Spain's 2010 World Cup-winning left-back, Joan Capdevila, has no doubts he made the right decision in choosing to play in the eight-franchise Indian Super League (ISL) that will kick off next month. However, the move to India raised a few eyebrows back in the Capdevila household.
Spaniard Joan Capdevila during a media interaction yesterday. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
"When I told my family that I was planning to go play in India, my family members asked me, 'Is this a joke?' When I convinced them that I was indeed serious, they asked me if I had gone crazy.
Even after I had signed a contract with NorthEast United FC, they asked me if I was sure I wanted to go to India as the country is popular for cricket but not for football. Now, seeing the kind of players that have signed up with the league they just tell me to enjoy the experience," Capdevila told SUNDAY mid-day.
Capdevila added that his family won't be visiting India to watch him in action during the league. The left-back, who was also a key part of the Spain side that won the 2008 European Championships, said that he chose to play in India as he wanted an 'exotic' experience before retiring.
"I chose India as I wanted to keep competing and was looking for an exciting and exotic experience before ending my career. "I would like to continue playing but obviously that depends on these three months, on how I feel physically while playing. My main target is to continue playing until the body says 'no more'," the 36-year-old said.
Bar one season in Portugal, Capdevila has spent his career in Spain with clubs like Espanyol and Atletico Madrid. While the level of football in the ISL may not quite match up to that in La Liga, Capdevila's India stint could prove even more challenging, given the humidity, the heat and the tight schedule that will see teams play three matches in eight days at times.
"It's going to be a hard league in the sense of heat, humidity and travelling. But I can manage as I'm an experienced player," said Capdevila before adding that he was looking forward to using his experience to guide his young teammates.