An Evening With Carles Cuadrat and His Love For Artifacts

An evening with Carles Cuadrat and Dimas Delgado

It was a personal visit to check out rare football artifacts from the past as someone deeply interested in them. Carles Cuadrat did not visit as East Bengal coach. Rather he had come over as a student of football history who loves the past. It was meant to be what we call the perfect Bengali adda. Carles Cuadrat and Dimas Delgado with team RevSportz, on what it takes to be a good footballer, the fans who make Kolkata football what it is.

“India needs some game-changers” said Cuadrat. “If you have a few game-changers, close matches can be won. It makes a real difference.” Delgado, now his former coach’s assistant, could have nodded. After all, it was his 87th minute goal in the second leg of the 2019 semi-final against North East United that put Bengaluru FC ahead on aggregate and on course for a final that they would win against FC Goa.

Cuadrat went on to say that some teams leave a lasting legacy. The Bengaluru team that he coached to that title was one such. “When you think of that team, Gurpreet [Sandhu] with 11 clean sheets, Sunil [Chhetri] and Miku, Dimas and Eric Partalu – it was a fantastic side,” he said. He then went on to say, “Sport is also about respect. And off the field that’s what defines us all. On the field, we are competitors but off it, we are all part of the same fraternity and uphold the same tradition and dignity of sport.”

While trying out some homemade Bengali food, the East Bengal coach was in a fine mood. “The Super Cup win showed fans have belief in us and we are all committed to make the club stronger in the future.”

The high point of the evening was when he presented the pair of shoes he used during the Super Cup victory to me. “You are a collector and your collection is amazing,” said Cuadrat. “This is something you will like. I have used this company’s shoes for a long time. Since I was a player in Barcelona. Now I used this pair in the Super Cup and they are special to me. I thought I should give it to you.”

I tried to reciprocate by giving him two of my books and, in all, it was an evening very well spent. The team enjoyed it, and so did the coach and Delgado. It wasn’t newsworthy. Rather, it was what sport should be about – socialisation and bonding, with respect at its very core.


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