New Delhi, Nov 14 (IANS) Delhi Dynamos’ marquee player-coach Roberto Carlos played down a post-match scuffle involving him and Atletico de Kolkata midfielder Valdo here on Saturday.
Carlos entered the ground after witnessing his team play a 1-1 draw at the Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium to shake hands with the opposition team’s players but met with a rude shove from midfielder Valmiro Lopes Rocha, popularly known as Valdo.
He was surprised at the sudden outburst of anger, and was taken aback at the behaviour. But he kept his composure to avoid any confrontation and walked away from the situation.
Valdo rose through the ranks at Real Madrid and was even part of the Spanish club’s senior team for a year in 2002-03, becoming Carlos’ teammate.
He was then loaned to Osasuna in the following year. The initial incident that led to Saturday’s altercation occurred in a Real Madrid vs Osasuna match.
Asked about the incident in the post-match press conference, Carlos said it was nothing.
“I know him for a very long time. He was with me at Real Madrid. He developed with me there. The scuffle was because of an incident that happened between us 12 years ago,” he said.
“He was with Osasuna at that time and we were involved in an incident in a match. I have apologised to him about it. But he still remembers it. But I don’t have any hard feelings for him. He is a great guy and a good friend. I wish him well.”
The 42-year-old claimed his team deserved to win the match as they were the dominant side. He also said Dynamos didn’t perform as per his expectations in the first half.
“We deserved to win based on our second half performance. We created more chances and were the better side,” he said.
Carlos felt the competition among the teams was getting stiffer as the tournament gets towards its business end.
“It is getting more and more difficult to get results. So a point is good for us. Happy with the team’s overall performance.”
His counterpart Antonio Habas insisted a draw was a fair result as his team had the better chances in the first half.
“It is impossible to play in the same rhythm for 90 minutes. In the first half we could have scored several times but did only once. We deserved a point. In the end, a draw is a fair result,” he said.
He added that his team was hampered by several injury problems in the first half of the tournament. But he believed they will get their act together.
“Helder Postiga has returned from injury. He will need a week to attain full fitness. We now have four home games. Aim to get maximum points from them,” he said.