Gurpreet: I earn more playing for Bengaluru than Stabaek

The Indian no. 1 goalkeeper is open for a move back to European football if his terms and conditions are met.

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu signed for ISL side Bengaluru FC in 2017.   -  K. Murali Kumar

He is the only Indian to get a start in an Europa League game but the country’s numero uno goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu revealed that Bengaluru FC pays him much more than what he used to get at Norwegian club Stabaek FC.

“People had that perception that I was earning more playing for the Norway club. But it wasn’t the case. I am earning more playing Indian Super League,” he told PTI.

However the gigantic Punjab lad won’t mind if he is paid Rs 17 crore like India captain Virat Kohli, who represents the city’s cricket franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore.

“Whether it’s me or any footballer, we would love to get paid as top cricketers, who get Rs 16-Rs17 crore playing IPL,” Gurpreet said.

Gurpreet, however, said he would go back to European clubs if it meets his terms and conditions.

“When I went to Europe, I did not set any terms. I only thought of improving and developing my game. Now, I have some international exposure, if I get a chance to play for European clubs, I would certainly look for the terms that suits me,” he said.

Will return to Europe in the future

Asked about his reason for coming back to India, Gurpreet said there was no point in staying put with Stabaek because he was not getting match-time.

“Therefore, I decided to look for alternatives. My first preference was to stay in Europe, but according to circumstances, it wasn’t possible,” he said.

“Coming back to India was a tough decision for me. It is a privilege to be playing for Bengaluru FC, which is the best team in India during the last four to five years,” he added.

Asked about playing with Sunil Chhetri and foreign players like Miku and John Johnson, Gurpreet said he has been playing with the Indian star footballer for last seven years and his forte is the elan with which he carries the team in tough matches.

“As far as foreign players are concerned, they are top notch. We are lucky to have Miku, Paartalu and John Johnson, who rub shoulders with young Indian players who benefit immensely,” he added.

Talking about his ISL journey so far, Gurpreet said inspite of ups and downs, the team is on top of the ISL points-table and hope to finish on top four and take it from there.