It was in famous red-and-gold East Bengal jersey that 17-year-old Baichung Bhutia came into prominence back in 1995 and after nearly two decades, one of India's greatest ever footballer is going to play what will be his final season in Indian club football.
With a packed calendar ahead, East Bengal coach Armando Colaco Thursday said he would not like to put his top forwards Ranti Martins and Dudu Omagbemi under stress as the defending champions kick off the season against Mohammedan Sporting in the local league Sunday.
Bengal traditionally has a big support base for Brazil which is evident once again as a pall of gloom descended on the city after the hosts`s landslide 1-7 defeat against Germany in the World Cup semis.
Having missed the crown narrowly, East Bengal will look to finish runners-up for a third time in four seasons when they conclude their I-League campaign against United SC at the Salt Lake Stadium here on Monday.
Churchill Brothers, struggling to avoid relegation, will be desperately looking for a victory when they take on title contenders East Bengal in a crucial encounter in the 24th round of the I-League at Nehru Stadium here on Wednesday.
Facing the difficult task of winning their remaining six games to win the title, East Bengal will take on a struggling Sporting Clube de Goa in a must-win match at home in a round 23 I-League exchange on Sunday.
Upbeat after their win against Rangadejied United FC, Dempo FC are all set to face the challenge of East Bengal when they meet tomorrow in the return match of the I-League scheduled at Nehru Stadium here.
India international Lalrindika Ralte scored a spectacular goal in the 73rd minute to give East Bengal a 1-0 win over arch-rivals Mohun Bagan in a high-voltage round 10 clash of the Airtel I-League here on Sunday.