EXCLUSIVE: Soosairaj- “Not getting national team call-up hurt a lot.”

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In an exclusive interview with IFTWC team, Jamshedpur FC’s star forward Michael Soosairaj opened up and revealed some really interesting facts of his life.

Q: How do you compare ISL and I-league from your experience?

I-league is the stepping stone for ISL. ISL is more professional than I-league. Players in the I-league work hard to make it to the ISL.

Q: How has your experience been with Tim Cahill?

He is a very humble guy. The way he behaves with people around him, it’s difficult to predict he is a World Cupper. He is always encouraging to all of us, especially to the juniors.

Q: Are there talents for football in Tamil Nadu?

Yes a lot of talents are there in the state waiting for opportunities. Chennai City FC has lot of Tamil players this season in their squad.

Q: Tell us about your early days of football.

I started playing football from the age of 5. I am from a fishermen community of Kanyakumari. There I began to play football with some older children, including my brothers.

Q: What inspired you to take football seriously?

My brother, Jegan Junior was a talented footballer and was selected for junior national team camp, but unfortunately couldn’t make the final cut. This inspired me to take up football seriously and to make it to national became my dream.

Q: How did you make up your mind to become professional footballer?

Credit goes to my brother Regin Michael (who is currently leading Chennai City). I had offers from government offices but he had trust in my game.

Q: How did you join Chennai City FC?

My brothers, Edwinraj Thomas and Anthony Xavier suggested me to join CCFC.

Q: How was your experience as a captain at CCFC?

There was of course some pressure but there was enough support from the team and the management.

Q: Your experience at Jamshedpur FC?

JFC is one of the best sides in ISL. We were unlucky to not make it to the top four. Players are treated well here. The management has enough facilities of its own to build a world-class team.

Q: You have been switching roles as a winger and midfielder. Which of the two you prefer?

I prefer playing as a left winger. Back at CCFC too I played mostly as winger. Sometimes though the coach(Ferrando) asks me to play in the midfield.

Q: Disappointed to have not received a national team call-up yet?

It hurt me more than anything. I cannot do anything about this. A lot of supporters called me and expressed their dissatisfaction. I just want to keep working hard and by God’s grace will make it to the national team soon.

Q: Your favorite actor?

I am a big fan of Tamil actor Vijay. Glad to know he is starring in a movie based on Indian football. Would love to act in his movie!

Q: Would you fancy a return to CCFC if they make it to ISL?

Yes of course! If both the clubs agree then definitely yes.

Q: Ever dreamt of playing in Europe?

Of course yes. I have always dreamt of playing for Real Madrid.

Q: Your experience with Cesar Ferrando?

He is a friendly coach on and off the field. He is always supportive and identifies mistakes and corrects them positively.

Q: Most mischievous player in the dressing room?

Our goalie Subashish Roy. He teases all the players in the dressing room.

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