Silky passing. That’s how you can best describe Mario Soares’ game in the centre of the park. He started off with Salcete FC as a teenager, then joined Salgaocar at age 19 as a striker and scored the only goal when the greens won the Federation Cup for the first time in 1988-89. Soares had the world at his feet with the biggest clubs chasing him after that feat, but Dempo trumped the rest of the pack. It was at Dempo that he played his best football, although now in a midfield role, and was among the more impressive performers in the nineties. The former India midfielder saved his best towards the fag end of his career when Armando Colaco counted on his experience to help the team claw their way back into the National Football League elite from the second division. Soares represented India for the first time in 1991 when he scored India’s only goal in the draw against Oman in the Olympic qualifiers and his last outing for the country was at the Nehru Cup in 1997.