ATK Mohun Bagan’s Spanish defender Tiri has expressed his excitement ahead of the Indian Super League’s first Kolkata Derby on Friday.
The 29-year-old who has spent time in his home nation playing for Cadiz and their B Team, Atletico Madrid B and Marbella, first came to India to link up with ATK in 2015 and 2016 either side of a spell in Madrid, he spent also three years at Jamshedpur.
Friday will be the first time the derby has been played in the ISL so the coronavirus restrictions mean there will be no plans.
Tiri told Goal: “I have been in India for 6 years and I have seen the derbies on television, it will be incredible to be able to experience it!
“I think it will be something incredible.
“To be able to play a derby is always nice!
“This year will be different without our fans but a derby is a derby and you have to give 100 per cent as in every match.”
Mohun Bagan began the season with a 1-0 victory over Kerala Blasters with Fijian striker Roy Krishna netting the winner.
East Bengal are yet to play their first game at this level, but this summer saw the club bring in former Premier League players Danny Fox and Anthony Pilkington, both of whom have played international football with Scotland and the Republic of Ireland, respectively.
Former Welsh youth level striker Aaron Amadi-Holloway and former German U20 midfielder Matti Steinmann are also new arrivals.
At the end of October, Robbie Fowler, the East Bengal manager was quoted by Goal as saying of the derby: “We know how tough any game would be.
“But for us to get the reigning champions and to get a massive derby out of the way is something for us to train for.
It’s a massive game for our players and we can’t wait. We will be looking forward to it.”
Mohun Bagan were awarded the 2020 I-League, they have since merged with ATK to enter the Indian Super League.
As for the side they merged with, ATK never finished the regular campaign top but finished as champions in 2014, 2016 and 2020.