Sissoko: Chinese league one step ahead of ISL

The Malian who replaced Eidur Gudjohnsen in the FC Pune City squad spoke to Sportstar and said he was very happy to be in India.

Mohamed Sissoko... no extra pressure on being the marquee player of the FC Pune City team.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

Mohamed Sissoko is the youngest marquee player in the third season of the ISL. The Malian who replaced Eidur Gudjohnsen in the FC Pune City squad spoke to Sportstar and said he was very happy to be in India. “I have been here for two weeks, I’m trying to get to know my team-mates and understand the league step by step.”

Speaking about Pune’s performance, he said that the team wanted to improve and win a few games to move up in the table. The 31-year-old also said that he felt no extra pressure on being the marquee player of the team. "I’m just one of the 25 players, and every player has to take responsibility as one player alone cannot win games. We need to play as a team. I will try to do my best and enjoy with my team-mates.”

He was also impressed by the Indian talent on display. “Indian players have quality, they need to work hard on their technique and also the physicality. I understand football is not the No.1 sport in the country, so they will have to take it step by step. In another four-five years, I believe Indian league can be one of the best.”

Sissoko also played in the Chinese Super League for Shanghai Shenhua. When asked to compare it with ISL, he said: “They are one step ahead. ISL is just a three-month league for now. But from next year it will be a bigger league and I think it will attract a lot of top talent.”

Sissoko also remembered his time at Liverpool with great fondness. “I have great memories from Liverpool. This year they’re going to win the league because they have a good manager with good players and a great team spirit. The year surely belongs to Liverpool.”

The midfielder’s career was hampered by injuries at Liverpool and later at Juventus, but he believes that injuries are a part and parcel of a footballer’s career. “When you have injuries, it’s not good. After my eye injury a lot of people said football is over for me. But I’m a winner. Now I don’t have any injury and I’m playing now by the grace of God.”

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