Foreign Signings in the ISL Part II – The Other 5 Clubs

[As of 03-09-2017]

This is the second group and it includes FC Pune City, Chennaiyin FC, FC Goa, Jamshedpur FC, and Bengaluru FC. In this group, I feel that FC Pune City will do well. Why? It’s because I like their signings so far, their coach has grown on me over the past three seasons, and their transfer business is, by no means, complete for this season.

Goa should also be interesting to watch as they try to ditch the green and yellow motif (Brazil) for the red and yellow insignia (Spain). Intros are fluff. Let’s get down to the meat of the post. Continue reading


The Gaurs vs. Super Machans Preview

How Low the Mighty Have Fallen

The two worst teams in the league will face off against each other as the Super Machans travel to The Gaurs’ home ground, Fatorda, Goa. Both Chennaiyin FC and FC Goa have effectively been pushed out of contention for the four playoff spots by their recent results.

Their respective third Indian Super League has been in direct contrast to how they performed in the previous season. The Super Machans and The Gaurs actually played the final last year, which was won by Chennaiyin FC. This time out, however, neither team has managed to replicate their form from the last season.

The Gaurs’ Form & Strategy

rafael-coelho-fc-goaFC Goa, especially, has been woeful and their statistics paint the clearest picture of how poor they’ve been. They’ve conceded the most goals as well as scored the least number of goals in the league till now. Naturally, this has given them the worst goal difference in the league too.

However, what will be even more disconcerting for Zico and The Gaurs is that they now have the ignominious record of being the team that has lost the most in a season in the history of Indian Super League. In a nutshell, The Gaurs’ morale is shot and they have nothing to play for, except pride.

In the third season of the Indian Super League, The Gaurs don’t even have the proverbial silver lining to their thunderous cloud. Two FC Goa players that stand out of the group are Rafael Coelho Luiz and Laxmikanth Kattimani. The striker because of his hardworking nature and the goalkeeper because he has the second most saves in the entire league.

You still have to commend Zico’s persistence because the Brazilian manager is still tinkering with his side, in an effort to find the right combination. You can view this as desperation to fix things or as the reason for all their failings. At the end of it all, though, FC Goa has nothing to look forward to in their last game against the Super Machans.

The Super Machans Form & Strategy

raphael augusto, super machansSuper Machans, themselves, are only slightly better off than The Gaurs. They’re better off because they find themselves out of contention for playoffs by the courtesy of a number of late goals. In fact, till the last game, they were in with a good shout for the fourth spot.

Unfortunately, they conceded a goal in the 95th minute and ended up drawing the game against NorthEast United FC. That draw meant that the Super Machans have now only won 1 game in 9 games! To be fair to them, that run includes five draws which means that they’ve only lost 3 times in 9 games.

Defence has been a problem for the Super Machans in this season. They’ve conceded the second most number of goals in this league and are only behind Goa by one goal.

Mathematically, the Super Machans can still make it to the fourth spot. After all, they’re only off by 3 points. The problem is that they have only one game left to play while their rivals have two and their goal difference is atrocious when compared to their rivals. The Super Machans will have to deliver a historic thumping to The Gaurs to have any chance of making it. This means a 4 to 6 goal win!

With the draw between Atletico De Kolkata and Kerala Blasters FC, there is no way that the Super Machans can make into the semis now. Since it was only a single win or the goal difference that is keeping draw between ATK and KBFC that kept the Super Machans out of the playoff spots, it can be said that they haven’t played that bad this season. Just a bit of luck in a few matches would’ve seen them nearer the fourth spot in the table.

They will look to sign off on this season with a big win simply because Materazzi is a proud and optimistic man. We expect Chennaiyin FC to turn up with an attacking 4-3-3 formation. They will look to feed a lot of balls to their in-form striker Macpherlin Dudu Omagbemi, who scored a hat-trick in the last game.

However, there is no player they will rely more on than Raphael Augusto. Augusto is the leading passer and has the second-most tackles in the league. Moreover, he is the main creative force for the Super Machans with team-leading 4 assists to his name. In defence, they have Karanjit Singh, the man with most clean sheets in the league.

Bad or Worse?

This game will find The Gaurs incredibly demoralised. In contrast, Materazzi will have his players revved up. Furthermore, nothing is going right for FC Goa this season. This lethal combination will see Zico’s team being on the end of a mauling.

