standing ovation from 50 thousand fans and the striker is surely an example for other foreign players in the country who ply their trade in I-League. The striker has shown that loyalty towards the fans and the club could make you count among the Legends.
Matthew Gonsalves (Sporting Clube de Goa)
Matthew Gonsalves is still an unknown name for most of the football fans in Inda. The veteran Sporting Clube de goa defender has been an unsung hero for his club for last 10 years. The veteran defender has seen almost everything with the club. He saw the club missing the national league title by a whisker when Sporting Clube de goa finished runners up in 2004-5 season. He even saw club getting relegated twice and fighting back in the top flight.
The defender stayed loyal with the club even during the worst times, ignoring offers from some of the top most clubs in Goa. The captain likes to keep a low profile and he has been a key member for Sporting Clube de goa for many years. The Sporting Clube de Goa young players will have lots of good things to pick up from the veteran defenders. Matthew Gonsalves surely has been an unsung hero for Sporting Clube de goa and will remain in the heart of many fans.
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