Odisha FC star Marcelinho stated that he is going to show his commitment towards the game during 2019-20 ISL, in their bid to qualify for the playoffs for the first time. The Brazilian also mentioned that the experience of Head Coach Stuart Baxter will give many positive points to the club.
Odisha FC made back-to-back foreign signings in the forward line with the inclusion of Brazilian flavour Marcelinho and Diego Mauricio. Both of them have a huge amount of experience and they can be extremely handy for the team which has also invested a lot in the development of young Indian footballers.
After joining the club, the 33-year-old forward has praised the club's vision of developing youngsters and credited the club management for this. “That's a good decision (giving more chance to Indian youngsters), they are the future. Odisha has good youngsters and they are motivated as well. Combining them with good foreigners can be lethal for the opposition teams,” Marcelinho said while speaking to the OFC Media Team.
“I am gonna try to show how committed I am during the daily routine and games, and this is the best example for the young players,” the Brazilian further added.
This will be his fifth consecutive season in India and the forward has now seen the development of the league and Indian football over the years. “I am happy to be a part of this process. It is really fantastic to see the evolution of ISL. According to me, the Indian players are getting better every season, improving skills, becoming more tactical and stronger in fitness level. ISL is helping with a good quality of organization and providing the best conditions for the players,” Marcelo Leite Pereira stated.
Marcelinho was the Golden Boot winner with Delhi Dynamos (now Odisha FC) back in his first year at the ISL in 2016. When asked about coming back to work with the same owners and the reason for joining OFC, he said, “Nice to be back in my first team in India. To me, I like to feel important for the club, so the coach called and made me feel like that. And, when the announcement was done, I realized that the staff from the club were happy and also the fans. So, I was sure about my decision.”
“An experienced coach is absolutely important to manage the situations during the game, training, and taking the best decisions. His experience, for sure, will provide many positive points to our team and I can't wait to start the work with him.”
Before coming to the Indian Super League, the Rio-de-Janerio footballer had played in different countries like the UAE, Spain, Italy, Greece and his home country Brazil. Highlighting the importance of the experience of playing in various conditions, he asserted, “I am very proud of playing in different leagues around the world because I have learned a lot from each part in different ways. I have got to know the different style of plays and tactics as well.”
OFC's first foreign signing of the season was Diego Mauricio and he is also a Brazilian who started his youth career at Flamengo. It is expected that both these players can have a great impact playing together in the forward line for the Bhubaneswar-based side.
“That will be interesting as we talk the same language, we had the same academy from the beginning and it will be really interesting. He is a typical number 9 and I can be the player that he needs around to score goals,” Marcelinho commented.
He has also mentioned that midfielder Vinit Rai is one such Indian player who has impressed him a lot in the last few seasons of the ISL. “Vinit Rai plays like a veteran. He is smart and has a good quality in his moves during the game,” Marcelo mentioned.
Before concluding he had a message for the passionate football fans of Odisha saying, “Thanks for the messages in social media. Keep the support going and we will feel the passion and give you the good football in return.”