Brazil coach hopes to lift skills at East Bengal

Can Brazil's Carlos Roberto Pereira da Silva shake up football in India? Pereira, who made his name as the coach of famous Brazilian side Vasco Da Gama in the early 1970s, is currently in charge of Calcutta-based East Bengal FC. "I know that India's FIFA ranking is not good, but East Bengal club has given me the power to show what Brazil does best - which is teach football," Pereira told the BBC World Service Outlook program. "We have great players in India, players who will be able to help India reach a better position in the future."

Pereira is seeking to bring a brand of Brazilian football to India, with the aim of ultimately taking a number of different Brazilian coaches there, as well as assistants and physios. He's trying to motivate the boys - he's like a parent to all the players, on the field and off it as well. In turn, he is hopeful that they will pass on their knowledge to local Indian coaches, who themselves will improve, and so on.

But he stressed the need for a more professional set-up to the game. The players here should train as they do in Brazil - both in the morning and in the afternoon," he said. "Sometimes the players can't train because they've got jobs. But they should be 100 percent professionals - that's a basic requirement. And clubs should train 16, 17, 18-year-olds, as they do in Brazil."

Pereira says he also wants Indian footballers - many of whom are poor - to realise that being a good player will help them and their families. "He's trying to motivate the boys - he's like a parent to all the players, on the field and off it as well," said Alvito da Cuna, one of East Bengal's best players. "The training method is more or less the same as that of Indian coaches, but he adapts to the ball position. That's why we're looking forward - and getting the results as well."

Comments