ISL: Experience counts for Mumbai City FC's new striker Amine Chermiti
Mumbai City FC's new Tunisian striker Amine Chermiti believes his stint with Hertha Berlin in the highly competitive Bundesliga will help him excel in ISL
Indian Super League (ISL) franchise Mumbai City FC's new signing, Tunisian Amine Chermiti, 31, believes his vast experience, having played football around the world, will keep him in good stead as he embarks on his maiden ISL journey that kicks off on October 20.
Chermiti, 31, has played for Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin (2008-10) before becoming the first Tunisian to score a hat-trick in the Europa League (2011) while playing for FC Zurich in Switzerland.
Talking about his experience with Hertha Berlin, Chermiti said he regretted leaving them. "Hertha Berlin contacted me when I was 19. It was not easy. I had to learn German and it is one of the most difficult languages. But football wise, I enjoyed the first season. Then I injured my knee and it took three months to heal. In the second season, I was loaned out to Saudi Arabian club Al-Ittihad. But in Germany, the standard of football is at an another level. They make players into machines. I was happy there. Now, in hindsight, looking back at my career, I regret leaving Bundesliga," Chermiti told mid-day yesterday.
Chermiti started his career with Tunisian club Etoile Sahel, winning the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League in 2007. He then had stints with French league side Gazelec Ajaccio (2016) before moving to Kuwait's Al Arabi club (2016-17). The CAF Player of the Year (2007) said that he is a lot wiser now, having played for so many clubs, and wants to channelise that experience to propel MCFC to glory. "After playing all around the world, I have a lot of experience. Now, under Jorge Costa, I want to use my experience and help the club. The coach wants us to be like a family, which is the perfect atmosphere to start with," said the forward, who has made 35 appearances for the Tunisian national team, scoring six goals.
Speaking of his challenges for the upcoming season, Chermiti, who will be partnering Senegalese Modou Sougou in the attack, said: "The ISL schedule is tough. We play matches every three days. So we need to be fit and be ready 100 per cent. Before coming here, I watched some of Mumbai's games. I even watched how the other clubs play. As a forward, my competition will be against the defenders and goalkeepers and I have prepared myself for that challenge."
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