Kolkata: As Mohun Bagan gear up to take the final I-League challenge against Bengaluru FC on Sunday knowing they are just a point away from the championship, two Bagan legends namely Narayanaswamy Ulaganathan and Babu Mani, who reside in Bengaluru now say they will root for the ‘Green and Maroon’ brigade.
Presently on a vacation in Ooty, Ulaganathan, popularly known as Ulga during his playing days admitted he’s in a “dilemma”, but added he does not wish to betray the Bagan fans.
“Whoever plays well will win. I played for Mohun Bagan for eight years. The respect which I received from playing for the club will stay with me forever,” he said in a All India Football Federation (AIFF) release.
“In fact, it pertains to all the clubs in Kolkata. Nothing can replace it; nothing can take that away from me. The fans in Kolkata worshipped me like a God. How can I betray them?”
‘And on the other side, Bengaluru is my native place. How do I balance this?” “Namma Ooru Bengaluru (Bengaluru is my City), Amar sohor Kolkata (Kolkata is my City),” he added in one breath.
Unlike Ulaganathan, Babu Mani was willing to take sides. “I will support and root for Mohun Bagan. I have played for Bagan for over eight years. What I am today is entirely because of the green and maroons,” Mani admitted.
An emotional Mani further added: “Mohun Bagan is like my mother. I am her child.” “I can foresee the madness in Kolkata if Bagan win it,” Mani said. “But it’s still an unfinished job. You need to go and complete it.”