For us, this is a certified win for the Super Machans. We expect them to beat their last season’s fellow finalists by 3 – 1. We also think that Dudu will be on the score sheet and that Augusto will dominate the midfield yet again.


NorthEast United FC vs. FC Goa Review: The Battle of the Sweet Pass

Underdogs Win the Battle of the Sweet Pass

Both NorthEast United FC and FC Goa can be said to be pass masters since they rely on a quick passing game to get their goals. Their passing tendencies weren’t the only similarities between them in this game, though. Both teams had a number of Brazilian players and both of them had Brazilian central defenders as their captains.

NorthEast United FC went into this game looking for their first win over FC Goa in three years and they got it in style! FC Goa huffed and puffed throughout the game but they couldn’t beat the Indian national football team regular goalkeeper Subrata Paul.

In fact, the difference between the two teams, in my opinion, was between the posts. FC Goa missed their last two year’s first keeper, Jan Seda tremendously in this game as Kattimani’s limitations were exposed by NorthEast United FC glaringly. The young Indian keeper could be blamed for both NorthEast United FC’s goals with the first one being obvious and the second one showing a certain lack of quality or, at the very least, confidence.

What the aftermath of today’s game is for both FC Goa and Kattimani is yet to be seen. The young keeper could show resilience and come back stronger or his career could fade away from this point on.

Team News for NorthEast United FC and FC Goa

lucio-silva-fc-goaWith respect to the team news, Nelo Vingada pulled a rabbit out of the hat by replacing star player Nicolas Leandro Velez by Wellington Gomes Priori. the logical conclusion for this change has to be a lack of fitness levels which isn’t something new for the Indian Super League. Apart from Velez, all other NorthEast United FC players continued their stint in the team.

Since I didn’t cover the first game of the season, I’m going to comment on the presence of Subrata Paul in the team over Rehenesh TP. It seems like Vingada has decided to go for seniority and experience over performance this season. It is justified in a way because when a new season begins, form goes out of the window. Rehenesh, though, will make a good deputy for Paul.

Zico’s first team of the season was without the mercurial and highly talented Romeo Fernandes who was planted firmly on the bench. FC Goa was also without Gregory Arnolin through injury. Goa would depend on Mandar Rao Desai and Trindade Goncalves to be their creative forces since their style involves a lot of wing play.

Zico’s stamp on the FC Goa team was more than evident as the “Ravers” (you lot know what I’m talking about. We can turn that into “Reavers” if they dominate the league) contained no less than five Brazilians and that doesn’t include Reinaldo Da Cruz Oliveira. In fact, today’s game had an overpowering Brazilian flavour. There were eight Brazilians on the pitch today – an amazing number.

FC Goa’s Diwali Moment for Northeast United FC

The game began with a nice piece of skill from one of the least likely places in the form of Raju Gaikwad. Gaikwad pulled a nutmeg on the man closing him. It was highly unlikely simply because Gaikwad is supposed to be a centre back who was playing in the right full position. It’s almost like Ryan Shawcross showing footballing skill on the football pitch.

FC Goa won the first corner of the game and made the first chance because of it. It was near post glancing header from Trindade that was blocked for another corner that amounted to nothing.

NorthEast United FC showed what they can do soon after as they created a chance for last game’s goal scorer, Katsumi Yusa. The cross came from the left flank and landed for Yusa who was placed beyond the far post. By the time, he brought the ball down, Laxmikanth Kattimani had rushed into him to smother the snapshot. Kattimani decided to come when the ball was still in the air. It was a good decision too!

However, his decision-making soon let him down as NorthEast United FC took the lead through one of the biggest goalkeeping gaffes I’ve ever seen. Kattimani was closed down by Emiliano Alfaro. It was the lamest clearing ever! Side-footed pass that was blocked by Alfaro. The rebound went straight into the net. Kattimani gets laughed at and the lead goes to the north-easterners. NorthEast United FC 1 – 0 FC Goa

FC Goa Dominate to No Avail

Emiliano Alfaro, NorthEast United FCIn the 28th minute, one of the Brazilians on the pitch got injured and subbed. Mailson Alves had to be replaced by NorthEast United FC’s marquee player, Didier Zokora.

Soon after, despite being a goal down, FC Goa started taking control of the game. They fashioned a number of ‘almost’ chances for their players with Joffre receiving most of them through his shadowy movement off the ball. The best of these chances was created by Desai’s beautiful dribbling skill and an even better cross. He threaded the needle for Joffre with his laser-guided cross but Joffre’s shot was well saved by Paul.

