ISL 2018-19: My biggest dream is to play for India, says Jamshedpur FC midfielder Michael Soosairaj
Michael Soosairaj has simply been one of the finest talents in Indian football. He has continued to impress one and all with his brilliant ball-control skills and knack of moving past defenders with ease.
After an impressive season with Chennai City FC in the I-League, where he was adjudged the Best Midfielder for the 2017-18 season, Soosairaj signed with Jamshedpur FC for the 2018-19 season of the Indian Super League (ISL).
Sportskeeda caught up with the midfielder for an exclusive chat, in which he spoke about playing with Australian striker Tim Cahill and more...
How did the move to Jamshedpur FC come along?
Jamshedpur is actually owned by Tata Steel, a subsidiary of Tata group. I have seen Tata being a helping hand for football since my childhood, that's the main reason why I chose Jamshedpur FC and the strong players background assured me many new things to learn as well.
How did you feel when you made your ISL debut against Bengaluru FC?
To play my first match against Bengaluru FC, a top club, is not a small thing. I am very happy about it and want to thank all Tamil Nadu youngsters and the people who helped me achieve my dreams. I always had a wish that I should play ISL, which was a step up in my career. I'm overjoyed that I finally got the opportunity to play the ISL and given that I made my debut against Bengaluru FC, it feels too unreal.
You have come very close to a national team call-up. What would you like to say about that?
Playing football for the national team is every man's dream. Being a footballer, my biggest dream is to play for the national team at least once. From the southern part of India, I think, there are not many players who have played for India and the selection depends on the coach. We are supposed to showcase our best in the league and leave the rest to the selection process.
What kind of impact have Tim Cahill and Cesar Ferrando made in your career?
The coach and Tim, being an Australian legendary footballer, have motivated me a lot. Tim is such a down-to-earth person who actually works hard and knows how to get the best in me. Be it Tim Cahill or the coach, both of them inspire me to do well on the pitch.
How is it like to share the dressing room with Tim Cahill?
Even though Tim is a legendary footballer, he never considers any of us as subordinates. Rather, he has the quality of treating everyone equally.
How would you want to thank the fans back in Coimbatore?
I can never forget my Coimbatore friends and fans because they had been my backbone whenever I played matches in front of them. They have supported me a lot and still do even though I play for a different team. People from Tamil Nadu have huge faith in me. I want to fulfil their dream by representing the national team and hope they support me this way throughout my career.