Baichung Bhutia signs for Mohun Bagan
Jun 15, 2006, 13:50 GMT
Kolkata, June 15 (IANS) India's highest paid footballer Baichung Bhutia Thursday signed for the Mohun Bagan club for the coming season, switching over from his old club and Bagan's arch-rival East Bengal.
Unofficial sources said Baichung, who is also the national soccer captain, signed the glamour outfit for a hefty Rs.3.02 million.
'I take this as a new challenge,' Baichung said soon after signing the contract amid celebrations, cheers and fanfare in the Mohun Bagan club premises.
Mohun Bagan thus took club soccer by storm by signing India's deadliest duo - Jose Ramirez Barreto and Baichung Bhutia - to crown an already formidable line-up.
Baichung would play under the captaincy of Barreto.
'I will try to live up to the expectations of Mohun Bagan supporters and bring success to the team this time,' said Baichung, who had failed to deliver last time he played for Bagan a few years back due to injury.
Mohun Bagan, which had been hit by factional politics for the past couple of years, received a shot in the arm with the signing of Baichung.
Club president Sapan Sadhan Bose earlier said: 'We had promised a dream team this season and what better strike duo can you expect other than Baichung Bhutia and Jose Barreto.'
Barreto will be Mohun Bagan's captain for the 2006-07 soccer season, while Mehrajuddin Wadoo will be the vice-captain and Biswajit Bhattacharya will continue as coach.
The star-studded team included the best taken from across the country.
While Baichung joined the green and maroon brigade from East Bengal, defender Dipak Mondal and medio Subhas Chakraborty, both of whom played for Mahindra United last year, have joined Bagan along with Barreto and Surojit Bose from the same side.
Custodian Sangram Mukherjee and Micky Fernandes, who donned the Salgaocar colours in 2005-06, will don the green-maroon this season.
The club has also retained players like goalkeeper Subroto Paul, Brazilian defender Eduardo Chacon, Dulal Biswas, medios Tomba Singh, Mehtab Hossain and Basudeb Mondal and striker Dipendu Biswas.
© 2006 Indo-Asian News Service