In fact, FC Goa’s dominance of NorthEast United FC started to tell near the end of the first half. Lucio found himself with acres of space on the far post from a free kick. Unfortunately, instead of striking the ball, he tried squaring it. Even so, one of the NorthEast United FC players almost put it into the net in his bid to clear it. It was only Paul who managed to save his blushes.

FC Goa Huffed and Puffed…

Subrata Paul, NorthEast United FCFC Goa showed their intent before the ball was kicked in the second half by bringing on Romeo for Sanjay Balmuchu. It was an attacking move that we’ve all come to expect from Zico as Balmuchu was a defender at the wing position and Romeo is easily one of the most attacking players in FC Goa’s ranks.

The first real goalmouth action came because of a long-range shot by Trindade from the midfield. The shot had venom in it and it was swerving wickedly too. This was followed by two back to back and downright amazing saves from Paul. The first was from a point blank shot taken from near the penalty spot and the second was another long-range, swerving shot.

Those saves showed the importance of a reliable keeper. The only difference between the teams till now was the difference in quality between Paul and Kattimani. In fact, if the latter hadn’t made that mistake, FC Goa would have been considered to be favourites to win this game. Still, ifs and buts don’t really mean much, especially since there was a huge difference in their respective experiences.

…But NorthEast United FC Brought the House Down

In the 62nd minute, the difference in goalkeeping experience told again as Alfaro was set free by Holicharan Narzary with a sublime touch. The ball was played into Narzary who flicked it with the outside of his boot into the path of the marauding Alfaro. Alfaro ran through and punched the ball through Kattimani’s legs in what was an extremely cool finish. That was Alfaro’s second goal. NorthEast United FC 2 – 0 FC Goa

This was probably the first chance that NorthEast United FC got in the whole of the second half and they scored from it. It’s never nice when a keeper lets a ball slip between his legs even though it’s a staple strategy for many strikers. In fact, it’s also one of those things that keepers train to avoid. Everybody has a bad day at work sometimes, so we’ll cut Kattimani some slack.

A Predictable End to an Unpredictable Game

It was almost like the second goal knocked the stuffing out of FC Goa because they efforts even stopped being penetrative. Moreover, in their rush to score and NorthEast United FC’s rush to stop them, rough tackles crept in both sides’ games.

NorthEast United FC fashioned another beautiful chance as Velez broke the offside trap and produced a no-look square cross for Alfaro. However, Gaikwad, who had a wonderful game for FC Goa managed to block the shot from point blank range.


FC Goa vs. Delhi Dynamos FC Review

FC Goa vs. Delhi Dynamos FC

Goa Throw down The Gauntlet; Delhi Show Improvement

Yesterday’s match was epic in its unique way. It was a good kick-off for the Indian Super League 2015 season. Now, let’s hope that FC Goa turn on the magic unlike last year when they struggled early on in the league. Those of you who’ve followed this blog before would know that I have a soft spot for FC Goa.

Effectively, while my analysis of this match will be neutral as always, you will see little hints of where my heart lies. On the other hand, I am a Delhi lad so I don’t really know where my loyalties should lie. I think I’ll go with the team that plays good football, regardless of whether that team wins or not. I predict good football and a win for FC Goa.

Team News for FC Goa & Delhi Dynamos FC

FC Goa - LucioTeam news surprised me a little but that’s probably because I don’t know all the players as well as I should. I expected Narayan Das in the starting line-up but Zico went with Keenan Almeida. I thought Zico would go for Daryl Duffy but he went for Reinaldo Da Cruz Oliveira.

Rest of the FC Goa starting line-up was as I thought it would be. There were surprises for me in Delhi Dynamos FC’s team too. First and foremost, I wanted to see Adil Nabi but Roberto Carlos went with Richard Gadze.

There wasn’t even Robin Singh in the starting line-up because of his international duties. Seeing Gadze being picked over Nabi and Singh, I immediately felt that it was a mistake from the Brazilian legend. I thought John Arne Riise would play in the central defensive position and I was right.

From the starting line-ups, it was evident that FC Goa was going for a possession based strategy while Delhi Dynamos FC were thinking defence first. FC Goa had had a five man midfield set up while Delhi Dynamos FC chose a five man defence. This was going the big mistake in my eyes because FC Goa won the game in midfield.

