MUMBAI: In one of his columns for a leading gulf daily, Mumbai City FC marquee player Diego Forlan encourages other foreigners to come and play in the Indian Super League, describing how wonderful and competitive the tournament is.
But speaking to the media here on Tuesday, Forlan donned a different hat. Being more reflective, the Uruguayan and his teammate, India skipper Sunil Chhetri, spoke on how the 3-month duration of the tournament is detrimental for the development of football in the country.
“For me, it’s great. It’s good for me to come here and play for three months. I’m 37 years old, but you have to look for the future of Indian football. All leagues around the world are played for nine to ten months. In Europe, the top players play many games -around 60 games. It will be great for everyone to play one league and play the whole year, that will be an ideal scenario,” the former Manchester United player said.
He also pointed out that many Indian players aren’t playing in the league, and that’s something that needs to change.
“Some of the Indian players can play in ISL, but not everybody. They are training which is quite different from playing. The more you play official matches, the better you become. It’s that simple. Also, players shouldn’t have to change teams (I-League to ISL) in one season.”
Chhetri, sitting beside Forlan, nodded in agreement. “One league is going to be good and everyone who’s involved with the sport in the country understands this,” he said.