Jamal will become the first ever Bangladeshi to take part in the I-League
Bangladesh football team captain Jamal Bhuiyan will make history next week when he turns out for Kolkata Mohammedan Sporting Club in the I-League opener against Sudeva Moonlight at Salt Lake Stadium.
He will become the first ever Bangladeshi to take part in the I-League and Jamal said he wants to make a mark during his time in the 14th edition of the 11-team league.
The 30-year old, who recently recovered from the novel coronavirus, will certainly have expectations riding on his shoulders as one of the foreign signings and Jamal said in an interview with All India Football Federation that he will look to repay the faith of the Kolkata Mohammedan management.
"I wanted a new challenge as I have been in Bangladesh for a few years now and know all the players, coaches and clubs. When I got the opportunity to play for (Kolkata) Mohammedan, I talked to my family and said 'You know what, let me just check this challenge and see what I can do',” said Jamal.
Kolkata Mohammedan, established in 1891, got promoted to the I League last season and boast one of the biggest fan bases in India.
Jamal Bhuiyan has flown to Kolkata to become the first Bangladeshi to take part in the Indian League where he will represent Kolkata outfit Mohammedan Sporting Club.Posted by Sports Tribune on Thursday, 24 December 2020
Regarding the heritage of the club, Jamal said, “I have spoken with few people who knew (Kolkata) Mohammedan. I spoke about (Kolkata) Mohammedan, how big a club it is and how big the history of the club is. Even I have spoken with the Bangladesh assistant coach Stuart Watkiss.
“He told me it’s one of the biggest clubs in India. The history of this club is huge and also the fan base of the club is huge. He told me, ‘If I was you then I would go there’. That also helped me to take my decision to join (Kolkata) Mohammedan.
"It's my job to prove that I'm a champion, I have to prove that (Kolkata) Mohammedan didn't make a mistake by bringing me here. As a footballer, you face different kind of pressure and I think this kind of pressure is healthy for me. If there is no pressure then there is no fun in it for me. I'm going to take this challenge and try to do my best every day.”
Kolkata Mohammedan general secretary Wasim Akram was effusive in his praise of Jamal, who he termed as one of the best defensive midfielders in Asia.
He added, “Jamal is a champion. Along with the captain of Bangladesh national team, he is one of the best defensive midfielders in the Asian continent at present. He brings in that extra hunger and that champion's mentality into the squad. We believe he will cover every bit of grass and do justice to his story.”
Jamal will return to his parent club Saif Sporting Club after the completion of the I-League for the remainder of the Bangladesh Premier League season.