Even after a glorious 11-year career in Indian football it has been a transformation for Ranti Martins. East Bengal’s Nigerian striker was under criticism heavily following his poor form in the Kolkata Premier Football League this season.
Ranti scored only two goals for his team throughout all the ten matches in the Kolkata Premier League. With Do dong Hyun’s increasing popularity for his impressive show in the Kolkata Premier League, Ranti Martins seemed to be fading away gradually in spite of the fact that he was the top scorer of the I league last season, having struck 20 goals.
This 29-year old Nigerian striker made a comeback in the ongoing international football championship in Bangladesh where East Bengal is all set to recreate history after its heroic ASEAN Cup victory 12 years ago, by reaching the finals. And Ranti, having produced his old touch has struck three goals in the three matches so far.
Speaking over phone from Chattagram on the issue on Thursday evening, Ranti first paid attribute towards Sammy Omollo, the former Kenyan international and assistant coach of East Bengal.
Ranti said, “At the time of my crisis in the beginning of this season when I was completely off-form it was Sammy who offered me to train with him alone during the holiday after the league was over this season. And under careful observation of team’s chief coach Biswajit Bhattacharya, I had rigorous training sessions with Omollo alone twice or thrice a week for hours. During that training session, Sammy was my opponent defender and my task was to get him past and move towards the goal. Sometimes, he defended me in such a manner where I had to take half-turn and move fast towards the box. Sammy was so brilliant that I could regain my old touch.”
Along with Omollo, the Nigerian striker also gave credit to his wife and children saying, “My family is in Nigerian now. But every day my wife is calling me and inspiring me to get goals. Even, after winning the semifinal match, she inspired me by saying that she needs the winning goal as a precious gift from me in the final.”