1) Ronaldo or Messi?
Both are equally good but I’m a big fan of Ronaldo because he has performed well in 3 different countries-England, Spain and Portugal. He performs well wherever he goes
2) Who is your best friend in CFC?
I’m very close to all the foreign players, especially Eder because we spend a lot of time together in the gym. He’s a very sincere person. Mulder is also a very good friend of mine. In the Indian players, it’s Abishek Das.
3)Who is your role model?
My mother, because she has struggled a lot, and she is a hard worker
4)Who is the funniest person in CFC?
It’s Mendy Bernard. He is very friendly. He has played in bigger leagues and is now playing with us and having fun, I’m very happy for it
5) Will you prove yourself in next season?
(Gethu kaatuveengala) No one can say that but I’m getting prepared for it
6)Tell us about dhoni
I’m not saying this because he is my owner, but because he is one my two favorite sportsmen from whom I wished I could get an autograph, the other one being Ronaldo. The main reason I like him is because he came from a very poor background and proved himself to the world. I’m very happy to have met him and get his autograph on my jersey and frame it, that’s one of my dream come true.
7) What is your mindset in your difficult times? Life is all about ups and downs, it depends on the situation, we should be ready to face it, we need to be stable always, mind is what matters, when you are in a difficult situation, just think positive
8) We are waiting to see you in cfc this season!
9)Buffon or Neuer, who is no 1?
For me its Buffon, Neuer is like his son!! We cannot compare son and father, Buffon is no 1
10) What is your view on merging ISL and I league, is it good for Indian football?
Very good question, nothing is going to happen depending on what I say, but my opinion is that if it’s merged there are chances for many players
11) Difference between Chennai club and Kolkata?
There are so many differences, there everyone will be under pressure every single day to play, to perform in every single match. They are very passionate. Our state has just got a team, we have to create the passion in Chennai, you all should come and support Chennai, it’s our city, so we have to take it forward.
12) Your favourite and most comfortable position?
I have tried many positions from childhood, in 3-5-2, left side defending and attacking, I have got many chances in ATK under Habbas coach, I will play in any position in the left side, be it defending or attacking!!
13) Which is your favorite football club?
I’m little different, I like a club in each country, but Chelsea & Real Madrid are my first love
14) Who is your strength?
My strength is God, I believe in God’s grace, I read Bible regularly. In difficult times, those words motivate me a lot
15) Can we see many TN players in next ISL?
Hopefully! Few players are doing good, we can definitely see many players this season
16) Your football inspiration and the obstacles you had faced before becoming a player?
I chose this career aaccidentally . I lost my father when I was a kid and I had two elder sisters. I understood the situation and joined in sports school and stayed in hostel for free education, now it has brought me here. I had faced so many struggles and problems, God was with me and he has brought me here.
17) What do you think about Jerry Lalrinzuala and his future?
He is a young left back who plays for CFC. He plays really good. Watching Jerry reminds me of myself when I was 17 , 18 years old! He is a very good friend and a very nice guy. No can predict future, let’s wait and see.
18) Are you ready to face ISL 4?
I’m working hard for it, I hope I will have a good season
19) Can we expect retired players this season from Europe?
This question is not for me, it depends on whoever comes.
20)what is your advice to the young players rising across India?
Football’s future is very good compared to 10 years ago. We have so many facilities now which we didn’t have 10 years ago, so young generation put your heart ,mind and soul , and train hard and you will have a very good future. Keep motivating yourself, take the sport as a profession, every single day try to work hard to reach higher levels . Do not think about playing only in Indian clubs, I want many footballer to go abroad and play.
21) Your View on how to develop Indian football?
It’s my personal view- we have to concentrate on grassroots, now we have a recognized leagues, so we can train young players and make them play in recognized leagues, for that not only players we also need educated coaches, because training grown up players is different. Coaching them at a younger age is very important.
22) Are you happy to be a Tamizhan?
I’m super happy and super proud to be a Tamizhan
23) Are you happy on seeing Star sports in Tamil?
