• Thursday, Jun 04, 2020
  • Last Update : 08:13 am

‘Locals lack belief in their quality’

  • Published at 09:24 pm March 31st, 2020
Daniel Colindres works out at his room in Dhaka amid the countrywide lockdown

Colindres was officially adjudged the best player of last season for scoring and assisting in most of the matches they won, and his ability to create numerous chances for teammates

Daniel Colindres is not quite fond of talking to the media but the Costa Rican World Cupper was kind enough to meet some curiosities during his isolated days on a foreign land in the times of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It created a big hype in the domestic football scene when he came to join Bashundhara Kings, his first venture outside the homeland, and that too after making his World Cup debut in Russia.

There were four World Cup players - Nasser Hejazi, Samir Shaker, Karim Allawi and Emeka Ezeugo – who played a season each in the Dhaka League either for Abahani Limited or Mohammedan Sporting Club Limited in the late 1980s, but since then, there has been none until Colindres came along.

The ambition of newcomer Bashundhara attracted Colindres and they marked both their top-flight debuts with the Bangladesh Premier League and Independence Cup title at the end of the season, thus booking their ticket for the 2020 AFC Cup.

“It seems to me that I have met expectations,” replied Colindres to one of 10 questions passed over to him through Ahmed Shaaek, the marketing and media manager at Bashundhara.

The 35-year-old playmaker continued, “Together with the team we have achieved great things and will fight to put Bashundhara Kings in the international eyes.”

Colindres was officially adjudged the best player of the season for scoring and assisting in most of the matches they won, and his ability to create numerous chances for teammates. 

He became the first player from the club to get the contract extended for one more season.

‘The teams are improved’

It’s been quite an unpredictable journey since the start of pre-season when they faced the exit door from the group stage of the Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup, but they did win the curtain-raiser Federation Cup, the only silverware they missed out on last season.

Colindres usually plays as winger but his role became more of a playmaker for the new club. 

Spanish tactician Oscar Bruzon tried him as center-forward in the Federation Cup and he passed the test with flying colors, netting once in the semi-final and two in the final.

The Kings had to toil hard to beat even Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad Krira Chakra in the Federation Cup and it continued in the premier league, which has so far been the most competitive in recent years.

Only three points separate the top six clubs after the end of the sixth round with Bashundhara surprisingly sitting at sixth in the points table.

“The teams are improved, I think that retaining the title will be as difficult as the last year,” said Colindres.

Against only one defeat throughout the whole of last season, the Kings have already conceded a couple of defeats against Mohammedan [1-0] and Chittagong Abahani Limited [4-3].

“We are fighting the top, but we lost the last two games, we are three points from the first place, we must improve some details to be on top,” said Colindres.

Compared to the previous years, the foreign forwards are getting most of the goals in comparison with the local players. 

A total of 13 players have scored three goals or more but there are no local players in the list.

“For foreigners it is good because they are hired to give results, as for the locals, from my point of view they lack belief in their qualities,” said Colindres.

‘It is very easy to adapt with Barcos’

Another reason behind their recent unexpected results was misfiring teammates and missing key players like Matin Mia, Masuk Mia Jony and Emon Mahmud, among others. 

Although Colindres didn’t treat it as an excuse, he did mention in a different query that he missed them, along with Hernan Barcos.

Barcos was signed after the deadline of the domestic transfer window, thus he is only available for the second phase of the league.

He was eligible though for the AFC Cup 2020 where the club made an unforgettable debut, winning 5-1 against TC Sports of Maldives.

Former teammate of Lionel Messi, Barcos slammed a quadruple in his only competitive game with the Kings while Colindres added the other.

Colindres assisted two goals and created two good chances for Barcos before the Costa Rican got into the scoresheet. 

The duo had been training together for less than three weeks.

“Barcos is a great player,” replied Colindres to how the bonding developed so fast. 

He added, “It is very easy to adapt to his game, even for the team because it brings a lot of quality and experience.”

Life in the days of corona

Both the domestic league and the AFC Cup are now postponed for indefinite time due to the coronavirus outbreak that spread to at least 177 countries including Bangladesh and Costa Rica.

“The situation is complicated [in Costa Rica] because the number of infections is growing. My family is fine, thank God,” said Colindres.

He could have been in a better mood and perhaps be “safer” if he had the opportunity to spend these difficult times at home but the current travel restrictions around the world have made the situation complicated for both the clubs and the foreign players stuck in Dhaka.

The daily routine had to be changed after the clubs closed the camps and there was nothing to do outside due to the lockdown imposed by the government.

“I get up, eat breakfast, exercise, bathe, eat lunch, read a little, have coffee in the afternoon, watch TV for a while, talk to my family, have dinner and go to bed to sleep,” said Colindres.  

“In order to maintain myself physically, every day, the physical trainer sends a message for the daily work, in the house I have a space where I carry out the exercise routine.”

Nobody knows when the game would return on the pitch as the coronavirus cases are only increasing with each passing day. 

Colindres couldn’t hold back his desire to retain the BPL title and carry their good form till the end.

“I hope I can see myself as a league champion again and fighting to win the AFC Cup.”

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