The First Half Kicks Off With FC Goa

FC Goa - Mandar Rao DesaiFC Goa started the game brightly keeping the ball well and showing good sharpness. Delhi Dynamos FC were pegged back and it took FC Goa only 3 minutes to break through their defence.

The man responsible for the damage was, don’t give you dare give me that astonished expression, Romeo. The ball came lofted down the right flank; Romeo took it on his chest with a brilliant first touch. His next touch saw him beat the last man.

He reached the touchline, faked a cross to see the defender pass him by, and picked out a wonderful cut back onto the penalty sport. Mandar Rao Desai was running in from the left flank. He got ahead of his marker and dinked the ball over the Delhi keeper, Sanjiban Ghosh. FC Goa 1 – 0 Delhi Dynamos FC.

My dear gentlemen, this was a breath-taking goal with brilliant play from the men in blue. Take a bow Romeo, there; be many Juliettes after that bit of skill.

Delhi Dynamos FC were looking very ragged. They were trying a counterattacking game but FC Goa were pressing very well. There were lots of long balls from Delhi but they would never get through Lucio and Gregory Arnolin with those kinds of balls. This was FC Goa of last season folks.

There was one thing though. Delhi Dynamos FC weren’t looking as woeful as their 2014 avatars.

Delhi Dynamos FC Fight Back

Delhi Dynamos FC - Florent MaloudaIn the 11th minute, Delhi Dynamos FC used their luck when a long shot came in from FC Goa’s midfield.

The Delhi keeper parried the ball straight to an unmarked Romeo who could only connect with air. The ball still bobbled to Lucas Moura who hit the ball hard first time.

Delhi Dynamos FC pegged FC Goa straight back with a counterattack. Hans Mulder reached the right flank by-line and managed to cross the ball in. The ball trickled across the FC Goa goalmouth. A minute later, Richard Gadze got free of the Goa defence and went up one on one with Elinton Sanchotene Andrade. He tried to dink the ball but the keeper stayed big to block it.

After the first 10 or so minutes were gone, Florent Malouda announced himself with a mazy dribble and a smart cutback. He would go on to show more skill from different places on the pitch but Delhi couldn’t convert the chances. Another Delhi player who started shining along with Malouda was Vinicius Ferreira de Souza. The man reminded me of how Romeo appeared out of nowhere last year.

FC Goa Double Their Lead through Reinaldo

FC Goa - ReinaldoAfter the 20th minute, the game settled down a little with FC Goa sitting back to wait for a counterattack and Delhi Dynamos FC finding it difficult to go through their defence.

There was a lot of scrappiness as well. However, just before the half time whistle, Delhi Dynamos FC’s worst nightmares came alive like Goosebumps.

They gave away a silly foul on the edge of their box on the right flank to Joffre.

The resulting freekick was taken by Jofre low and hard and finished by Reinaldo with his knee. So, goals through open play and a freekick for FC Goa. FC Goa 2 – 0 Delhi Dynamos FC.

Players That Were Visible For Right and Wrong Reasons

FC Goa - Keenan AlmeidaBoth Malouda and Vinicius were wreaking havoc on FC Goa’s right flank where the new boy Almeida was deployed.

He looked quite overawed by the occasion. I still think Debabrata Roy would’ve done better on the right with Narayan Das coming into the left back position.

Almeida was looking all over the place, committing fouls, dropping balls while taking throw-ins.

Throughout the rest of the first half, Delhi huffed and puffed but they could neither get the right shot nor the right pass. Part of the reason was Denson Devadas who started sticking to Malouda like a leach in heat.

He did a brilliant job screening Malouda and the FC Goa back four. Another Goa player that stood out was Lucas Moura who showed some great vision along with passing and dribbling skills

Roberto Carlos Takes Matter into His Own Hands in the Second Half

Delhi Dynamos FC - Roberto CarlosThe second half began with Roberto Carlos and Gustavo Dos Santos coming into the fray for Mulder and Vinicius. Carlos took up the central midfield position from Mulder while Dos Santos took up his position on the wings. The change didn’t have much of an impact because Delhi Dynamos FC still looked toothless while FC Goa continued to create chances on the counter.

There was a goalmouth scramble preceded by a gorgeous Riise run and two post hits. Riise ran the ball forward and then struck a left footed curler onto the far post. The ball went to the far wing from where a cross came onto the head of Malouda. Malouda headed it onto the post as well.

