India football captain Sunil Chhetri yesterday dismissed any kind of comparison between the national domestic competition, I-League, and the multi-million dollar franchise-based Indian Super League (ISL), claiming both entities can mutually benefit from each other.
India football captain Sunil Chhetri. Pic/AFP
"You cannot compare ISL with I-League as both are different entities. It is not fair to say that there is no glamour in I-League as there are things that both the tournaments can learn from each other," said Chhetri, who has been roped in as mentor and brand ambassador of DreamChasers, a nation-wide talent hunt programme to pick 15 youngsters in the eight to 14-year age group for a comprehensive five-year residential schooling in Kolhapur in Maharashtra.
The 31-year-old, who was part of the Mumbai City FC set up in the ISL, said he is enjoying his stint with both the leagues as they are playing a part in the growth of Indian football.
"I'm excited to be a part of both leagues as both are working for the betterment of Indian football," said Chhetri, who is represents former champions Bengaluru FC in the I-League.
Divulging details about the the talent hunt, Chhetri said that he will be actively involved in the initiative as it involves the partnership of Portugal Club, Sporting Lisbon, which he represented in the past.
"I'm going to be part of all major decisions taken. The youngsters will be provided the best possible training. The most important thing is coaching. When I went to Sporting Lisbon. I was 26 and had a four -year deal. I was there for seven months and played six games.
I was improving and enjoying my time there with the training and the kids I was playing with. It was a great team but the guys I played with were 17, 18 and 19 years of age while I was 26. I wish I was 16-17 then and could've have stayed for four years," he said.