Dempo have done well but so have we, not focusing on opponents: Sunil Chhetri
Margao: For club and country, Sunil Chhetri has time and again reaffirmed that if the hashtag #HeScoresWhenHewants is to be used for someone in India, it is him.
Sitting pretty atop the goalscoring charts along with Dempo’s Tolgay Ozbey with five to his name, the four-time AIFF Player of the Year spoke towww.the-aiff.com on the eve of Bengaluru FC’s all important final against Dempo SC.
Q.1 You made that reverse kick against Pune FC look as routine as shaving off all your hair every time! How highly do you rate this goal?
It was there to be finished like that. I was at the right place at the right time and as a professional footballer, train to make most of my chances. This one came along and I took it. About how highly I rate this goal? I would take a simple tap in as happily as long as it meant three key points for the team. A goal is a goal. It did feel nice to score like that but what was sweeter was the win that booked us a place in the semifinals.
Q.2 Club or country, you seem to be the go-to man whenever a team is in need of goals, and you always deliver the goods. How do you do that?
It's something I relish and if the team looks up to me as someone who can deliver, there's no greater pride in the responsibility. I don't look at it as pressure and that's because the people surrounding me make sure it isn't. But I am as happy to set up goals as I am to score them. It's the end product that matters - a win.
Q.3 You have well and truly justified the crown of the most number of AIFF Player of the Year awards. Is this the best period of your career both for club and country?
There hasn't been a time when I haven't enjoyed playing football. About this being the best phase, you could say it is up there. I have a new role at the club and it's one that I am cherishing to the fullest. Bengaluru FC has been a wonderful journey so far and it is by far my best experience in the country.
Q.4 With you being in the pink of form and the team looking solid, do you fancy this as your best shot to win the Federation Cup?
That's what we've been training for. At Bengaluru FC we all find it difficult to settle for anything that’s not the best. Be it the way we train or the food we eat. Every bit of energy is spent striving to do well. The team has been consistent and it’s all clicking for us. We are hoping for the best tomorrow.
Q.5 Finally a word on tomorrow’s Final against Dempo?
Without wanting to sound too proud, we haven't really focused on opponents. That's left to the team’s think tank. Dempo has obviously been a team that's done well but so have we. It's going to be a great final and we hope we come out on the right side of the result.