Yeah, of course, because there will be a huge reach in villages. It’s hard to understand Hindi & English, I know the struggle to learn these languages.Tamil is our language and is easy to understand.
24) What advice would you give football talents in Tamil Nadu?
I want more academies to open in Tamil Nadu, and they should have educated coaches to train small kids. They have to give all facilities to them at an younger age, develop and motivate them and set a target to make them play for the country.
25) Can Tamil Nadu be a force? Does it have good coaches?
There are a few good coaches in Tamil Nadu. Soundar anna, Robin Anna, Ranjith Anna, Sabir Anna are all good coaches but unfortunately we have very less professional clubs to take them. I wish them good luck and wish they go and shine at a bigger level.
26) Who is your favourite team mate?
27) What is your life’s motto?
Get up and do something for football until you die.
28) Few words on Robin Charles Coach
He is the man who recognised me during my struggling days. I still remember Soundar Rajan and Robin Charles were the ones who selected me to play in the Santhosh Trophy in 2006 which happened in Delhi. I have a huge respect for Robin and his family that will remain forever.
29) Your SAI experience?
SAI was life changing, thanks to Unni Coach and Subramaniam Coach. They were amongst the best coaches I had in my early ages. And then had met Manoharan Coach in Madurai. I have a huge respect for Unni Coach who used to wake up at 3:30 am and travel from Tambaram to coach us, although we went late at 6:15 am. He was very dedicated and must be happy now to see many SAI players playing in India. Also, I’d like to mention Kamali bhai and Lakshmanan from Madurai who helped me a lot in my early ages.
30) Any dream vacation spot?
31) What are your objectives for the upcoming season?
To keep myself fit and free from injury. I’m working hard and want to play as much as possible in the coming season
32) How important do you think it is for players to interact with fans like this?
Without fans there will not be any football club. Fans come first under any circumstance, so I’m happy to interact with you guys. In fact, this is my first ever live session, personally and professionally.
33) Your views on TN training facilities and stadiums? Are they improving?
200% improved. ChennaiyinFC’s training ground is the best training ground at the moment. I have trained at the same ground as a SAI student and ChennaiyinFC has really improved the ground a lot. The facilities at both the training ground and stadium have been improved to a great extent by ChennaiyinFC.
34) Your comments on Dhanpal Ganesh?
I’m very very very very happy for him right now. He recovered from a very serious injury, played in I league and scored goals, and is now with the National team. I wish he continues this way and shines more. Namma ooru, namma payyan, he should definitely do well.
35) Few points to Supermachans to improve the experience for players
Come and support the team irrespective of whether they play good or bad. You have to stand by them during their tough times. Show the love you have for the city to the city’s club. It doesn’t matter who plays for the club and who doesn’t. The name is Chennaiyin and that’s where your support should lie.
36) Who’s the most humble person in ChennaiyinFC?
Everyone in the team is very humble. There’s no one who shows attitude and everyone’s very nice, but the most humble and cutest person is Raphael Augusto.
37) Before 3 years, did you expect two clubs from our city, one in ISL and the other in I league?
We always had talents, but we never had teams, so from the time I heard about ChennaiyinFC, I’ve been their number 1 fan.
38) Who has been your motivator about from your family members?
James, a friend from Chennai. He gives me right advices. I also read the Bible, the words from the Bible keep me motivated.
39) Has your family cheered you from the stadium?
No, because my mother is very sensitive. She cried after seeing Postiga being taken in a stretcher during the inauguration match in Chennai. I’m also her only son, and she’d be hurt if she ever sees me injured on the pitch. So I never bring her to the stadium when I play.
40) Which player mostly takes command of the team? Mendy Bernard
41) Your opinion on fans of CFC?
Our city, our fans, the best Thank you all for interacting with me. There’s Chennai coastal cleanup happening on June 18th which is a Sunday. Please go and participate to make our city clean. We have to do our little part to make our city better. I really appreciate Supermachans for taking up this initiative. You’re doing a great job apart from football. Thank you all!
You can watch the interaction with Mohan Raj here