‘In some years, Indian football will be a force to reckon with’

Kolkata, Oct 29 (IANS) Delhi Dynamos striker Robin Singh believes that the Indian Super League (ISL) will help the nation in the long run and some years down the line India will be a force to reckon with in football.

This is Singh’s first season in the ISL, which is into its second edition, and he has already made a mark with his presence upfront with one goal in five matches for the team from the capital.

“Indian football has grown and has become bigger since the arrival of ISL. In the next few years, Indian football is just going to get bigger and bigger and if we set our minds and hearts to it we can definitely be a force to reckon with,” Singh told IANS in an interview.

The 25-year-old, a product of the Tata Football Academy (TFA), now has a galaxy of superstars by his side when he turns up for the Dynamos. The likes of Brazilian World Cup winner Roberto Carlos, Liverpool great John Arne Riise and former Chelsea star Florent Malouda are there to share their experiences with Singh.

“It is indeed a great opportunity to be playing alongside these experienced players. As a professional footballer, every experience and teammate hold great opportunity to learn from. That being said, when we’re on field, we play as one team and we’re all equals on the squad,” he said.

Asked about Carlos, the player-cum-coach of the Delhi outfit, Singh said: “It is an honour and privilege to work with Carlos. Under his training, the Indian boys are learning a lot about European football. In fact not just about European football but also about their way of thinking and sense of discipline.”

One of the most exciting talents on display for Delhi this season too is Brazilian midfielder Gustavo Marmentini dos Santos who had taken the inaugural edition by storm.

“Dos Santos is an amazing player with immense talent. Having him in our team isn’t just good for me but an asset to our attacking line,” Singh said.

The star striker, who started his career with East Bengal in the I-League, shifted his allegiance to Bengaluru FC in 2013. He believes both leagues have their strengths, but wants the ISL to be played over a longer period.

“Both leagues have their strengths. The knowledge and experience I have gained while playing with Bengaluru FC during the I-league are irreplaceable. I look forward to using all that I have learnt as an athlete towards putting my best efforts for the Dynamos,” he said.

“As a player if the ISL grows longer I would love because I will get more games to play; football is and will be my first love. We would also have more time to spend with the international players and learn.”

Speaking on the need of branding for the game of football and players, Singh said: “Playing good football is what is important for any player. The overall development of the game in India, which has so much inherent, hidden talent, is imperative. I believe branding is a great way to create more awareness and turn the eyes of different audiences towards holistic development of the sport among the youth in India.”

(Debdoot Das can be contacted at debdoot.d@ians.in)

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