A Battling Second Half with Some Chances

Delhi Dynamos FC - Adil NabiThe second half continued dully till the 70th minute after which it picked up in entertainment.

Around this time Delhi also gave us our first look at Adil Nabi. His first touch was skilful with a cool pass at the end of his skills.

On the other end, Sanijban Ghosh played out of his skin and smothered the ball at the feet of Desai when a goal should’ve been the most likely outcome. The rest of the second half played out the way the whole match went with Delhi trying to get behind Goa defence and Goa counterattacking.

Tactical Analysis:  First Impressions + Projections

FC Goa - ZicoIt rained before this match. The climate plays a crucial role in how a game plays out. Rains usually make the field quicker where the ball skids off the moisture on the grass. That wasn’t the case here because the ball was holding up instead. That only happens when the drainage system of the field isn’t up to the mark.

The point is that the ball was holding up on the pitch. Romeo used that very well in the first goal when he poked the ball beyond a diving Riise. While Romeo is a wonderful player, he isn’t so good as to adjust his game so quickly to the pitch. He could cope with the changed nature of the pitch because it was his home ground.

In terms of how the teams played, I think Delhi Dynamos FC played as individuals while FC Goa played as a well drilled team. There was more cohesion in how the Goans were playing while Delhi looked more cobbled together.

FC Goa’s strategy was simply to use the pace of their wingers against Delhi’s wingbacks. For me, Delhi Dynamos FC made the same mistake that Chennaiyin FC made yesterday. They didn’t have wingers because they chose to go with a five man defence. Atletico De Kolkata took advantage of that yesterday and FC Goa did the same today. The game was won in the midfield and specifically on the wings.

FC Goa took the lead in the 3rd minute. After that, they decided to sit back and counterattack by using the speed of their wingers. The whole game played out like this with FC Goa’s strategy paying dividends with their second goal.

In essence, Zico’s experience as a manager overshadowed Roberto Carlos’s strategy.


FC Goa 2015 Squad – Adriano’s Greek Tragedy May Get an Indian Chapter

Forewarning: Those of you who read my posts only for fun and banter may be disappointed with this post.

Now that doesn’t preclude the fact that I may be unable to resist some pot-shots. What it means that as I sit down to write about the potential arrival of the Brazilian Emperor to the Portuguese beaches of India, I don’t feel particularly humorous.

Why? Well, Adriano’s story is an incredibly sad one. His is a veritable Greek tragedy of modern times. It involves everything including fantastic fame, loss of loved ones, debilitating depression, and a meteoric descent into hell.

Whether Adriano is now trying to engineer a phoenix rise from the ashes or if this is going to just be an Indian chapter of his Greek tragedy, it deserves some respect. By considering Adriano to be a part of the FC Goa 2015 squad, Zico is doing what no other manager in world football would consider.

This includes all the ‘humanitarian’ type managers in the mould of Arsene Wenger, Guus Hiddink, Johan Cruyff, and possibly Joachim Low.

How Adriano’s Footballing Career Has Been a Greek Tragedy?

Adriano in his Pomp!

Adriano in his Pomp!

Adriano started out as a young player for Flamengo in Brazil. Flamengo is easily the most successful club in Brazilian football history and since Brazil is the home of world football, that’s quite a feat.

However, one year after breaking through to the first team squad, Adriano moved to Inter Milan in Italy and lit up Europe. First, Inter would loan Adriano to Parma where he would partner Adrian Mutu.

Remember Mutu, the guy who used to play Chelsea when they had just come into a lot of money? The guy who most people now remember for failing a drug test in a sensational manner?

I can’t help but think that the time Adriano spent with Mutu at Parma had some say in what he would do in his future but since hindsight is something of a temptress, what do I know.

Anyways, after scoring loads of goals for Parma with Mutu, Adriano would come back to Inter and score tons more. He scored 22 for Parma and would score 47 for Inter after his return.

Adriano was at the peak of his game at this time. He was scoring boatful of goal at club and international level. There was nothing that he touched that didn’t turn to goal’d (deliberate!).

He was considered to be one of the best strikers in the world at this time. It was at this point that Adriano’s life and career made a dramatic U-turn. It was at his point that his life would become a Greek tragedy.

