Bengaluru: It’s been a great year for Zohmingliana Ralte. The Mizoram defender was an ever present fixture in Khalid Jamil’s Aizawl side that reminded everyone of the romance of the beautiful game by cantering to the historic I-League title. In fact, it was the no-nonsense defender who scored the winner against Mohun Bagan in the penultimate match which all but clinched the title.
Now, drafted into the Bengaluru FC roster, the 26-year-old is looking forward to bigger and better things.
“I am the I-League champion. My target is to be the champion of Indian Super League and AFC Cup as well,” stressed the defender.
While the former is still some way ahead, the challenge for the latter starts on Wednesday when Bengaluru FC take on North Korean side April 25 in the AFC Cup inter-zonal semi-final clash at Sree Kanteerava Stadium.
“This match is very important. We want to win. This is my first season here, so I want to win,” said Ralte.
“We will have the home support. I played against them last season in I-League and I saw how the fans rooted for their team. It is like they are our 12th man. We are confident.”
It’s been less than a month since the defender made the switch from the Northeast to the Garden City and Ralte has no illusions about the difficult task ahead of him to break into the team.
“Players here are different and so is the coach. I see them working hard in the training and I too want to do that. I also want to improve. My fitness and touch have improved after coming here,” revealed the former Pune FC defender.
“I want to fight for the place here, because the competition is very strong.
“Players here are very good. There are (also) few differences, because I played with four at the back and here we play three at the back. It’s a bit difficult for me at times, but I am adjusting to it,” he signed off.