Without doubt Mauricio Afonso was the best playmaker of his generation. The midfield maestro had a hugely successful 15-year spell at Dempo, with whom he ended his playing career, after earlier representing CRC Chinchinim, Salcete and Salgaocar. He would glide past opponents, hit shots with minimal back-lift, spot openings before anyone else did and create havoc from set-pieces. He could score wonderful goals too. Afonso figured in the Goa team that first shared and then won the Santosh Trophy in 1983 and 1984. He later captained the state team as well as the national team whom he turned out for with great distinction over several years and tournaments. A former India captain, Afonso produced some memorable performances for Dempo, including, many say, in the 2-0 drubbing of Mohun Bagan in the 1986 Rovers Cup final where he simply was at his mesmerising best. A quintessential loyalist, Afonso has continued uninterrupted with the club as player, assistant coach and now chief coach in a memorable journey spanning overthree decades.