Rivalries between football clubs based in the same city, generally dubbed as ‘derbies’, always generate a different level of thrill, dividing the city as each team, and their fans, seek to claim bragging rights.
In India, the most famous football derby is the East Bengal vs Mohun Bagan clash, popularly dubbed the Kolkata Derby.
Mohun Bagan have merged with the erstwhile ATK, ISL champions last season, and are now called ATK Mohun Bagan. Their decades-old rivals, East Bengal, will also make their ISL debut this season and the two teams meet on November 27 in what is set to be a thrilling clash.
For defender Sandesh Jhingan, who signed for ATK Mohun Bagan this season, this will be a first taste of the famous ‘Kolkata Derby’.
"It's one of the biggest derbies in the world. As footballers, you want to be a part of such big games on big stages, so I'm looking forward to it,” Jhingan told ISL ahead of the much-awaited encounter.
"The derby has a rich history and its roots run deep in Indian football. Now I get a chance to be part of it.”
It may be one of the biggest occasions in the history of the ISL and a chance to fulfil a dream for Sandesh Jhingan, but the veteran defender knows he has to be at the top of his game to get a favourable result.
“I don't look deep into the magnitude of the game. whether it's East Bengal vs Mohun Bagan or any other match, it's all the same, I don't let emotions get to me,” said Jhingan.
“The Kolkata derby is good for Indian football and the fans, but we live in the present and I have to do my job, just like the rest of the team – to get the three points and the clean sheet.”
Lead Photo: ISL Media