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After beginning his career with the Delhi Dynamos, the offensive midfielder went on to play for FC Pune City, Hyderabad FC, Odisha FC, and ATK Mohun Bagan, scoring 33 goals in 79 games. When energetic Rajasthan United FC makes its I-League debut against RoundGlass Punjab FC at the Kalyani Stadium on Sunday, all eyes will be on Brazilian sensation Marcelinho Leite Pereira. The 34-year-old, who has dominated the Indian Super League since winning the Golden Boot in his debut season in 2016, is one of the most anticipated players in this season’s I-League.

Punjab FC, on the other hand, is managed by Ashley Westwood and features players like English defender Josef Yarney, Spanish midfielder Joseba Beitia, English attacker Kurtis Guthrie, and Australian forward Travis Major.

Local players Gurtej Singh, Rinto Anto, and Bikash Yumnam will form the backbone of their defence, while CK Vineeth, Kean Lewis, and Ashish Pradhan will lead the midfield.

Westwood praised RUFC’s success while acknowledging that they’re in for a tough fight. Gurtej Singh, a former JCT defender, is looking forward to returning to his country. Holders Gokulam Kerala will face previous champions Churchill Brothers in another match at the Kalyani Stadium on the first day of the matches.

All from Ghana, Denny Antwi, Philip Adjah, and Mohamed Awal, all from Ghana, have departed for Gokulam, Kerala, which is coached by Italian Vincenzo Alberto Annese.

The Indian Arrows, a developing team of the All India Football Federation located in Bhubaneswar, will face TRAU FC at the Mohun Bagan ground today. Marcus Joseph and Brandon Vanlalremdika of Trinidad and Tobago, Montenegrin midfielder Andjelo Rudovic, and six-foot-five Bosnian attacker Ismar Tandir will all be on the team.

Real Kashmir, with great players like Fran Gonzalez and Mason Robertson, will be buoyed by their IFA Shield victory earlier this month, which was their second in a row.

Just like last year, the I-League will be held in a bio-secure environment with strict COVID-19 regulations.

The matches will be held at three different locations, Kolkata’s Mohun Bagan Ground, Kalyani Stadium, and Naihati Stadium.

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