Robert Pires, in his glory days for Arsenal, was one of the most elegant footballers in Europe, the kind of player who made you stand up and watch in awe. While those glory days are well behind him, Pires will look to make a mark in the Indian Super League when his ISL team FC Goa lock horns with Marco Materazzi's Chennaiyin FC.
The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda will be buzzing with anticipation as they hope for the perfect start for their FC Goa team, who have impressed everyone with their results in preseason, in the ISL.
"The practice games were convincing in my opinion," said the FC Goa manager Zico. "But they were just practice games. Everything isn't done in a practice game apart from what is necessary. The objective of the friendlies for me, was to get the team organised."
In Brazilian legend Zico, FC Goa have a manager who likes to play football the beautiful way, and in Pires they have a marquee player who brings joy to football – so, there can be only one style for this FC Goa side – all out attack.
It is quite clear that Pires, if fit, is going to be the focal point of FC Goa's attack. "I have told my players to observe Pires on the field," Zico said. "His skill, technique and temperament will be important to the side.
"I do not have a problem if they do not play well. But I do not want them giving me less than 100 percent on the pitch."
At the other end, you have Chennaiyin FC, managed by Marco Materazzi, the no-nonsense Italy international defender, who is most famous for being at the receiving end of that unforgettable Zinedine Zidane head-butt in the final of the 2006 World Cup.
Materazzi, who will also take the field as a player when necessary in the ISL, will probably build his side the Italian way – on defence – before working towards the attacking end.
However, Chennaiyin FC do have plenty of enviable attacking options of their own in former Brazil international Elano and ex Manchester United playmaker Bojan Djordic, who is also the team's captain.
"For me, we have the best team," said Materazzi. "We had lesser time to train than the others but we have a squad full of professionals so I am confident about our chances."
Another familiar face in the Chennaiyin FC lineup – Mikael Silvestre – will be crucial to the team's defence, but the former Arsenal and Manchester United man is a doubtful starter for their opening ISL clash against FC Goa due to fitness issues.
"I'm not in my prime anymore and fitness wise, I'm a bit short," admitted Silvestre. "But I have had good sessions with the boys so I will try to perform to my best if I get the chance to play."
Where to Watch Live
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The match is scheduled to for a 7 pm IST (2.30 pm BST, 9.30 am ET) start with live coverage in India on the Star Sports Network. Star Sports 2 and Star Sports HD2 will provide live action in English, while Star Sports 3 will show the match live with Hindi commentary. The match can also be watched live on Asianet Movies, Suvarna Channel and Jalsha Movies.
Viewers can also watch Match 3 of the ISL via live streaming online for free on Starsports.com.
US viewers can live stream the action on FoxSoccer2go, while Europe viewers can catch the action live on Eurosport or their online Player. Middle East and North Africa viewers can watch the game on Bein Sports or via live streaming on Bein Sports Connect.