Pic 1: Mumbai City FC's marquee player Diego Forlan and star player Sunil Chhetri interacted with media today on their semi-final qualification, ahead of their last home game in Mumbai.
Pic 2: Mumbai City FC's Marquee Player Diego Forlan and Star Player Sunil Chhetri during a press interaction in Mumbai today.
“I feel very happy, last year we could not qualify for the semi-finals, this year it gives me immense happiness that we have reached the semi-final, but that’s just the first stage. When I arrived here the team was already in a very good position, we were at the top. The first game we played, we played well against Pune, but we lost, and as a team we came back and had tough game at Goa. We then played as a team very well against Chennai and Kerala.
We have achieved our first target, and qualified for the semi-finals. Everyone looks fit, there are no concerns. We just have to wait and see who we are going to face in the semi-finals, and we are going to give our best. We will take one game at a time, not thinking about any glory. We have played enough to understand that, we cannot think about the final because there's a huge semi-final game ahead of us.We just want to think about one game at a time, and then see what happens next.”
Chhetri added, “This second season we are a good team, we just lost our track in between. There were three games that we won at home , and then we just lost the plot. There are few reasons why we are doing really well. One of the reasons is Diego who is sitting here right beside me. Not only the fact that he is so good on the pitch but off the pitch also he’s been good with all the players, his experience comes very handy. In the training side also, we have a very able coach and a coaching staff which really helps, we are all in sync. Whatever the coach wants and what the players understand, and we all work towards the same direction. We are very well fed with all the information from our coach and having Sony, Forlan and Matias at the front is not very difficult, we just have to understand their mentality to go with the game.”
On being asked which position, no. 9 or no. 10, he prefers to play at he said, “For nine years I have been playing as a first striker depends on the team and the players. Now when Sunil came back sometimes he drops back and I finish. I like the freedom to play wherever I want to. I can feel comfortable; depends on the players I can look up for space and be near the goal, near the frontline position that I always play. It doesn’t matter if there are Indian or foreign players, they are doing very well in the team. Lucian Goain, Anwar Ali, Facundo are doing very well between them. Roberto and Albino have secured the post which gave us confidence. Matias and Cafu are showing some excellent football. Everybody is doing their job, we have really good players as we are enjoying each others company. We travel together and also on the pitch which is more important thing because we need to show our game.”
Forlan added, “ISL has a bright future, as all the Indian players can play in it. For everybody, to have one league is an ideal thing. The grounds, the facilities and the fans are great here in India, being here feels good. We will have to play the last game very well, to win to see who is going to be first or second as the fight is still on. Until the last game, we won't know who we are playing and it doesn’t matter as we have rested well and practised for a tough game against Delhi. We have to concentrate on our game and have to do our best as every team is difficult and eyeing for the cup. We do not want to concede any goals and only want to try to score. That’s football you know!”