I am not intimidated by Del Piero: Denzil Franco
Atletico de Kolkata defender Denzil Franco on Saturday said that he was not intimidated at the prospect of tackling Italian World Cup winner Alessandro Del Piero in their Indian Super League fixture against Delhi Dynamos FC here tomorrow.
Kolkata: Atletico de Kolkata defender Denzil Franco on Saturday said that he was not intimidated at the prospect of tackling Italian World Cup winner Alessandro Del Piero in their Indian Super League fixture against Delhi Dynamos FC here tomorrow.
"It doesn't matter. At the end, we are all players, with two legs and two hands. I'm going to tackle him (Del Piero) the way I've been tackling others in the I-League or other tournaments. There's nothing much of a difference. I'm going to be very tough with him," Franco told reporters here.
Terming it a big challenge, Franco said it was time for him, Biswajit Saha and Arnab Mondal to prove a point for Indian football.
"Myself, Arnab and Biswajit Saha are the three Indian players in the defence at the moment. You never know about tomorrow's match and we have done well. If we can control the European players at this level, the Indian players can take it as a challenge and see that the league is all for Indians.
"That's really good thing for Indian football. It's a big challenge. I am just looking for the match tomorrow. I will give my 100 per cent as I've been giving in the last two matches," he said.
Franco, who last played for Churchill Brothers, said it's time for the I-League clubs to learn from the franchise-based league. "I-League clubs got to learn something from ISL. No doubt I-League has been doing really well since 2005 but it's time for Indian football to go to the next step and follow what's happening in ISL. It's as simple as that. What's happening in ISL needs to be followed.
"I feel it's going to be big step for Indian footballers to play alongside big players like Luis Garcia, Del Piero." Happy with his performance so far, Franco said, "We have been progressing well. That's the difference we have shown with the experience of 45 days of practice in Spain."
He said players from all parts of the world were gelling well in his team, something that has come from their 45-day training in Atletico's base camp in Madrid. "That's a good sign for Indian players. We had a good training for 45 days in Spain. You can see it in the results. It's not only the Indians but all the players are performing. We have players from all parts of the world, from Czech Republic to South Africa to Spain. Everybody is doing well. It's all hard work."