Inaugural Indian Super League champions Atletico de Kolkata are looking forward to getting back what they felt had been theirs, until Chennaiyin FC took it away last year -- the ISL title. With a fresh campaign starting in some days, the Indian football side, co-owned by former India cricket veteran Sourav Ganguly, is interested in nothing but going for the kill.
Atletico de Kolkata, who made it to the semifinals of the ISL last season, do not have the experienced Antonio Habas as their head coach, anymore. How will that affect the team in the third season of the Indian Super League? That remains to be seen for now.
Spaniard Jose Molina was appointed the new head coach of the side earlier this summer, while last season's marquee player Helder Postiga has been retained as the marquee man for the Kolkata football side once again.
Postiga, who appeared for the Portugal football team during the FIFA World Cup 2014, had appeared in just the opening game for Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) last season against Chennaiyin FC. He scored a brace in the game before being stretchered off in the 70th minute of the match after falling awkwardly on the ground. Following the incident, he never managed to recover from the injury before the end of the tournament.
With the 34-year-old forward keeping fit so far, Postiga would be expected to finish the business he had left incomplete.
"Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) fans, it has been two great years for us. Winners in the first season and semi-finalists in the second," Ganguly said recently. "I thought we played exceptionally well in the second [season] one - even better than the first. Now, it's time for season three.
"The team is even better (than first two seasons) and hopefully we will play some football," Dada added.
The Kolkata side have gone ahead and retained the core of their team in order to improve that team chemistry even further. Atletico de Kolkata take on Chennaiyin FC in their opening match of ISL 2016 at the Rabindra Sarovar Stadium on Oct. 2.
Atletico de Kolkata left for Spain last month to participate in the preseason training camp at the Los Angeles de San Rafael. They participated in the first friendly match of their preseason on Wednesday against local Spanish team Club Atletico (CA) Pinto. The match ended 4-3 in favour of the home side.
List of foreign players
Helder Postiga (marquee), Iain Hume, Jose Luis Espinosa Arroyo (Tiri), Sameehg Doutie, Ofentse Nato, Borja Fernandes, Javi Lara, Juan Belencoso.