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ISL 2017: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu reveals why he chose Bengaluru FC, talks up difference between India and Europe

Sagnik Kundu
2.35K   //    22 Aug 2017, 12:13 IST

What’s the story?

Bengaluru FC’s new signing Gurpreet Singh Sandhu opened up on why he chose to move back to India instead of joining Portuguese club Boavista FC.

In an interview with the Times of India, the six-foot-four shot stopper said, “My initial plan was to sign for Boavista and then go to Bengaluru FC (BFC) on loan for a season. But, the offers from Boavista and other clubs were falling short on many accounts.

On one hand, when Boavista failed to convince Gurpreet, Bengaluru came in with some serious interest. The goalkeeper revealed, “Unlike other clubs, BFC showed serious interest and commitment in buying and moved in quickly to pay my transfer fee to Stabaek FC. Moreover, BFC is a very professional club, competing in international competitions like AFC Cup and it's important for me to play more competitive games before the 2019 Asian Cup.

In case you didn’t know…

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu etched his name in history books by becoming the first Indian goalkeeper to play top-division football outside India. He joined Norwegian club Stabæk from East Bengal in 2013 and featured in the Norwegian Football Cup and the Tippeligaen. He even made an appearance in a Europa League match against Welsh club Connah’s Quay Nomads FC.

Earlier last week, he completed a move back to India as he joined Indian Super League club Bengaluru FC.

The heart of the matter

Gurpreet said it was a special feeling to be back in India and playing in familiar conditions. He also revealed how excited he was at having finally got the chance to experience the ISL. He felt that the tournament was going to be very tough as all the teams are very strong.

Reflecting back on his experience at Stabæk, Gurpreet conceded that he went through a lot of ups and downs. However, he believes that he developed as a player and became better, something that would not have been possible had he stayed in India.

He also spoke about the differences between playing in India and in Europe, and how the players in Europe were at a different level altogether. According to Gurpreet, the speed of the game, technique, and facilities are all much better in Europe and although India has progressed by leaps in the recent years, a lot of work is still needed to reach that level.

What’s next?

Gurpreet will now play for Bengaluru FC in the upcoming edition of the ISL. However, he did concede that he would love to go back to Europe, should he get enough playing time.

Author’s take

At this stage of his career, it seems like Gurpreet has taken the right decision. His experience in Europe has definitely made him a better player but now he needs more playing time in order to test his abilities. Bengaluru FC will give him just that.

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Sagnik Kundu
I spend every day at office wondering how they got the table through the door.
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