The upcoming season of the eight-franchise Indian Super League (ISL) could not have come at a better time for Mumbai City FC's newest German recruit Manuel Friedrich.
Before the ISL move materialised, the defender was in talks with several Asian clubs. However, all of them thought the former Germany footballer was only looking for easy money.
"I have been in discussions with many different clubs in Asia but they all seemed to believe there's a catch. Either they purely didn't believe I would really leave German football to play in such countries, or they just thought I want a paid vacation and am not motivated anymore.
"And when I was approached for joining the ISL Mumbai franchise everything sounded very serious from the very beginning and I had a good first impression.
"Then I met Arunava (Chaudhuri, Mumbai City FC COO) and felt that he understood what is driving me and that I am looking for such a challenge," Friedrich, who last played for Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund, told mid-day.
The defender also believes the league is the perfect opportunity for him. "It (ISL) was the perfect opportunity that came up at the right time. Everything is being set up from scratch including structures, newly formed teams.
"Just being part of that and feeling that my professional experience is valued is what makes it such an exciting experience for me. When does a player get a chance like this?" he added.
Even as Friedrich has history in his sights, he admits that the humidity and temperature of the country could be his biggest challenges here.
"Of course the football being played here will be somehow different from what I am used to. But it is too early to really know as we didn't even kick off the pre season-season yet.
I don't think I will have any issues with adjusting, but I might need some time to get used to the slightly warmer temperature and humidity."
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