For many of the international players who are a part of the inaugural edition of the eight-franchise Indian Super League (ISL), the motivation to play in India ranges from helping the sport grow in the country to experiencing something new.
Kostas Katsouranis. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
However, FC Pune City's latest recruit Kostas Katsouranis has come thousands of miles away from his country so that he does not have to stay away from his family for too long.
"Before I joined FC Pune City, I was trying to find a club in Greece itself so that I can be near my family, but the offers that I got were from clubs that weren't up to my standard.
"I did get offers from outside Greece, but there were many conditions. If I join any other club, I cannot just join for three months. I would have to join for at least a year.
I didn't want to be so far away from my family for so long. My son studies in a school in Athens and I didn't want to shift him anywhere else.
Now, I can see my family and son by the December 23 (ISL ends on Dec 20). I cannot find such an offer in Europe," admits Katsouranis.
The ISL could also be Katsouranis' ticket back into the national fold after a bittersweet 2014 World Cup in Brazil resulted in him being dropped from the national squad for the Euro 2016 qualifiers.
"I have not retired from internationals. But until I joined FC Pune City, I didn't have a club. You can't play for the national team if you don't have a club.
Now, I have a club so maybe I can make it to the national squad. I know it's not easy because they want younger players, but if they want me, I'm always ready. It's the coach's decision."
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