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Subrata Paul rejoins practice
December 09, 2004 15:47 IST
Mohun Bagan goalkeeper Subrata Paul, under fire following the death of Brazilian striker Cristiano Junior, rejoined practice on Thursday and said he would not give up playing football, even if his family so desired.
"Under no circumstances will I leave football. I cannot live without soccer. I have grown up playing this game," Paul told reporters at Kolkata.
When it was pointed out that his father is in favour of him quitting the game, Paul said: "I would like to reiterate that I will not leave soccer even if my parents so desired. I will try to convince them".
Paul's 65-year-old father Pranballav had said, "enough is enough. I will not let him play football anymore".
Proclaiming his innocence over Junior's death, Paul said, "I did whatever was needed only to save the goal".
Paul has been assailed by a section of the football fraternity including some top players after television replays showed that he had hit Junior after the Brazilian had scored the second goal for his club Dempo Sports Club during the Federation Cup final on December 5.
Asked why he was repeatedly getting involved in on-field disturbances, Paul said, "I give hundred per cent under the bar. I get so much involved in the game that it seems that I am aggressive".
Paul said he felt terribly bad at the tragic death of Junior.
"I feel terribly bad for Junior. I wept a lot at the way a footballer died."
Asked whether he is now under psychological pressure following the sad episode, Paul said, "I want to focus only on playing the game to the best of my abilities. The other matters will be taken care of by my coach and club officials".
The 19-year old goalkeeper, who is regarded as one of the most promising young players in the circuit now, said his next target was to play the National football League.
"I also have the dream of turning out for India," he added.