No pressure on me, says Cichero

As a defender, he brings the rich experience of 51 international appearances for Venezuela. At 33, Gabriel Cichero understands the role he needs to play as he prepares for a gruelling stint in the Indian Super League (ISL) for Delhi Dynamos.

Gabriel Cichero is gearing up for a gruelling stint in the Indian Super League (ISL) for Delhi Dynamos.   -  Special Arrangement

As a defender, he brings the rich experience of 51 international appearances for Venezuela. At 33, Gabriel Cichero understands the role he needs to play as he prepares for a gruelling stint in the Indian Super League (ISL) for Delhi Dynamos.

He has played professional football in Italy, Uruguay, Bulgaria and doesn’t feel any pressure being the lone foreigner in the defence. “No pressure really. It is my work. I talk a lot on the field. Not just defenders but the strikers and the goalkeeper too. As a defender it is important to communicate. Keep things positive. At the end if you have a good team in defence it becomes easier to win the games,” Gabriel Cichero said here on Tuesday.

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Cichero has a simple philosophy of football. “I try to enjoy my football,” he exclaims. “I am 33. I have the experience and I know how football works in a club. I will try to give my best and share my experience with the kids. They must understand that football is not just a sport but it is your work, it is passion, it is life. I have been playing football since I was 4. I would like to tell them that even in training you have to give hundred per cent to stay better and better on the field.”

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The ISL, notes Cichero, is the right to move forward for Indian football. “ISL is important,” he insists. “You compete with players who have figured in good leagues around the world, played World Cups. The Indian players will learn from them. Indian football needs time and this (ISL) is going in the right way. The league will whet the appetite of football fanatics and prepare the players.”

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The Venezuelan had praise for Indian football. “I have seen lot of passion for football in India. Everybody likes cricket but they also like football at the same time. I know football is the only sport that can unite a country. All over the world I have seen football is the number One sport. India has the talent and power to become good in football because when you have a lot of people you get lot of good players. I can give you the example of Uruguay. It has only three million people but is always in the World Cup. India has a huge population and I am sure in the coming years you will see better stadiums, better players and better football.”

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There is nothing glamorous about defenders. Cichero accepts that. “Those who score goals become famous but defenders have an important role. I always try to be a different defender. I don’t look to just keep the ball out but try and reach one of my players. As a defender, you have to accept he errors and the good things in the game.”

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