Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri feels the Indian Super League will be highly beneficial for the young players but insists that he has no regrets over not being a part of the inaugural season.
The 30-year-old plays for Bengaluru FC in the I-League and was not allowed to be a part of the tournament by the Blues, who were one of those few sides to decide against loaning their players to the ISL.
The striker is one of the most popular names in Indian football, holding the national record for most international goals, and the player’s omission from the glamourous league raised many questions. But Chhetri himself is unfazed by the exclusion insisting that he has no disappointment over missing out on the experience this year.
“I am under contract with my current club Bengaluru FC [BFC] and as it stands I belong to them. What will happen ahead is something I am not thinking about at all”, he said in an interview to IBN.
“BFC functions in a way no other club does and there’s absolutely no regret or thought”, the Andhra Pradesh born player added.
Besides the former Mohun Bagan player, striker Robin Singh was also barred from featuring in the ISL by the current I- League champions, and goalkeeper Karanjit Singh, who plays for Salgaocar S.C., was another prominent name missing.
Despite not being a part of the big money league, Chhetri feels that the tournament is an ideal platform for young Indian players to learn from the best in the business, and believes that it will be highly beneficial for the sport in the country.
“It will benefit a lot. Training with them [international stars], watching them, being with them and sharing the same locker room helps you a lot.
“You learn a lot. Also, what is more important is the kind of experienced managers guiding the boys. There’s lots to learn”, the player explained.