Football is growing in India says Krishna

Roy Krishna celebrate with teammates after scoring a goal for of ATK. They thrashed Odisha FC 3-0 in an Indian Super League (ISL) clash at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Saturday evening. Picture: SUPPLIED

NATIONAL football captain Roy Krishna believes the game of football in India is growing very fast compared with the A-League in Australia and New Zealand. Krishna returned home on Sunday after his first season playing with the ATK side in the Indian Super League.

He helped his side win the ISL title this year. “I think the A-League is better, but the sport of football in India is growing each season,” he said.

“This season was the toughest in terms of the competition and that is the reason I joined ATK, which is one of the best football clubs in India. It was a humbling experience and the people were very nice there as well.”

The Fijian wonderboy when asked in regards to the standard of football in India, as compared with his experiences locally, later in New Zealand with Waitakere United and his swansong in the A-League with Wellington Phoenix.

“Locally, I was blessed to be playing here under the guidance of all my coaches. Going to New Zealand was a different experience alltogether.

I had a lot of good people around me to give me knowledge so that i could focus on my job, which is to play football.

“Going to India was not easy. A country with more than a billion people and expectations were really high,” he said.

“Playing football in India for seven months had its ups and downs, especially being away from home. But I was truly blessed that I had my wife around and my family; my mum, dad and in-laws flew over to India to watch my games.

“Yeah, I am just blessed to have people around and they helped me whenever I got lost in terms of losing focus.” Krishna did have some hilarious moments in India.

“They were surprised that I could speak Hindi and I think I spoke better Hindi than the locals there. I really jelled with the locals there and from day one they treated me as one of them. I told them about my culture, what I eat in Fiji and they were scared that spicy is not in my main meal, but I was eating more chillies than those Bengalis. They are a good bunch of people.”

The national soccer team captain etched his name in the history books, again as he became the first Fijian to captain a winning Indian professional football club in the Indian Super League.

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