Robbie Keane may not know too many things about India and its football, but the Irish star joined the Indian Super League (ISL) with an open mind. He said he was keen on gathering a different experience. As the captain of ATK, Keane, who played in the World Cup and the European Championship, said he is keen to help the Kolkata team claim the ISL title for the third time. “I have chosen to come here for a different experience. It is not about where you play, but about giving 100 per cent. I am here to help the team retain the title,” said the 37-year-old player, who donned the Irish colours in 146 matches.
Keane said he had done some research on Indian football before coming here. “Of course, when you sign for a new team you do your homework and speak to a few players, which I have done. I spoke to my friend (Alexander) del Piero and he said he enjoyed it.
“Of course, when we have a relationship, when we know and have played together it becomes a big factor. Teddy (Sheringham) was a big factor in me coming here,” Keane said.
Taking a cue from England Under-17 team
Like Keane, ATK coach Sheringham also looked forward to the start of the season. “The team will evolve along the season. Hope to get off to a great start. The first couple of weeks will be interesting. We will get to know the teams more,” he said.
Impressed with the England Under-17 team that won the World Cup in Kolkata, ATK’s home base, recently, Sheringham said he would like to borrow some ideas from the young team and apply those in the ISL.
“The way the Under-17s won the championship, I would like us to play like they did. I am very impressed. They had a very unusual style, playing much better from the back and being in control of the ball and the game. Hopefully, we will take some lead from them and take that into the ISL season,” said Sheringham.
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