You see, his father passed away. Adriano was known to be very close to his father and his loss struck him hard. He took up alcohol with a vengeance and, although it hasn’t been stated anywhere else, my gut tells me that he may have been on drugs too (refer to his time with Mutu).

Still, such was the talent of this beast of a striker that he kept his performances up for the next two years! Alcohol abuse takes time to show up in any case. The effects started showing up in 2005, when Adriano’s performances dipped drastically.

Adriano now lost his focus on football and started living a life of party and escapism. He was castigated for poor work ethic and dropped by one manager after another. Adriano was shipped off to Sao Paulo in Brazil where he head-butted a teammate.

He was brought back to Europe by Roma but let go with mutual consent after only five games. He would then join the Corinthians, Flamengo, and Atletico Paranaense in quick succession.

Adriano in his Plump!

Adriano in his Plump!

Throughout this period, Adriano was gaining weight, partying even harder, and being investigated for his connections to drug cartels in Brazil. Even Adriano’s agent came out and said that he no longer cares about The Emperor’s football career and that he is worried about Adriano the man who is on a path to self-destruct.

The last anyone heard of Adriano was that he was being linked with Le Havre, a second division side in France. Adriano has effectively given us a master class instruction in how to go from being on top of the world to a forsaken blind alley in the corner of nowhere. If that is not a Greek tragedy, then I don’t know what is.

Zico and Adriano’s Personal Connection

Zico, however, seems to believe in Greek tragedies too because he is considering giving Adriano his very own cathartic experience. If none of you are pretentious literature students, then let me explain in simpler words.

There’s a chance that Zico will give Adriano a chance to resurrect his career as a member of the FC Goa 2015 Squad. In fact, it is almost certain that Adriano has received an offer from Zico to be a part of his FC Goa 2015 squad because Zico revealed them same himself on his Facebook page.

The Idol & The Pupil

The Idol & The Pupil

Can you believe that? The legend Zico actually typing a status update for all of us lowly mortals? It’s almost like him kicking a football at me. Anyways, it’s something in this day and age that a man like Zico is handling his Facebook page himself. He deserves a standing ovation just for that.

Also, Adriano verified Zico’s status update by putting up one of his own where he stated that he spent the afternoon with Zico (his idol)!

What Can Adriano Bring To FC Goa 2015 Squad?

However, what will Adriano bring to the table of the FC Goa 2015 Squad!?

Adriano was a legend in the making before his life was derailed by an untimely death of a loved one. In his pomp, the man was a beast. He was powerful, strong, skilful, technical, and determined. He was so good that people started calling him The Emperor!

Adriano has a mean left foot, can dribble as profusely as a man on laxatives (think drool: sorry couldn’t help that one), and has oodles of creativity. He can head a ball like a rocker, hit a ball into utter and complete submission, score a freekick through the wall, and possibly give Michael Chopra a run for his money on the flabby side of things.

As you can see, the only problem with Adriano being a member of the FC Goa 2015 Squad will be his fitness. He has gained weight to a point where he looks like your local vegetable vendor who sits  with his vest half raised and has the stamina of your college professor who gets tired after every lecture.

How Zico Is Behind Everything Wonderful About FC Goa

Zico, by the way, can be said to be the man behind the rise of the Brazilian club Flamengo. He led that club to the first and the greatest of its victories in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It’s no wonder that he has chosen to give another former Flamengo man in trouble a helping hand.

Zico has been handling recruitment for the FC Goa 2015 squad singlehandedly. The news is that Lucio has already been signed as FC Goa 2015 squad’s ISL marquee player. Supposedly, Zico is also targeting three other former Brazil internationals to be a part of his FC Goa 2015 Squad.

Adriano for FC Goa 2015 Squad!

Adriano for FC Goa 2015 Squad!

So, if Adriano hasn’t burned off all his grey cells, he will accept this generous offer because he won’t get any other for the rest of his life.

This seems to me like one of those make or break moments in a person’s life. In a Greek tragedy, this point will be where the protagonist (Adriano) will make the choice between rejuvenating catharsis and eternal damnation for the rest of his life.

What choice Adriano makes is a mystery to the likes of us.

Still, I sincerely hope that he chooses catharsis, comes to India, and shows the world that life can put down a great footballer but it can never put him out! Come on The Emperor!

Disclaimer: I have never been an Adriano fan but I, like many of you, appreciate a talented footballer and absolutely love an underdog.