first_imgCosta Rica’s World Cup defender Johnny Acosta, whose press conference was unable to take place on Wednesday, said on Thursday that he joined the club because of their rich history and not because there were talks of them joining the Indian Super League (ISL).Acosta is East Bengal’s big singing this season and he was scooped by the I-League giants right after he played all the three group games for Costa Rica in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.Acosta not only has the experience of Russia World Cup, he was part of the national squad during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil as well. In 2014, Costa Rica shocked everyone by reaching the quarter-finals.”When I signed, I only knew that East Bengal are a big club with great history. I have no idea about ISL or any other tournament. I came here because East Bengal are a big club,” centre-back Acosta told reporters in a rescheduled press conference at the club tent.According to reports, Football Sports Development Limited, the ISL promoters, does not want to increase the number of participating teams this season.On Wednesday, East Bengal were left red-faced after the first press conference of Acosta fell flat because they did not have a translator for him.The East Bengal bosses first tried calling former player and club official Alvito D’Cunha who speaks Portuguese due to his Goan roots, but to no avail. Acosta tried his best taking the help of Google Translate but nothing worked and the press conference was postponed.advertisementOn Thursday, the press conference took place again and Acosta said he was ready to take the field for East Bengal.”I have not seen any Indian football matches before. The one I saw on October 6 (East Bengal’s Kolkata league match against WB Police) was my first. I don’t know anything about the leagues in India as well,” said Acosta.”I am ready. I am just waiting for my paper works. Once they are ready I will start playing,” Acosta, who will sport his usual No.2 jersey, said.On being questioned why he chose to come to India and whether the glamorous ISL was on his mind, Acosta said that his friend former Costa Rican World Cupper Alexandre Guimaraes helped him make the decision.”I spoke to Alexandre Guimaraes and he advised me to come to India. He spoke highly about East Bengal,” Acosta shared.Acosta, who idolises legendary Italian defender Paolo Maldini, said it was disappointing that Costa Rica, despite playing so well, finished last in Group E and crashed out early.Costa Rica lost to last-minute goals against Brazil and drew 2-2 with Switzerland, also losing their opening game 0-1 to Serbia.”It was disappointing definitely. We were playing against such a top side like Brazil and we had almost managed to get a draw against them. Unfortunately, they scored and we were left heartbroken,” Acosta said.On playing against Neymar, he added: “It was a very good experience for me. Not only I had a great experience of playing against the entire Brazil side. Overall a very good experience playing against Switzerland, Serbia and Brazil. Our entire team played very well.”Known for his intensity and strength on the pitch, Acosta has played 71 matches for Costa Rica, including the 2014 World Cup.(With inputs from agencies)last_img

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